Phill Niblock & Elodie Lauten Receive Top FCA Awards

Phill Niblock and Elodie Lauten

2014 Foundation of Contemporary Arts honorees Phill Niblock and Elodie Lauten

Earlier this year, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts announced the winners of their biennial John Cage Award and their second Robert Rauschenberg Award, plus 14 additional Grants to Artists awards in the disciplines of dance, music/sound, performance art/theatre, poetry, and visual arts. All in all, the 2014 awards total $500,000.

Selected by FCA’s directors, the 2014 Cage Award recipient is Phill Niblock (New York, NY). The John Cage Award is made biennially in recognition of outstanding achievement in the arts for work that reflects the spirit of John Cage. This prestigious $50,000 award was established in 1992 in honor of the late composer, who was one of FCA’s founders. The selection is made from among invited nominations. Previous recipients of the John Cage Award have primarily been composers, including Robert Ashley, David Behrman, Earle Brown, Takehisa Kosugi, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, David Tudor, and Christian Wolff. However, it has also been awarded to conceptual artist William Anastasi, video artist Charles Atlas, and digital artist Paul Kaiser.

The foundation’s second annual Robert Rauschenberg Award was given to composer Elodie Lauten (New York, NY). The unrestricted $30,000 award, FCA’s first endowed grant, was permanently endowed by The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2012 to honor the artist’s legacy of innovation, risk-taking, and experimentation. Rauschenberg was one of FCA’s original contributing artists and was generous to FCA throughout his life. It is awarded each year through a confidential nomination process. The inaugural Rauschenberg awardee was choreographer Trisha Brown.

Three composers were among the 2014 FCA Grants to Artists honorees—James Fei (Oakland, CA), Jeph Jerman (Cottonwood, AZ), and John King (New York, NY). They will each receive unrestricted grants of $30,000.

Awardees are nominated confidentially by prominent artists and arts professionals and selected by the directors of the foundation and noted members of the arts community. The other 2014 recipients are: choreographers Lance Gries (New York, NY), Trajal Harrell (New York, NY), Heather Kravas (Seattle, WA), and Okwui Okpokwasili (Brooklyn, NY); poets Ted Greenwald (New York, NY) and Eileen Myles (New York, NY); visual artist Wardell Milan (New York, NY) and film-maker Cauleen Smith (Chicago, IL); and for performance art/theatre, Matthew Goulish and Lin Hixson, co-founders of the collaborative performance groups Goat Island and Every house has a door (Chicago, IL), director Annie-B Parson (Brooklyn NY), and actress Black-Eyed Susan (New York NY).

Founded by John Cage and Jasper Johns in 1963 and guided by artists ever since, FCA’s mission is to encourage, sponsor, and promote innovative work in the arts created and presented by individuals, groups, and organizations. Artists working in dance, music/sound, performance art/theater, poetry, and the visual arts are awarded nonrestrictive grants to use at their own discretion; arts organizations receive project or general operating support by application; and a fund is maintained to help artists with work-related emergencies. Over the last half century since FCA’s inception, nearly 900 artists have donated work to raise funds for these grants. The current directors of the foundation are: Brooke Alexander, Cecily Brown, Robert Gober, Anne Dias Griffin, Agnes Gund, Jasper Johns, Julian Lethbridge, Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, and T.J. Wilcox.

FCA will publish a booklet profiling the 2014 grantees in March. Their curriculum vitae and other information will be available on FCA’s website at that time.

(—from the press release)

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