2012 Oscar Kokoschka Prize Goes to Yoko Ono

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Ms. Ono. (Courtesy Patrick McMullan Company)

The most prestigious award for contemporary art in Austria, the Oscar Kokoschka Prize, has been presented to conceptual artist and musician Yoko Ono, according to the AFP. The prize, which is named for the Expressionist painter, who lived from 1886 to 1980 and presented every other year, comes with a €20,000 ($26,400) award.

BBC News reports that Ms. Ono, 79, told reporters at a press conference for the event, “I think this is very special because Kokoschka is not only an icon of Austria but he is a world icon in the art field. … [H]e was always true to himself. And I think truth is something that’s very important now.”

Ms. Ono is represented in New York by Galerie Lelong and has had work in a number of recent group shows in the city, including “The Third Mind” at the Guggenheim in 2009, Performa 09, “Off the Wall” at the Whitney Museum (2010) and “September 11″ at MoMA PS1 (2011).