The New Foundation Seattle announces Martha Rosler as winner of inaugural 100K prize
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The New Foundation Seattle announces Martha Rosler as winner of inaugural 100K prize
Martha Rosler, Self-portrait, March 2010. Credit: Martha Rosler, artist.

SEATTLE, WA.- The New Foundation Seattle has announced that Martha Rosler will be the first recipient of The 100K Prize, a biennial award presented to an influential, U.S.-based woman artist, in honor of her exemplary artistic achievements and enduring commitment to her practice. Rosler will receive a $100,000 unrestricted cash award. In addition, the Foundation is organizing year-long programming throughout Seattle including exhibitions of Rosler’s work and related events.

The 100K Prize builds on the philanthropic interests of the Foundation’s founder, Shari D. Behnke, which include supporting artists, empowering women, and catalyzing social change. The Prize presents an opportunity for the Foundation to honor an influential artist while connecting audiences to the recipient’s work and the ideas it generates over an extended period of time. Rosler’s unrestricted cash prize is complemented by a citywide presentation of her work, spearheaded by the Foundation. The City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Public Library, the University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design, and others, will present talks, workshops, and exhibitions in collaboration with the Foundation.

The New Foundation Seattle, founded in 2012, is becoming known for advancing Seattle’s contemporary art scene through its dynamic exhibition space and comprehensive programs and funding for Seattle artists, curators, arts writers, and students.

“I have wanted to create a nationally-based prize for a long time, and I have wanted to create a prize for women artists for equally as long. I have supported artists in Seattle and the Northwest for 20 years, and it seemed fitting to start a prize on the national stage as the concept of regionalism has blurred. Additionally, The 100K Prize, as The New Foundation Seattle has developed it, is more than just giving the artist money. It is bringing the ideas of one artist to Seattle for an extended period of time. It is a way for the people who are living and working in Seattle to immerse themselves in a body of work created by one artist,” says Shari D. Behnke, Founder, The New Foundation Seattle.

Founding Director Yoko Ott says, “The 100K Prize is not a competition. Recipients are selected by the Foundation’s board. Martha Rosler was a clear choice for the first 100K Prize. She is an influential artist and a keen social commentator who has shown an enduring commitment to her practice of provoking conversation on the issues that affect us all. Her civically engaged work helped inspire the strategy behind the Prize’s accompanying public programming. As the lead organizer, The New Foundation Seattle is bringing together Seattle-based institutions, agencies, and organizations to present her work and ideas in depth. Our community partnerships help us invest in a breadth of programming that couldn’t be achieved otherwise.”

Martha Rosler works across a range of media, including photography, video, writing, performance, sculpture, and installation, often addressing matters of the public sphere and everyday life, especially as they affect women. Rosler has for many years produced works on war and the "national security climate,” connecting everyday experiences at home with the conduct of war abroad — most famously in House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, originally made as a response to the war in Vietnam in the late 1960s and reprised in 2004-2008 as a new series on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rosler has had numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries internationally and has published over 15 books of art and cultural criticism, most recently Culture Class (2012), on artists and gentrification. In 2012 she presented her performance installation Meta-Monumental Garage Sale at MoMA, New York. Her ground-breaking 3-exhibition cycle, If You Lived Here…, on homelessness, housing, and the built environment, which she organized at the Dia Art Foundation in New York in 1989, is regarded as a touchstone exhibition on these themes. Versions of this exhibition cycle have circulated in various forms over the past 25 years in the US and abroad, most recently at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin and at the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna in 2015. It is the basis for programming at The New Foundation Seattle in 2016.

“I am honored and delighted to be the first recipient of The 100K Prize from The New Foundation Seattle, an award instituted in recognition of women artists whose work has shown a commitment to social justice,” says Martha Rosler. “It is especially gratifying that this generous prize seeks to support artists like me, who are trying to think through the role of art in the activation of communities, and that this is reflected in the year-long programming dedicated to opening social questions to broad publics in different locales around the city.”

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