The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Announces Fall 2021 Grantees

Friday, January 14, 2022
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Announces Fall 2021 Grantees

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced the recipients of its Fall 2021 grants. A total of $4.1 million will be awarded to 49 organizations to support the vital work of artists in communities around the country.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced the recipients of its Fall 2021 grants. A total of $4.1 million will be awarded to 49 organizations to support the vital work of artists in communities around the country. Grant recipients will be profiled on the Foundation’s new website, which was developed by multidisciplinary design firm Wkshps to bring greater visibility to the Foundation’s philanthropic work and its stewardship of Warhol’s legacy.

The Fall 2021 list, which includes 20 first time grantees, features organizations notable for their innovative and enduring support for artists through exhibitions, residencies, commissions, publications, and a wide range of public programs that engage critically with artists’ ideas. Their flexibility, creativity and collaborative approach to working with artists help artistic practice to flourish during this protracted period of instability and uncertainty in the art world and in the world at large. Acknowledging the financial challenges faced by arts institutions large and small, the Foundation is continuing to permit up to 50% of each grant to be used for administrative expenses.

The Fall 2021 grantees are adapting and inventing new ways to meet the needs of artists as they persevere in the face of obstacles that surface every day in these unpredictable times,” states Joel Wachs, President, “Artists are at the heart of the Foundation’s work, and it is more important than ever to shore up the organizations that sustain and empower them as they evolve their practices.”

Two groups in particular embody the Foundation’s commitment to the principle of freedom of artistic expression. First time grantee Artistic Freedom Initiative (Brooklyn, NY) protects and champions at-risk artists throughout the world by providing pro-bono immigration services, resettlement assistance, and presentation opportunities to artists who have been persecuted for their work, while the National Coalition Against Censorship (New York, NY) which has provided targeted assistance to artists and arts presenters facing censorship pressure for over 20 years, has developed a suite of advocacy and education programs to promote public access to artists’ work and support their ability to freely express views, no matter how controversial or unpopular.

Several first-time grantees will focus on providing artists the space, time, resources, and in some cases, peer and mentor support to nurture their creative practices through a variety of residency programs. Indigo Arts Alliance (Portland, ME) serves Black and Brown artists in New England by providing a supportive environment in which to make new work, receive critical feedback and build lasting relationships across generations; CALA Alliance (Phoenix, AZ) a multidisciplinary Latinx arts organization, hosts residents from Arizona, Mexico and Latin America and secures opportunities for them to exhibit work and connect with scholars, curators, and gallerists. Baxter Street at The Camera Club of New York (New York, NY), whose program was established over a century ago, offers residencies to early-career lens-based artists who benefit from professional development, mentorship, and a culminating exhibition; and Pike School of Art Mississippi (McComb, MS), invites artists for long term, flexible residencies to pursue projects that engage with local history as well as contemporary issues that affect its rural, southern community.

Ephemeral art and film history are at the heart of many funded programs this round. First time grantee Coaxial Arts Foundation (Los Angeles, CA) supports artists working in experimental media, performance, and sound; the Intermissions series at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (Chicago, IL) fills its gallery with ephemeral, performance-based works between exhibitions; and a new initiative at New York’s Artists Space will host residences for musicians, sound artists, choreographers and other performing artists in its lower-level galleries. The Chicago Film Society‘s (Chicago, IL) Analog Film in the 21st Century initiative highlights contemporary artists working in analog film and makes work in the medium available and accessible to a wide audience through exhibition and preservation efforts; while for the hundredth anniversary of the celebrated (and problematic) ethnographic documentary Nanook of the North by its founder Robert Flaherty, The Flaherty/International Film Seminars (Brooklyn, NY) is organizing initiatives in partnership with Indigenous artists that attempt to reckon with its legacy and redress some of its harms.

The economic, racial, and political turbulence of our contemporary moment affects the lives of artists as well as the work they produce,” says Rachel Bers, Program Director, “Museums, non-profit galleries and other artist-centered organizations are essential sites for artists to incubate, interrogate, develop and discuss projects that tangle with the complexity of the present; the Foundation values the prominence these platforms give to artistic visions and voices, centering artists’ perspectives in conversations that extend far beyond the art world.”

The Queens Museum will present the first solo museum show in New York of Xaviera Simmons whose work is concerned with the effects of racial prejudice across our history. The exhibition will feature the artist’s paintings, photography, video works and large-scale sculpture, as well as site-specific work created in dialogue with the museum’s collection, a community-based project at a food pantry, and a large-scale outdoor work in collaboration with Times Square Art. Filipino American artist Pacita Abad addressed issues of migration, cultural identity, and the fight for human dignity throughout her thirty-year career.  The Walker Art Center will mount the first ever retrospective of the artist, featuring over eighty works from the 1980s through 2004, the year of her death. First-time grantee The Wolfsonian in Miami Beach will present an exhibition of artist Roberto Lugo’s ceramic work in dialogue with objects from its own collection and will commission a mural for its exterior wall that the artist will create in partnership with Haitian and Puerto Rican community organizations, commemorating the workers who built Miami around the turn of the 20th century. The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin will mount Dark Matter, a retrospective of London-born Faisal Abdu’Allah, whose work, ranging from live performance to monumental sculpture, opens channels of communication around the history of racial oppression and inequity in this country and the UK. The work of Juan Francisco Elso, an installation artist who passed away at the age of 32 in 1988, will be the subject of a solo exhibition at El Museo del Barrio.  Drawing connections between Afro-Cuban and indigenous Latin American culture, the exhibition will include twenty of his surviving works alongside pieces by his close colleagues and younger artists he influenced.

A number of group exhibitions will also receive Foundation support. Fisk University Galleries in Nashville, TN will present African Modernism in America, 1947-67 which will examine the global rise of African modernism by revisiting a 1961 exhibition that took place at the galleries during the moment African nations were gaining their independence. Forecast Form; Art in Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s – Today at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago will feature artists with ties to the region and will focus on the formal strategies they employ to express the impact of migration and exchange on diasporic identity. First-time grantee Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia is dedicated to promoting widespread understanding of Indigenous Australian arts and cultures and will present Madayin: Eight Decades of Aboriginal Bark Painting from Yirrkala featuring 100 works created over the past 80 years, 33 of which will be new commissions.

Additionally, the Foundation has granted $244,000 to five institutions across the country for curatorial research toward future exhibitions and institutional initiatives.

The full list of Fall 2021 Grantees is as follows:

Fall 2021 Grant Recipients | Program Support Over 2 Years:

A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY – $60,000  

Art Papers, Atlanta, GA – $100,000

Artistic Freedom Initiative, Brooklyn, NY – $100,000

Artists Space, New York, NY – $130,000

Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL – $100,000

Baxter Street at The Camera Club of New York, New York, NY – $60,000

CALA Alliance, Phoenix, AZ – $100,000

Chicago Film Society, Chicago, IL – $50,000

Coaxial Arts Foundation, Los Angeles, CA – $60,000

Creative Time, Inc., New York, NY – $100,000

DiverseWorks, Houston, TX – $100,000

The Flaherty / International Film Seminars, Brooklyn, NY – $100,000

FotoFest, Houston, TX – $80,000

Fulcrum Arts, Pasadena, CA – $50,000

Indigo Arts Alliance, Portland, ME – $100,000

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA – $100,000

Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MN – $100,000

Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City, CA – $60,000

National Coalition Against Censorship, New York, NY – $150,000

Pike School of Art – Mississippi, McComb, MS – $60,000

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR – $150,000

Providence College Galleries, Providence, RI – $80,000

Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL – $100,000

Root Division, San Francisco, CA – $100,000

Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA – $80,000

SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME – $100,000

Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center, Buffalo, NY – $100,000

The Wende Museum of the Cold War, Culver City, CA – $80,000

Fall 2021 Grant Recipients | Exhibition Support:

Americas Society, New York, NY
Tropical is Political: Caribbean Art Under the Visitor Economy Regime – $50,000  

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Dara Birnbaum: Reaction – $35,000  

Bass Museum, Miami Beach, FL
Exhibition program support (over 2 years) – $100,000

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
58th Carnegie International – $150,000

Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Natural World – $75,000

Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Who tells a tale, adds a tail: Latin America and Contemporary Art ­– $65,000  

Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, TN
African Modernism in America, 1947-1967 – $100,000

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection / University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Madayin: Eight Decades of Aboriginal Australian Bark Painting from Yirrkala – $100,000

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
Faisal Abdu’Allah – $50,000

The Menil Collection, Houston, TX
John Akomfrah,”The SNCC Manifestoes” – $100,000

El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY
Juan Francisco Elso: Por América – $100,000  

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s – Today – $100,000

The Queens Museum, Queens, NY
Xaviera Simmons – $100,000

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
Kelly Akashi: Of the Weeds – $50,000

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Pacita Abad – $100,000

The Wolfsonian – Florida International University (FIU), Miami Beach, FL
Roberto Lugo exhibition and mural project – $40,000

Fall 2021 Grant Recipients | Curatorial Research Fellowship:

MASS MoCa, North Adams, MA
Denise Markonish – $50,000

Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, CUNY, New York, NY
Macarena Gómez-Barris and Alaina Claire Feldman – $50,000

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, CO
Miranda Lash – $50,000

Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Teréz Iacovino and José López Serra – $47,000

Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, WY
Sharon Dynak and Tracey Kikut – $47,000

In an effort to highlight the important work of the Foundation’s grantees and to illustrate its many philanthropic activities and role as a designated steward of Warhol’s legacy, the Foundation engaged with multidisciplinary design studio Wkshps to create a comprehensive, image-driven website. Wkshps is a design consultancy based in New York City and Berlin that received the 2015 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Communications Design. The site presents a dynamic view of the Foundation’s work and the ongoing influence its founder has had on contemporary culture. Wkshps’ design visually communicates the Foundation’s position as a leading artist’s endowed foundation and will serve as an informational hub for the Foundation’s efforts and programs, as well as tool for research and inquiry. The website includes examples from the scholarly research of the ongoing Catalogue Raisonné project, a thorough presentation of the extensive granting programs, and other philanthropic achievements such as the Photographic Legacy Project and Stanford Photo Archive, which include rarely seen images from Warhol’s trove of photography.  A truly collaborative effort between the Foundation and Wkshps, the new website presents the legacy of an artist who changed the way we look at the world, and the way the world looks at art.


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Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).

Roman Pyatkovka, “VELVET SADNESS”, (1996), photograph glued on velvet passe-partout (paper).


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