CalArtians Awarded 2019 Grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts

CalArtians have been awarded grants by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA). | Image: Courtesy of the foundation

Several CalArtians have been awarded 2019 grants by the Foundation for Contemporary ArtsAndy Robert (MFA Art 11) and Clarissa Tossin (MFA Art 09) have been awarded the Roy Lichtenstein Award and Visual Arts grant, respectively; and former faculty and alumnus Doug Kearney has been awarded the Cy Twombly Award for Poetry.

Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera — a 2015 recipient of The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts — was also honored with the Robert Rauschenberg Award. (CalArts administers the award on behalf of the Herb Alpert Foundation.)

Since its inception in 1963, the FCA has funded artists solely through the artistic contributions of other artists, making them a unique institution in the field of artistic endowment. In 2017, $1,010,000 was awarded in the form of grants, scholarships and awards.

Artist and CalArts alum Andy Robert (Art MFA 11) was awarded an FCA grant. | Photo from Twitter.

Robert is a conceptual artist and painter who incorporates varied materials and found objects into his practice. His works are in the current group exhibition, Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, on view at the Hammer Museum through May 19.

My approach to painting negotiates both how a contemporary image is made, understood, and seen: its contextualization. Images come against the body. And, in rendered layers and variations in finish, surface, texture, and detail, I emphasize this friction. In the breaking of the picture plane, deconstructive and colliding shifts in perspective, time, and space, a melding of simultaneity—the past, present, and future–an opaque sense of the infinite and sublime, of terror and vulnerability, is felt.

Tossin is a visual artist whose practice incorporates installation, video, performance, sculpture and photography. Her current exhibition Future Fossil is on display at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard through March 16.

A 2017-18 Radcliffe fellow, Tossin expands on her fellowship project with a newly commissioned exhibition that "considers the ecology of an uncertain future." Fossil is inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction trilogy Xenogenesis (1989), and examines a postapocalyptic world heralded by an ecological collapse in which alien-human hybrids create a new civilization in the Amazon.

From Radcliffe's exhibition site: "Pairing DIY plastic recycling techniques with the materials and practices of Amazonian aesthetic traditions, Tossin highlights the contemporary footprint left in the geological sedimentation of the earth. These new works consider indigenous knowledge in relationship to the environment, while they also resemble ruins of a world yet to come."

Kearney, a poet, librettist, essayist who taught at CalArts School of Critical Studies for 12 years, has authored four poetry books, including his latest, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), which also won the 2017 Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize.

In his review of Buck Studies in the New York Journal of Books, Karl Wolff writes:

Buck Studies by Douglas Kearney is a radical, profane, and erudite evisceration of white privilege. The title plays off the racial slur for a sexually virile African-American male and academia’s penchant for appending the word “studies” to intellectual pursuits. Peace Studies. Ethnic Studies. Buck Studies.

Douglas Kearney uses the weapons of poetry to write a curriculum of justifiable rage. Beyond anger, there is exasperation, grief, despair, and mischief...

Kearney is now assistant professor of Creative Writing and English at the University of Minnesota.

Artist-activist Bruguera was recently named one of Newsweek magazine's The Creative Class of 201910,148,451, and her series of installations and art interventions, is at the Tate Modern in London. The works are a community-driven response to the global migration crisis, and the title refers to an ever-growing figure: "the number of people who migrated from one country to another last year added to the number of migrant deaths recorded so far this year – to indicate the sheer scale of mass migration and the risks involved."

10,148,451 runs at the Tate Modern through Feb. 24.

Check out the FCA website for a complete list of grant and additional information about the award recipients.

—with Joshua Duke

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