The Hammer Museum announced Tuesday (Aug. 19) that artist and CalArts alumna Alice Könitz (Art MFA 99) won the 2014 Made in L.A. Mohn Award—the biennial’s top prize of $100,000 that honors artistic excellence.
Funded by philanthropists and art enthusiasts Jarl and Pamela Mohn, the award recognizes Könitz’s project, Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA), which is both a local micro-gallery and art installation.
In a biennial of exceptional artwork, Alice Könitz’s Los Angeles Museum of Art stands out as exemplary of an artistic practice that not only affects other artists through collaboration, but enriches the art community through questioning the purpose and role of a museum. In addition to the elegantly designed, sculptural display systems and the well-selected artworks that they house, we believe that Könitz’s practice is timely and deserves recognition. As the art market increasingly dominates the contemporary art world, artists such as Könitz are inventing new ways of operating and creating their own contexts. We hope that the award will go toward expanding the project and supporting more artists.
In an LA Times article on Tuesday, Konitz said she does indeed plan to expand the LAMOA.
“I just lost my studio where the museum was anchored in Eagle Rock, so I need to find a new location for it,” she told the LA Times. “I like the idea of expanding the museum, to adapt it to make different institutions.”
Three other artists also won awards: Michael and Magdalena Frimkess won the Career Achievement Award, which celebrates “brilliance and resilience” with a $25,000 prize, and Jennifer Moon received The Public Recognition Award—an accolade determined through a public vote—that also comes with a $25,000 prize.
Könitz’s work, along with eight other CalArts alumni and faculty projects, are on view as part of Made in L.A. through Sept. 7.