Skip Navigation

College Art Association

Programs » CAA Awards for Distinction

Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work

The Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work, first presented in 1988, is a peer award given to an artist for exceptional work through exhibitions, presentations, or performances. This award is presented to a living artist of national or international stature and must tie him or her to an exceptional recent exhibition; the 2017 award year is September 1, 2015–August 31, 2016.

2016 Winner

Arlene Shechet

Over the past two decades, sculptor Arlene Shechet has produced an inimitable body of work across a wide range of media—from paper to plaster to glass to ceramics. Approaching all of these materials with an experimental sensibility, she has explored issues as diverse as the way things are made and concepts such as balance, imperfection, and beauty alongside a probing examination of aesthetic categories and boundaries, especially those separating art from craft or ornament. Shechet’s practice also extends to issues of installation as seen in her 2015 mid-career survey exhibition, Arlene Shechet: All At Once. This exhibition sensitively shaped the viewing experience through provocative sightlines and the creation of unusual, new relationships between objects. This aspect of the exhibition in addition to the distinguished body of work it brought together demonstrates the artist’s critical capacity for breathing new life into media and processes often neglected in the contemporary art world.
 
Arlene Shechet: All At Once was the artist’s first museum survey. This major exhibition featured over 150 objects that traced the development of her innovative practice over the past 20 years. Arlene Shechet: All at Once was organized by Jenelle Porter, Mannion Family Senior Curator at the ICA Boston.

Jury: Elissa Auther, Museum of Arts and Design and the Bard Graduate Center, chair; Thomas Lax, The Museum of Modern Art; Beauvais Lyons, University of Tennessee.

Past Winners

In the twenty-two years since the Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work was first presented, the majority of recipients have been women. Four of the first five—Elizabeth Murray, Howardena Pindell, Rachel Rosenthal, and Ann Hamilton—are women, as are seven recent winners, which include Yoko Ono, Mary Heilmann, Lynda Benglis, Adrian Piper, and Elaine Sturtevant. Other recipients of the award include Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, and Fred Wilson.

2015 Charles Gaines

Jury: Bill Arning, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, chair; Elissa Auther, Bard Graduate Center; and Thomas Lax, The Museum of Modern Art.

2014 Kay Rosen

Jury: Brian Bishop, Framingham State University, chair; Bill Arning, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and James Rondeau, Art Institute of Chicago

2013 Elaine Sturtevant

Jury: Brian Bishop, Framingham State University, chair; James Rondeau, Art Institute of Chicago; and Bill Arning, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

2012 Adrian Piper

Jury: Brian Bishop, Framingham State University, chair; James Rondeau, Art Institute of Chicago; and John Yau, Rutgers University

2011 John Baldessari

Jury: James Meyer, Emory University and National Gallery of Art, chair; Johanna Burton, Bard College; and John Yau, Rutgers University

2010 Emory Douglas and Barkley L. Hendricks

Jury: Johanna Burton, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, chair; James Meyer, Emory University; and John Yau, poet and independent critic

2009 Mary Heilmann

Jury: Johanna Burton, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program; Kevin Consey, California College of the Arts; and Jonathan Fineberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

2008 Yoko Ono

Jury: Patricia Failing, University of Washington, chair; Jonathan Fineberg, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Margo Machida, University of Connecticut, Storrs; and Kevin Consey, Harriet and Esteban Vicente Trust

2007 Betye Saar

Jury: Patricia Failing, University of Washington, chair; Margo Machida, University of Connecticut, Storrs; Richard Kalina, Fordham University; and Kevin Consey, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley

2006 Andrea Zittel

Jury: Margot Lovejoy, Purchase College, State University of New York, chair; Margo Machida; Patricia Failing, University of Washington; and Richard Kalina, Fordham University

2005 Joan Jonas

Committee: Austin I. Collins, University of Notre Dame, chair; Todd Ayoung, independent artist; Josely Carvalho, independent artist; and Margot Lovejoy, Purchase College, State University of New York

2004 Krzysztof Wodiczko

Committee: Austin I. Collins, Notre Dame, chair; Todd Ayoung, independent artist; Josely Carvalho, independent artist; and Margot Lovejoy, Purchase College, State University of New York

2003 Fred Wilson

Committee: Judy Brodsky, Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, chair; Austin Collins, University of Notre Dame; Todd Ayoung, independent artist, New York; Andrea Norris, Spencer Museum of Art; Josely Carvalho, independent artist, New York

2002 Roger Shimomura

Committee: Judy Brodsky, Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, chair; Austin Collins, University of Notre Dame; Sam Gilliam, independent artist, Washington, DC; and Andrea Norris, Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas

2001 Ed Ruscha

Committee: Judith Brodsky, Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, chair; Nancy Friese, Rhode Island School of Design; Sam Gilliam, independent artist; and Andrea Norris, Spencer Museum of Art

2000 Ray Yoshida

Committee: William D. Paul, University of Georgia, chair; Nancy Friese, Rhode Island School of Design; Joanna Frueh, University of Nevada, Reno; Sam Gilliam; and Judith Stein

1999 Nam June Paik

Committee: Judith Stein, independent critic and curator, chair; Nancy Friese, Rhode Island School of Design; and Joanna Frueh, University of Nevada, Reno

1998 Arakawa and Madeline Gins

Committee: Elaine A. King, Carnegie Mellon University, chair; Roger Shimomura, University of Kansas; Peter Frank, independent curator; and Judith Stein, independent critic and curator

1997 Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz and Mel Bochner

Committee: Elaine A. King, Carnegie Mellon University, chair; Peter Frank, independent curator and critic; Thomas Nakashima, Catholic University of America; Roger Shimomura, University of Kansas; and Idelle Weber, independent artist

1996 Gary Hill

Committee: Martha Jackson-Jarvis, chair; Peter Frank; Elaine King, Carnegie Mellon University; Tom Nakashima, Catholic University of America; and Idelle Weber, independent artist

1995 Bruce Nauman

Committee: James W. Yood, chair, Northwestern University; Tom Barrow, University of New Mexico; Martha Jackson Jarvis, Washington, DC; Tom Nakashima, Catholic University of America; and Idelle Weber, New York

1994 Lorna Simpson

Committee: Beauvais Lyons, University of Tennessee, chair; Tom Barrow, University of New Mexico; Martha Jackson Jarvis, Washington, DC; and James Yood, Northwestern University

1993 Martin Puryear

Committee: Susan Rankaitis, chair, Scripps College; Tom Barrow, University of New Mexico; Robert Fichter, Florida State University; Beauvais Lyons, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and James Yood, Northwestern University

1992 Ann Hamilton

Committee: Susan Rankaitis, Scripps College, chair; Beauvais Lyons, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Antonio Mendoza, Ohio State University; Lorraine Peltz, Northwestern University; and Richard Posner, University of Southern California

1991 Rachel Rosenthal

Committee: Phyllis Bramson, University of Illinois, Chicago, chair; Richard Posner, St. Paul, Minnesota; Susan Rankaitis, Scripps College; Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Corrales, New Mexico; and Larry Walker, Georgia State University

1990 Howardena Pindell

Committee: Houston Conwill, chair; Phyllis Bramson; Ruth Fine; Mary Lovelace O’Neal; and Juan Sanchez

1989 Elizabeth Murray

Committee: Diane Burko, chair; Houston Conwill; James McGarrell; Gladys Nilsson; and Betty Woodman

1988 Jacob Lawrence

Committee: Ruth Weisberg, chair; Keith Achepohl; Diane Burko; Houston Conwill; James McGarrell; and Patti Warashina