The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant is pleased to announce its 2021 grantees. The program supports writing about contemporary art and aims to ensure that critical writing remains a valued mode of engaging the visual arts.
In its 2021 cycle, the Arts Writers Grant has awarded a total of $695,000 to 20 writers. Ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 in three categories—articles, books and short-form writing— these grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, from short reviews for magazines and newspapers to in-depth scholarly studies.
“The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant supports a vital component of the visual arts ecosystem– writers. These critics and scholars do the important work of chronicling, contextualizing, and complicating our contemporary moment as it is expressed by artists,” states Joel Wachs, President of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. “The Arts Writers Grant recognizes the rigorous and generous engagement arts writers have with artists and their work and celebrates their ability to illuminate artistic interventions into the structures that govern our contemporary cultural moment.”
“It is exhilarating to see the enormous geographic reach and international framing that many of this year’s Arts Writers Grantees are engaging in their work,” said Pradeep Dalal, Director of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. “Emphasizing the role of artist communities, with practices that cover literally every continent, these projects speak to the desire for exchanges that cross borders as well as those that establish connections across uncharted ‘South-South’ axes, rather than falling back on European or American art histories. Among the twenty projects the grant is supporting this year, Xin Wang will write about the presence of Chinese diaspora in various African countries and will speak to a rapidly evolving discourse regarding ‘blackness’ in Chinese cyberspace. Hera Chan will discuss artistic practices that destabilize Western categorizations of Asianess, focusing on the Milk Tea Alliance, a geopolitical region including Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan and Myanmar associated with the web-based solidarity organization and multinational protest movement against authoritarian rule. Erina Duganne’s book will look at Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America, a short-lived activist campaign initiated in 1983. Though most of the art works made for Artists Call are now either lost or destroyed and its activism largely forgotten, its efforts to forge transnational solidarity with Central America is deeply relevant today. Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s imaginative writing on the Cuban artist Belkis Ayón will compare moments of Ayon’s biography with Princess Sikan, the central, and only, female character in Abakuá mythology, so as to write about the impact this kind of figuration has on the Black diaspora.”
“Other projects speak urgently to the present moment, including TK Smith’s writing on the role of monuments and to the racialized and sexualized nature of public space. Fiona Alison Duncan will write an article on the trans-disciplinary artist Pippa Garner in relation to art and queer and feminist histories. Finally, Jordan Troeller’s book on Japanese American sculptor Ruth Asawa and other ‘mother-artists’ will offer a maternal counter- narrative to post-World War II American art, arguing that new forms of art proliferate from an engagement with care, social reproduction and futurity.”
Priyanka Basu, “Between Past and Present in Tuni Chatterji’s Okul Nodi”
Fiona Alison Duncan, “Pippa: Queen of the Future—On the Transgressive Life of Artist Pippa Garner” Tiona Nekkia McClodden, “The Cloth [Untitled Belkis Ayon Project]”
C. Ondine Chavoya, Asco: Disgust and Creative Resistance in L.A.
Erina Duganne, Visual Solidarities: Art, Activism, and Central America
Rebecca M. Schreiber, Visualizing Displacement in the Americas: The Aesthetics of Mobility and Immobilization
Sarah-Neel Smith, Envisioning the Middle East: The Lost History of America’s Cultural Exchanges, 1952-79 Gloria Sutton, Against the Immersive: Shigeko Kubota’s Video Sculptures
Jordan Troeller, Sculpture’s Progeny: Motherhood and Artistic Creation in Ruth Asawa’s San Francisco