Supporting under-recognized curatorial research, exhibitions and programming.

By Balthazar Malevolent


As part of its Spring 2020 grant cycle, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts recently announced it would award $4 million USD to 47 arts organizations across 23 states. The foundation was established in 1987 to support contemporary art, particularly work of an unconventional, under-recognized or challenging nature. The funds will be used for research, exhibits and other curatorial programming.

Andy Warhol.

Multi-year projects include Chicago's Black Lunch Table, an ongoing partnership between artists Jina Valentine and Heather Hart in which cultural creators of color participate in critical discussion on issues that directly impact Black communities, as well as the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art in Brooklyn.

A total of $142,000 USD will go to curatorial research at three institutions, while 15 museums such as New York's El Museo del Barrio, New Mexico's Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and Georgia's Columbus Museum will receive funding to support their shows. The first-time grantor, DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, will receive $80,000 USD to create an initiative that focuses on incorporating Latinx artists into its shows and programs.

"The contributions of artists to cultural and political discourse are more important than ever at this critical, epoch-defining moment," said Joel Wachs, the president of the Andy Warhol Foundation, in his statement. Rachel Bers, the foundation's program director, said, "In the face of the interlocking challenges that we face as a country and as a community, the foundation is doubling its contribution to artists as they address our challenging past, present and future."

On 22 February 1987, when Andy Warhol died unexpectedly, he left a vast and complicated inventory of artworks and personal possessions. The will mandated that the entire estate will be used to establish a fund devoted to the "advancement of the visual arts," with the exception of a few small legacies to family members. In its early days, the Fund brought together artists, curators, managers, educators, critics, and others to help form a sensitive, committed, and active philanthropic organization. The grantmaking program that emerged from these meetings and the continuing efforts of the Foundation to preserve and strengthen the artistic legacy of its creator ensure that the innovative, open-minded spirit of Warhol can have a profound influence on the visual arts for decades to come.

Rumors say that designer Rick Owens owns a piece from Andy Warhol amongst more classical artworks of his collection.

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