Guggenheim Museum Nixes Closely Watched $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize

The Guggenheim Museum in New York will no longer award the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize, the museum told ARTnews Friday. The closely-followed biannual award has elevated the profile of numerous artists and comes with a $100,000 monetary prize and often an exhibition at the museum.

The Hugo Boss Prize was established in 1996 by the Guggenheim Museum in partnership with the fashion brand Hugo Boss to honor “outstanding achievement in contemporary art, celebrating the work of remarkable artists whose practices are among the most innovative and influential of our time,” according to the museum’s website.

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The award has been given to 13 artists since its founding and it has catapulted artists already at the top of the game to even further heights in the art world. The winners for the prize have been Matthew Barney (1996), Douglas Gordon (1998), Marjetica Potrč (2000), Pierre Huyghe (2002), Rirkrit Tiravanija (2004), Tacita Dean (2006), Emily Jacir (2008), Hans-Peter Feldmann (2010), Danh Vo (2012), Paul Chan (2014), Anicka Yi (2016), Simone Leigh (2018), and Deana Lawson (2020). Lawson’s win, announced in October 2020, was considered major at the time as she was the first photographer to win the award.

Each of those artists was selected from a shortlist of other artists. Those rosters have been often star-studded, including artists like Cecilia Vicuña, Kevin Beasley, Cai Guo Qiang, Laurie Anderson, Maurizio Cattelan, Vito Acconci, Tino Sehgal, Damián Ortega, Patty Chang, Camille Henrot, Laura Owens, Wu Tsang, Teresa Margolles, and Ralph Lemon, who was announced as the winner of the Whitney Museum’s $100,000 Bucksbaum award earlier this week.

Just as with the artists, the jury for the prize over the years has been equally star-studded, with some of the world’s most influential curators making the final decision, including Bisi Silva, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Okwui Enwezor, Robert Rosenblum, Christopher Y. Lew, and Naomi Beckwith, the recently appointed chief curator of the Guggenheim. The museum’s former artistic director and chief curator Nancy Spector chaired the jury for each edition of the prize.

When asked by ARTnews when the next awarding of the prize would be given, a spokesperson for the Guggenheim Museum said, “The Hugo Boss Prize will no longer continue. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is honored to have collaborated with HUGO BOSS since the Prize’s inception in 1996, to award artists who embrace today’s most innovative and critically relevant cultural currents.”

A request from ARTnews for further details from the museum was not returned; ARTnews has also reached out to Hugo Boss.

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