Christine Tohme and Martha Wilson Win Bard Curatorial Award

Martha Wilson. Photo Christopher Milne.


Curator Christine Tohme and artist Martha Wilson have won the 2015 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence, awarded annually by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard), Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. The prize celebrates curatorial innovation and achievement and carries a $25,000 purse, which will be split between this year’s winners.

Tohme is an independent curator and the founding director of Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts in Beirut. Founded in 1993, Ashkal Alwan promotes and produces contemporary art in Lebanon. The organization created the multidisciplinary platform Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices in 2002, bringing together artists, writers, filmmakers and choreographers for public programming that includes exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings and performances. Ashkal Alwan opened a permanent space in 2011. In 2006, Tohme received a Prince Claus Award for her contribution to Lebanese culture.

A stalwart of the 1970s downtown New York scene, feminist artist and gallery director Martha Wilson has explored her subjectivity through photography, video and performance works over the course of her career. In 1976 she founded the artist-run space Franklin Furnace, which champions artist books, temporary installations, performance art and online works. Wilson has received many awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; Bessie and Obie awards; a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts; and a Richard Massey Foundation-White Box Arts and Humanities Award.

Winners are selected by a panel of curators, museum directors and artists. Past award recipients include Charles Esche (2014), Elisabeth Sussman (2013) and Ann Goldstein (2012).