Dia Announces New $75,000 Sam Gilliam Award for Artists

Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Dia Announces New $75,000 Sam Gilliam Award for Artists

Each year, the prizewinner will be rewarded $75,000 and receive the opportunity to present a public program at Dia. The first recipient of the award will be announced in spring 2024.

The award was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Sam Gilliam. In 2021, Dia made a historic acquisition of Double Merge (1968), an important room-size, suspended-canvas work by Gilliam, that the artist rearranged in response to the industrial-scale architecture of Dia Beacon in 2019. The establishment of this award continues Dia’s ongoing commitment to the artist’s legacy and the institution’s relationship with his estate.

“We are deeply honored that Annie Gawlak, the late Sam Gilliam’s wife, has selected Dia to administer this significant award. Gilliam was truly one of the most important figures in American abstract art, as well as notoriously generous and supportive of his fellow artists. The Sam Gilliam Award extends his vital legacy through the next generation of artists,” said Jessica Morgan, Dia’s Nathalie de Gunzburg Director.

“Having received awards himself, at several pivotal moments in his career—which allowed Sam to establish a studio, leave his teaching position, and create a home for his family—the wide-reaching impact of these forms of support and recognition were truly appreciated by Sam and by those most important to him. As an institution that has offered such significant support for artists over the years, I am thrilled that Dia will organize the Sam Gilliam Award. Exhibiting at Dia Beacon was a proud moment for Sam, and he would be delighted that his legacy will now continue there in such a powerful way,” said Annie Gawlak.

The Sam Gilliam Award will be granted yearly to a single artist, residing anywhere in the world, who has made a significant contribution to any medium of art and for whom receiving the award would be transformative. The long-list for the award will be compiled by a group of invited international nominators. A panel of five jurors will determine the first winning artist in spring 2024.

Main Image : Dia Beacon exterior shot, copyright Dia Beacon, Photo Bill Jacobson Studio


Stephanie Cime

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