Guggenheim Announces Short List for Hugo Boss Prize 2018

Finalists are Bouchra Khalili, Simone Leigh, Teresa Margolles, Emeka Ogboh, Frances Stark, and Wu Tsang

Bouchra KhaliliThe Tempest Society (2017)
Digital video, color, sound
60 min.
Bouchra Khalili The Tempest Society, 2017 Color video with sound, 60 min. Installation view: Documenta 14, Athens School of Fine Art, Athens Courtesy the artist. Photo: Stathis Mamalakis

NEW YORK—Six finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize 2018, the biennial award established in 1996 to recognize excellence in the visual arts, were announced today by Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and jury chair for the prize. The short list of artists is selected by a panel of international critics and curators based on each artist’s contribution to the expansion of cultural, intellectual, and artistic boundaries with no restrictions regarding age, gender, nationality, or medium. In addition to their significant aesthetic and conceptual contributions to the field of contemporary art, the finalists’ practices collectively reflect the rich diversity of artistic production today.

The following artists are finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize 2018:

  • Bouchra Khalili (b. 1975, Casablanca)
  • Simone Leigh (b. 1967, Chicago)
  • Teresa Margolles (b. 1963, Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico)
  • Emeka Ogboh (b. 1977, Enugu, Nigeria)
  • Frances Stark (b. 1967, Newport Beach, CA)
  • Wu Tsang (b. 1982, Worcester, MA)

“The Hugo Boss Prize remains a cornerstone of the Guggenheim’s contemporary programming, and we are thrilled to highlight the work of these six deserving artists, who are working at the vanguard of contemporary art practice, exploring urgent social issues, and providing new artistic vocabulary through which to examine personal and universal themes,” said Nancy Spector. “We are pleased to join with Hugo Boss in this long-term commitment to celebrating the most important and impactful artists of their time.”

In a statement, the jury noted, “Each of the nominated artists selected for the Hugo Boss Prize 2018 short list represents a wholly unique voice in the field of contemporary art. Though their mediums and methods range widely, each pursues deeply existential inquiries into individual struggles as well as those with broader social resonances. Keenly attuned to their surroundings and today’s present moment, these six artists have demonstrated a commitment to bringing art to the center of timely debates in society.”

The prize, administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, includes a $100,000 cash prize for the winner, who will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. The Hugo Boss Prize 2018 winner will be announced in the fall of 2018, with the exhibition to follow in 2019.

“Building on the 20-year history of the Hugo Boss Prize, we are looking forward to celebrating its 2018 edition. The award is a very special and unique project in our arts program and we are extremely excited about this year’s short list,” said Mark Langer, CEO and Chairman of HUGO BOSS AG. “Our sincerest congratulations go out to the six nominees chosen by the jury.”

Wolfgang Tillmans, Untitled, Executed in 1992-1999, 2017.047.1-12.GOT
Frances Stark Behold Man (Nancy and Sluggo recto verso pendant pair), 2017 Ink, spray paint, and gesso on canvas, 129.5 x 213.4 cm Courtesy the artist and Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Photo: Frederick Nielsen


Bouchra Khalili (b. 1975, Casablanca) lives and works in Berlin and Oslo. Khalili’s works in film, video, and photography foreground individual narratives around topics such as migration, language, place, and belonging. Khalili often engages nonprofessional performers to portray either themselves or little-known historical figures in works that examine the legacies of colonialism, the permeability of borders, and the complexities of cross-cultural translation, locating issues of global impact in personal histories.

Solo exhibitions of Khalili’s work have been presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2017); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2015); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2013–14); Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin (2012); and Museu de Arte Moderna, Salvador, Brazil (2007). Her work has also been included in such group exhibitions as Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017); Marrakech Biennial (2016); Between Myth and Fright: The Mediterranean as Conflict, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (2016); Telling Tales, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2016); Europe: The Future of History, Kunsthaus Zürich (2015); Here & Elsewhere, New Museum, New York (2014); Venice Biennale (2013); Moscow Biennial (2013); Résonances, Marrakech Art Museum (2010); El Sur de Nuevo, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2009); and Too Much Freedom?, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2006).

Simone Leigh Dunham II, 2017 Terracotta, graphite, and steel, 105.4 x 55.9 x 58.4 cm © Simone Leigh; Courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York. Photo: Farzad Owrang

Simone Leigh (b. 1967, Chicago) lives and works in Brooklyn. Encompassing sculpture, video, and socially engaged performance and programming, Leigh’s oeuvre extends from her research in the fields of ethnography, political history, feminism, and folklore. Her social-practice projects center black female subjectivity with a focus on community, healing, and self-care. The artist’s sculptures and installations, which often make symbolic reference to the black body, utilize vernacular materials associated with the African diaspora to address collective histories.

Leigh’s work has been presented in solo and two-person exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2016); Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK (2016); Tate Exchange and Tate Modern, London (2016); New Museum, New York (2016); Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2014); and The Kitchen, New York (2012). Leigh’s work has also been included in such group exhibitions as Blue Black, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Saint Louis, MO (2017); Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, New Museum, New York (2017); Unconventional Clay: Engaged in Change, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO (2016); Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Queens (2015); Dakar Biennial, Senegal (2014); Black in the Abstract, Part 2: Hard Edges/Soft Curves, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2013–14); Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Grey Art Gallery, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2012–15); and The Future as Disruption, The Kitchen, New York (2008).

Teresa Margolles Dance floor of the discotheque “La Madelon” (Pista de baile de la discoteca “La Madelon”), 2016 Chromogenic print on cotton paper, 120 x 180 cm Courtesy the artist and LABOR

Teresa Margolles (b. 1963, Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico) lives and works in Mexico City. Margolles’s practice confronts issues of violence, death, and poverty in sculptures, installations, and actions that often incorporate visceral material residue, including bodily fluids, sourced from sites of bloodshed or trauma. The artist’s deceptively minimal objects belie the fraught corporeal reality of their materials and prompt viewers to consider the role that society and governments play in both condoning and ignoring pervasive violence and inequality.

Solo exhibitions of Margolles’s work have been held at such institutions as the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2017); Museo de la Ciudad, Querétaro, Mexico (2017); Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY (2016); Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2012); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010); and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2004). Group exhibitions featuring Margolles’s work include Phantom Bodies: The Human Aura in Art, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN (2016); Dirge: Reflections on [Life and] Death, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2014); América Latina, 1960-2013, Photographs, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (2013); In The Heart of the Country, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2013); Berlin Biennial (2012); No Lone Zone, Tate Modern, London (2012); and Venice Biennale (2009).

Emeka Ogboh The Way Earthly Things Are Going, 2017 Multichannel sound installation and real-time LED display of world stock indexes Installation view: Documenta 14, Athens Conservatoire (Odeion), Athens Photo: Mathias Völzke

Emeka Ogboh (b. 1977, Enugu, Nigeria) lives and works in Lagos and Berlin. Using sound as a sculptural medium, Ogboh’s transportive soundscape installations capture the culturally specific auditory environment of a particular city, emphasizing the importance of aural sensation in experiencing the world. Ogboh also transforms appropriated songs and compositions by rerecording them with new performers and presenting them in contexts that encourage a reconsideration of their meanings, often highlighting issues such as nationalism and xenophobia.

Ogboh’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC (2016); Modern Art Museum, Gebre Kristos Desta Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2016); ifa-Galerie Berlin (2015); Raum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Berlin (2015). Ogboh has also been featured in such group exhibitions as Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017); Skulptur Projekte 2017: Münster, Germany; Africa: Architecture, Culture and Identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2015); Disguise: Masks & Global African Art, Seattle Art Museum (2015); Venice Biennale (2015); Mikromusik: Festival Experimenteller musik und Sound art, Berlin (2014); The Progress of Love, The Menil Collection, Houston (2012); and Green Summary, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (2010).

Frances Stark (b. 1967, Newport Beach, CA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Stark’s interdisciplinary practice includes works in drawing, collage, painting, video, performance, and digital projects that collectively address the nuances of the human condition in all of its complexity and banality. Stark activates language and imagery to contemplate the rich interiority of the self, exploring subjects such as vulnerability, hubris, ambivalence, and satisfaction, among a multitude of others.

Stark has had solo exhibitions at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015–16); Art Institute of Chicago (2015); Hayward Gallery, London (2014); MoMA PS1, Queens (2011); Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2010); and Portikus, Frankfurt (2008). Stark’s work has been featured in major group such exhibitions as the Venice Biennale (2017); The New Human, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016); Electronic Superhighway (2016–1966), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Secret Surface: Where Meaning Materializes, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016); Under the Clouds: From Paranoia to the Digital Sublime, Museu de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2015); In the Heart of the Country, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2013); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); and Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London (2007).

Wu Tsang We hold where study, 2017 Two-channel color HD video, with sound, 18 min., 56 sec. Installation view: Kunsthalle Münster, May 27–October 1, 2017 Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. Photo: Roman Mensing

Wu Tsang (b. 1982, Worcester, MA) lives and works in Los Angeles. With a focus on nightlife, club culture, and historically marginalized queer and transgender communities, Tsang’s work in film, video, and performance explores the narrative potential of the body in motion. Collaboration is central to Tsang’s mode of working, as exemplified in the live performances of Moved by the Motion, a collaboration between Tsang and the artist boychild, as well as in works Tsang creates in dialogue with poet and theorist Fred Moten.

Tsang has been the subject of solo exhibitions at FACT Centre, Liverpool (2017); Antennae Space, Shanghai (2017); 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles (2016); and Migros Museum, Zürich (2014). The artist’s work has been included in such group exhibitions as Spectrosynthesis, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2017); Ten Days Six Nights, Tate Modern, London (2017); Bergen Assembly Triennial, Norway (2016); America Is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); Discordant Harmony, Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art (2015); Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Don’t You Know Who I Am?: Art After Identity Politics, MuHKA, Antwerp (2014); Blues for Smoke, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles (2012); and First Among Equals, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2012).


The 2018 jury is chaired by Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The jurors are Dan Fox, writer, editor, AV Director, Frieze magazine; Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Curator of Contemporary Art, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York and Caracas, and incoming Director, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Bisi Silva, Artistic Director, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos; Susan Thompson, Associate Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Joan Young, Director, Curatorial Affairs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.


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