december 06, 2018 - Sotheby

Sotheby’s Prize continues to champion trailblazing exhibitions as 2018 winners are announced

In its second year, the Prize awards $250,000 to fund ground-breaking exhibition Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970 at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Five innovative exhibitions from around the world also commended.

Sotheby’s today announces the winner of the 2018 Sotheby’s Prize, which, in its second year, continues to celebrate curatorial excellence and champion the work of innovative institutions who strive to break new ground and challenge our understanding of art today. Presented to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (opening in Los Angeles in late 2019), the $250,000 award will support their exhibition, Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970 which opens in Fall 2020. The first exhibition of its kind, Regeneration will reveal the important and under-recognised history of African American filmmakers in the development of American cinema. It will explore African American representation in motion pictures from its advent to just beyond the Civil Rights era.

Launched in May 2017, the Sotheby’s Prize offers an annual sum of up to $250,000 to recognize curatorial excellence and help facilitate exhibitions that explore overlooked or under-represented areas of art history. In addition to the main prize, a sum of $10,000 is also awarded to a number of institutions whose exhibitions and initiatives are judged by the jury panel to be inspiring and transformative. Between them, the commended list embraces both established and underrepresented artists, as well as the relatively unexplored aspects of sexuality and race in art, while at the same time supporting inspired new plans for community-based mobile exhibitions.

- ZUMU - A Museum on the Move: Next stop: Hura, Israel (Summer 2019)
- Henry Moore: The Helmet Heads at the Wallace Collection in London, England (March-July 2019) 
- For Today I Am a Boy: Contemporary Queer Abstraction at Des Moines Art Centre in Des Moines, Iowa, USA (June-September 2019)
- Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinatti, Ohio, USA (September 2019-February 2020)
- Jackson Hlungwani: Alt and Omega at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa (February-July 2020)

Speaking about the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ exhibition, Co-creator of the Sotheby’s Prize & Chair of the Sotheby’s Prize Jury, and also Chairman and Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s #allanschwartzman said: “In the US over the last few years there has been an overdue re-examination of artists of African descent, but no museum has really looked closely at this in the realms of popular culture. This exhibition looks at the popular culture of cinema through the eyes of the filmmakers and artists who grew up in that culture.” “This will be a landmark exhibition that will rewrite our understanding of the history of film and of its impact on popular and high culture. This is an exhibition that can truly change a national and international discussion on race, art, society, and the history of the Twentieth Century.”

Robin Woodhead, Sotheby’s Prize co-creator and Chairman of Sotheby’s International, said: “This year we decided to acknowledge five exhibitions because there was such depth of very strong applications. We've come to realize, even in the first year of the Prize, that the commendations have made a big difference for the museums in their ability to raise funds from other sources and to gain support within their own communities.”

In its second year, the Sotheby’s Prize garnered interest from around the globe with a total of 93 applications from institutions in 19 different countries across all major continents. Covering a remarkably diverse range, applications were received for exhibitions exploring different aspects and dialogues around geography, race, gender, and sexuality, among other themes.

Further information in the press release to download