Sanford Biggers Wins 2009 William H. Johnson Prize

Sanford Biggers has won the 2009 William H. Johnson Prize, a twenty-five-thousand-dollar award given annually to an early-career African-American artist. The foundation reports that it received nearly two hundred applicants this year, the most ever. Applicants were from twenty-nine different states, and males slightly outnumbered females. Nearly 75 percent of the applicants had not previously applied for the prize. Karyn Olivier received the finalist prize.

The 2009 William H. Johnson Prize jury consisted of Rita Gonzalez, curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Rodney McMillian, artist; Alison Saar, artist; and Franklin Sirmans, curator of modern and contemporary art, De Menil Museum, Houston.

Biggers’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, at venues including the Kitchen, New York; D’Amelio–Terras Gallery, New York; Mary Goldman Gallery, Los Angeles; Kenny Schachter Rove, London; the Matrix Gallery, Berkeley Art Museum; and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. In 2010, he will have solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Art Museum and the Contemporary Art Forum, Santa Barbara. His work has also been included in several prominent group exhibitions including Prospect 1, New Orleans; “Illuminations,” Tate Modern; Performa 07, New York; and “Freestyle,” Studio Museum in Harlem.