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Aspen Art Museum to honor Gary Simmons at ArtCrush

Staff report
A portrait of Gary Simmons at the California African American Museum (Tito Molina/Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth)

The Aspen Art Museum will honor multidisciplinary artist Gary Simmons at the 2022 ArtCrush with the Aspen Award for Art, the museum announced Thursday.

The honor has been given annually since 2005 at the museum’s ArtCrush Gala to recognize outstanding contemporary artists. Past winners have included Mary Weatherford, Lisa Yuskavage, Marilyn Minter, Roni Horn, Tom Sachs, Teresita Fernández, Ernesto Neto, Lorna Simpson, Gabriel Orozco, Lawrence Weiner and Rashid Johnson.

Based in Los Angeles, Simmons has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the California African American Museum, the Perez Art Museum in Miami, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., among others. His group shows include the influential “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994.



Simmons will accept the award at this summer’s ArtCrush on Aug. 5, which will take place during the museum’s second annual Aspen ArtWeek running Aug. 2-6.

“All of us at the Aspen Art Museum are thrilled that Gary Simmons will be central to this year’s edition of our new annual tradition, Aspen ArtWeek, as the honoree of our 2022 ArtCrush Gala,” museum director Nicola Lees said.




Details of Aspen ArtWeek 2022 have not yet been announced. The inaugural event last year included open community events and contemporary art talks.

“No artist could be more vital to the goals of Aspen ArtWeek than Gary Simmons, an artist who has devoted more than three decades of outstanding creative work to examining how race and class are represented and experienced in America,” Lees added.

Simmons also is expected to be the subject of a forthcoming presentation at the museum.

ArtCrush, which last year raised more than $3 million, is the largest annual fundraiser for the Aspen Art Museum and supports exhibitions and education programming. The 2022 ArtCrush Gala co-chairs are Jamie Tisch, Sara Zilkha and Chandra Johnson.


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