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Kandis Williams. Photo: Ezra Petronio.
Kandis Williams. Photo: Ezra Petronio.

Kandis Williams Wins Hammer Museum’s $100,000 Mohn Award

Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum has announced multidisciplinary artist, author, and curator Kandis Williams as the winner of the 2020 Mohn Award. The prize is presented in conjunction with the biennial Made in L.A., whose 2020 iteration, “a version,” spanned the Hammer and the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens and was delayed by the pandemic. Williams, a cofounder of Cassandra Press and a visiting faculty member at CalArts, will receive $100,000, and the Hammer Museum will produce a monograph of her work, which encompasses collage, performance, and assemblage, among other mediums. “Kandis Williams challenges the status quo with not only her art practice but also in her writing and publishing work. The Mohn Award celebrates the clarity and strength of her polymath voice,” said Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin in a statement.

The museum also revealed painter Monica Majoli as the recipient of its Career Achievement Award and photorealistic portraitist Fulton Leroy Washington (aka Mr. Wash) as the winner of its Public Recognition Award. The former prize recognizes “brilliance and resilience”; the latter honor is voted upon by visitors to Made in L.A., of which there have been 60,000 to date. Philbin lauded Majoli as “an integral part of the Los Angeles art community as artist and teacher,” adding that it was “no surprise that MR. WASH’s heartfelt paintings resonated with our visitors who voted him their favorite artist” at Made in L.A. Majoli and Mr. Wash will each receive $25,000.

The Mohn Award is funded by Pamela and Jared Mohn, who this year donated an additional $5.15 million in support of future Made in L.A. biennials and Mohn Awards and to aid in future acquisitions by the Hammer Museum.

“The last year has furthered our belief in artists not just as creators but also as active participants in the larger world of art, politics, and culture around them,” said the jury responsible for selecting the winners of the Mohn Prize and Career Achievement Award in a statement. “Each of the awarded artists has an incredible individual practice as well as a vital role in caring for and cultivating their communities. Made in L.A. has long had an ethos that reflects the generosity of exchange that is possible in this city, and this selection of artists embodies the beautifully interdependent nature of cultural production in Los Angeles.”