For Immediate Release

October 19, 2010

Prize Recognizes Writing That Advances Public Understanding of the Visual Arts

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, October 19, 2010–The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute today announced that critic, author, editor and educator Hal Foster will receive the 2010 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing on November 19 in New York City. Established in 2006, the Clark Prize recognizes individuals whose critical or art historical writing has had a significant impact on public understanding and appreciation of the visual arts.

The Clark Prize celebrates excellence in arts writing that conveys complex ideas in a manner that is informed, insightful, and accessible. In awarding this honor, the Clark raises awareness of the importance of writing that bridges scholarly and popular interest in the arts and seeks to encourage support for this type of writing among publishers, editors, and the public.

The prize will be presented to Foster by Glenn D. Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, a native of Williamstown and a graduate of Williams College. The award ceremony will be held in New York City at The Explorers Club, a site associated with both Museum founder Sterling Clark (leader of a notable 1908-09 expedition in China) and his brother Stephen (the original owner of the Club’s East Side townhouse). The Clark Prize is accompanied by a $25,000 honorarium and an award designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who is leading the Clark’s campus enhancement project. The prize is funded by the Beinecke Family through the Prospect Hill Foundation.

“The prize is a natural extension of the Clark’s dual mission of advancing scholarship while building public appreciation of art,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. “We are delighted to honor Hal Foster, whose far-sighted, rigorous yet brilliantly engaging work so perfectly embodies the goals of the prize.”

“I'm really honored to be awarded this generous prize,” said Hal Foster. “I'm extremely grateful to both the Clark and the prize committee for this recognition. It's very rare that criticism is championed, let alone supported, and I commend the Clark for doing so."

Foster was selected by an esteemed three-member jury:
• Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
• Bruce W. Ferguson, independent curator and critic
• András Szántó, Senior Lecturer at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York

Members of the jury were chosen for their long-standing commitment to the arts and their expertise in the field. Jurors for the Clark Prize serve as both nominators and judges. Individuals engaged in all forms of arts writing, including criticism, commentary, monographs, catalogue essays, and biography, are eligible for nomination.

Hal Foster
Hal Foster has served since 2000 as the Townsend Martin 1917 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. He is a former staff critic for Artforum (1977-81) and Senior Editor for Art in America (1981-87), founding editor of Zone magazine and books (1985-92) and editor of October magazine and books (1991-present). He is also the author of books including Art Since 1900: Modernism, Anti-Modernism, Postmodernism (2004, with Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin Buchloh), Prosthetic Gods, concerning the relation between modernism and psychoanalysis (2004) and Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes) (2002). He regularly contributes to the London Review of Books, Los Angeles Times Book Review, October and New Left Review and has been the recipient of Guggenheim and CASVA Fellowships. He was named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010.

Previous Recipients
The inaugural Clark Prize was awarded in 2006 to three individuals: Kobena Mercer, a writer and critic; Linda Nochlin, an art historian and leader in feminist art history studies; and Calvin Tomkins, author and art critic for The New Yorker magazine. Since then, the Clark Prize has been awarded to a single individual every two years. The recipient in 2008 was Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The New Yorker magazine.

About the Clark
Located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, the Clark is an art museum and a center for research and higher education, dedicated to advancing and extending the public understanding of art. To further its dual mission, the Clark organizes groundbreaking special exhibitions that advance scholarship while building public appreciation of art.

The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, drawing together arts leadership from around the world. The Clark encompasses one of the most comprehensive art history libraries in the world and, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

In 2008, the Clark opened Stone Hill Center, the first phase of its expansion and campus enhancement project, designed by Tadao Ando. The planned next phase of the program includes the creation of another new stand-alone building designed by Ando that will house special exhibition galleries, visitor orientation services, and education and conference spaces. For more information, visit www.clarkart.edu or call 413-458-2303.



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