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The Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award

Awards and Grants (Main) | NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships | Basil H. Alkazzi Award

Photograph of Michael Murray

NYFA announces creation of Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award for Visual Artists

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to announce the creation of the Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award to provide resources to established visual artists in their 60s, 70s or beyond who have been chosen for artistic excellence. Chuck Ginnever and Jane Kaufman are the inaugural recipients, and each will receive an unrestricted cash award of $10,000.

With the support of an anonymous donor, NYFA has created this annual award to enable artists with a long history of creative practice to pursue deeper investigations or new explorations that can inform and enrich their work. It has been developed in memory of the artist Murray Reich, a New York-based painter who also had a highly regarded career as a professor of art at Bard College.

Reich's widow, Elizabeth Weatherford, commented, "Murray appreciated the capacity of artists to turn to their inner lives, and to draw out ideas, beauty, mistakes, or innovations. He would be so pleased that this award will open up new possibilities for the selected artists, allowing them to devote concentrated time--to working, or reflection, or travel, or producing projects, or developing their archives and websites."

Speaking of the impact of the award, Ginnever said, "The Murray Reich award came as a complete surprise since my Vermont farm is so far off the New York art grid. It is much appreciated. In 1969 I began installing outdoor works on what has become a sculpture park, with over 25 so far. The Grant money will go towards the installation of a number of large works recently returned from exhibitions, plus the completion of other new works."

Kaufman noted she will use these funds to make new work, "The grant will allow me to purchase materials for my next series - the materials are super expensive and I could not afford them without the grant. Thank you."

Ginnever and Kaufman were selected by a panel comprised of artists Joyce Kozloff and Sanford Wurmfeld, critic Irving Sandler and Dana Miller, Richard DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection at The Whitney Museum from nominees submitted by an anonymous panel of artists, academics and industry professionals.

Michael L. Royce, NYFA’s Executive Director, said "We are so honored to have been asked to create this award in Murray Reich’s honor. NYFA continually looks for ways to expand the resources we provide and this award gives us the opportunity to specifically acknowledge the lifelong accomplishments and vital role mature artists play in the visual arts community. We are deeply grateful to our donor for entrusting us with this welcome responsibility."

About Chuck Ginnever:

Chuck Ginnever creates large scale sculptures which have been displayed nationally and internationally at such sites as: APEC Sculpture Garden in the Philippines; Australian National Gallery in Canberra; Dayton Art Institute; General Mills in Minneapolis; Cornell University; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Nelson Atkins Museum; San Francisco MoMA; Storm King Art Center; Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Walk Arts Center, among others.  His awards include: a Guggenheim Fellowship; a Pollock-Krasner and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lee Krasner Foundation. Ginnever currently lives and works in Putney, Vermont. For more information visit www.chuckginnever.com.

About Jane Kaufman:

Jane Kaufman is a painter, sculptor and installation artist who has been the recipient of numerous honors throughout her career including: a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship; The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant; a Guggenheim Fellowship; a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and three awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. Her work is in the collections of The Aldrich Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian Institute and the Whitney Museum, as well as the Museum of Modern Art in South Australia and the Kotobuki Corporation in Tokyo. Please note: Ms. Kaufman does not have a website and lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. and should not be confused with the artist Jane Kaufman who lives in Durham, New Hampshire.

About Murray Reich:

Born and raised in Coney Island and the south Bronx, Murray Reich (1932-2012) attended City College and received his M.F.A. in Painting from Boston University.  Following his first solo show in New York at Max Hutchinson Gallery, Reich was awarded a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship. His work was exhibited in two Whitney Annuals and at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as solo shows and group exhibitions, and he received other fellowships, including from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Reich was Professor Emeritus of Painting at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where he taught for 25 years. He served on the faculty of the Graduate Program in Art at Hunter College in New York. He was the inaugural director of Tanglewood's Summer Program in Art in Massachusetts, and also taught at Boston University.  He lived and worked in New York City, Provincetown, and Mt. Tremper in upstate New York.  For images of his work and a longer profile please visit www.murrayreich.com

Image credit: Murray Reich, courtesy of the artist