SFMOMA Names Winners of the 2012 SECA Art Award

On Thursday the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) named Zarouhie Abdalian, Josh Faught, Jonn Herschend, and David Wilson the four winners for 2012 of its biannual SECA Art Award, which has been bestowed since 1967 to Bay Area-based artists. The winners will participate in an SFMOMA exhibition, and their work will be written about in an accompanying publication.

In an unusual twist on the SECA formula, which usually involves a group show of the winners’ works at the museum, the four artists will be featured as part of SFMOMA’s off-site programming in fall 2013 after the institution closes its building in the spring for two-and-a-half years of expansion construction. Each artist will be commissioned to create new, site-specific work for locations throughout the Bay Area.

The four winners — Oakland-based New Orleans native Zarouhie Abdalian, an installation artist; St. Louis-born, San Francisco-based textile artist Josh Fraught (work pictured); Missouri native and video artist Jonn Herschend, who is based in San Francisco; and Oakland-based Massachusetts native David Wilson, a conceptual performance artist — were selected by SFMOMA’s curator of painting and sculpture Jenny Gheith and Tanya Zimbardo, the assistant curator of media arts. They narrowed the field down from 250 artists recommended by Bay Area curtors, gallerists, professors, previous winners, and SECA members to a shortlist of 15, among whom they picked the winners.

“The four winning artists proposed commissions that further and expand upon ideas that they have already been investigating,” Gheith said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be able to foreground their work through the off-site solo presentations, which will make these projects available to an even broader audience.”

The 11 other shortlisted artists were Elisheva Biernoff, Nate Boyce, Tammy Rae Carland, Anthony Discenza, Liam Everett, Chris Fraser, Cybele Lyle, Jonathan Runcio, Jesse Schlesinger, Chris Sollars, and Lindsey White.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image: Josh Faught, “It Takes a Lifetime to Get Exactly Where You Are,” 2012; Photo by Benjamin Sutton.)