(NEW YORK, NY) — The winner of the 2015 Robert De Niro, Sr. prize has been awarded to mid-career American artist, Laura Owens, who has proven her significance and innovation in the field of painting. Owens will receive this year’s $25,000 prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and she will become the fifth recipient of the merit-based prize, which also pays tribute to the work and legacy of accomplished painter Robert De Niro, Sr.
Robert De Niro Sr. was part of the celebrated New York School of post-war American artists. In his honor, this award was created by his son and TFI Founder Robert De Niro to support the next generation of artistic achievements. Stanley Whitney received the inaugural award in 2011, Joyce Pensato in 2012, Catherine Murphy in 2013 and Robert Bordo in 2014. The Robert De Niro Sr. Prize is among the first of its kind to celebrate and shine a light on influential mid-career artists.
A committee of six prominent individuals in the art world were chosen to nominate candidates and determine the prize recipient. It included: Peter Brant, President of The Brant, Foundation, Inc, Philanthropist and collector; Kelly Baum, Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Sarah Hanson, Editorial Director at Paddle8; Richard Flood, Chief Curator at the New Museum; Leah Dickerman, Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art.
Laura Owens (b. 1970, Euclid, Ohio) lives and works in Los Angeles. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the California Institute of Arts. Owen’s paintings first attracted attention in the late 1990s. In 2003 she became the youngest artist ever to be honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Most recently, Owens’ paintings and handmade artists’ books were exhibited at Capitain Petzel, Berlin, Germany; Secession, Vienna; and Zona Maco, Mexico, D.F. Her work will be shown at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in Spring 2016.
Owens is known for her large format paintings and a specific visual idiom inspired by references to art history, borrowings from popular and vernacular culture, and the visual traditions of non-Western cultures. She teaches at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. Since 2012 she has operated the exhibition space 356 S Mission in Los Angeles in collaboration with Gavin Brown and Wendy Yao. Owen’s is represented by Gavin Brown Enterprise, Sadie Coles Headquarters, and Galerie Gisela Capitain.