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On October 18, Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Mark Langer, Chairman and CEO of Hugo Boss AG, announced Simone Leigh as the 2018 recipient of the Hugo Boss Prize—an award honoring significant achievements in contemporary art. Leigh, chosen from a short-list of six finalists (including Teresa Margolles, Frances Stark, Bouchra Khalili, Emeka Oghob, and Wu Tsang), became the 12th recipient of the biennial award, which was brought forth by a longstanding partnership between Hugo Boss and the Guggenheim Museum.
To celebrate, an exclusive seated dinner and awards ceremony were held at the museum in New York City, where guests like Naomi Watts, Ryan Clark, Anh Duong, and other names from the New York social and art scenes were in attendance. To complete the evening, British composer and pianist Alexis Ffrench performed a musical set after Simone Leigh addressed the crowd in an acceptance speech.
“I’d like to dedicate this award to Peggy Cooper Cafritz, my friend and mentor, who talked to me a lot about black women and art and power. She also talked to me about the importance of these kinds of awards and the responsibility that they engender, and I accept,” said Leigh.
As a part of the prize, Simone Leigh’s artwork will be on display in a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in the spring of 2019.