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Sondra Perry Wins 2018 Nam June Paik Award

BY Alex Greenberger

At a ceremony held at the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster, Germany, this evening, the Kunststiftung NRW foundation named Sondra Perry the winner of the 2018 Nam June Paik award, which is given biennially to an artist working with moving images and new technology. As winner of the award, she will receive €25,000 (about $28,300).

Also shortlisted for the prize were Andreas Angelidakis, Melanie Bonajo, Antoine Catala, and Hanne Lippard. Their work, along with pieces by Perry, can be seen in a group show at the Westfälischer Kunstverein that opens tomorrow.

Perry, who is based in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, has become well-known for her videos and sculptures, which frequently deal with avatars, bodies, and exploitation in the digital sphere, specifically as they relate to notions of blackness. She is currently the subject of two solo exhibitions—one at LUMA Westbau in Zurich, the other at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Earlier this year, her work was featured in the Berlin Biennale.

This is the second major prize awarded to Perry this year. In June, Perry was named the winner of the inaugural Toby’s Prize, a $50,000 award given to a contemporary artist by the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.

The winner was selected by a jury that included Karen Archey, curator of time-based media at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; Mark Beasley, curator of media art and performance at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.; Mélanie Bouteloup, director of the Bétonsalon center in Paris; curator Katerina Gregos; and Krist Gruijthuijsen, director of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin.

Past winners have included Lawrence Abu Hamdan (2016), Camille Henrot (2014), and Cevdet Erek (2012).

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