As any award enthusiast knows, award-show spectacles—carefully choreographed productions that inspire at least as much excitement as the recipients of the actual awards—are achievements in their own right.
In this spirit, the artist Rob Pruitt has inaugurated The First Annual Art Awards. Working from the recommendations of a 400-person Nominating Council, he has selected recipients who will be honored in a ceremony-performance piece at the Guggenheim Museum.
According to a biography provided by the museum, Pruitt’s practice is “rooted in a pop sensibility and a playful critique of art world structures.”
The ceremony, to be held Thursday, will present awards in eleven categories like “Artist of the Year,” “Curator of the Year,” and “Group Show of the Year, Gallery.” Joan Jonas and Kasper Koenig will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards.
The First Annual Art Award trophies are shaped like ice buckets holding champagne bottles topped with lightbulbs. From this week’s New Yorker:
“It’s an award, but it’s also a lamp,” Pruitt explained. “I was thinking about Jasper Johns’s light bulbs”—Johns produced a series of sculptures, drawings, and prints based on light bulbs—“and how the light bulb is this icon of ideas. And then combined with champagne and how much artists love to drink—drinking their ideas and celebrating.”
It also looks a little like the MTV Movie Award popcorn bucket.
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