ANICKA YI, GUGGENHEIM NEW YORK

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The Hugo Boss Prize 2016: Anicka Yi – Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York – April 21–July 5, 2017.

From April 21 to July 5, 2017, an exhibition of new works by artist Anicka Yi, winner of the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize, will be on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Interweaving Yi’s ongoing study of microorganic forms, data collection, and sensory perception, this exhibition presents a densely layered examination of the intersecting biological, social, political, and technological systems that define our lives. Yi is the 11th artist to receive the biennial prize, which was established in 1996 to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art and which recently marked its 20th anniversary.

The Hugo Boss Prize 2016: Anicka Yi is organized by Katherine Brinson, Curator, Contemporary Art, and Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Through concepts and techniques drawn from scientific research, Anicka Yi’s installations create vivid fictional scenarios that ask incisive questions about human psychology and the workings of society. Challenging the dominance of vision in encountering an artwork, she expands the perceptual experience of the “viewer” into a broader sensory immersion. The artist has a longstanding interest in smell and its potent link to memory and subjectivity, at times activating her installations with scents designed to evoke specific emotional states or cultural identities. Her work studies the ramifications of both the digital and corporeal realms, with a focus on how biology, particularly in relation to gender or race, is frequently politicized.

In October Yi was selected as the winner of the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize from a short list of six finalists that included Tania Bruguera, Mark Leckey, Ralph Lemon, Laura Owens, and Wael Shawky. The 2016 jury comprised of Katherine Brinson; Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; Elena Filipovic, Director and Chief Curator, Kunsthalle Basel; Michelle Kuo, Editor in Chief, Artforum International; and Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS Map Curator, Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The jury described their decision in a statement: “In recognition of the milestone 20th anniversary marked by this year’s prize, we carefully considered the spirit of the project over the past two decades and the innovatory achievements represented by the list of past recipients. In selecting Anicka Yi as the winner from an exceptionally strong group of nominated artists, we wish to highlight the singularity of her vision and the generative new possibilities for artistic production offered by her practice. We are particularly compelled by the way Yi’s sculptures and installations make public and strange, and thus newly addressable, our deeply subjective corporeal realities. We also admire the unique embrace of discomfort in her experiments with technology, science, and the plant and animal worlds, all of which push at the limits of perceptual experience in the ‘visual’ arts.”

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