Last week, Absolut celebrated their 2015 Art Award winners: Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Frances Stark, and London-based Curator of International Art at the Tate, Mark Godfrey. The cash prize is meant to facilitate projects that will develop over the coming year, with a budget befitting the liquor mega-company — Stark will receive €20,000 plus a €100,000 budget for the work she’ll make; Godfrey snags €20,000 and €25,000 to produce a book. While Absolut gets the residual glow of having supported this work, it’s far from a branded commission. Stark plans to create a “pedagogical opera” based on “The Magic Flute” (she originally hoped to collaborate with rapper DJ Quik, but at the moment is considering incorporating a Los Angeles youth orchestra instead). Godfrey will compile a primary-source anthology focusing on African-American abstract painters from the ’60s and ’70s, like Sam Gilliam and Jack Whitten, a book which will dovetail with a likeminded Tate exhibition in the future.
Absolut also unveiled another Art Bar commission (pictured below), this one a two-day pop-up by Swedish artist Ilja Karilampi, which paired a reproduction of a staid Scandinavian convenience store with a raucous, black-lit nightclub setting. And over at the Spritmuseum — a totally surreal celebration of Swedish “drinking culture” that also houses Absolut’s art holdings — there’s an exhibition, “Powerful Babies,” which tackles a generation indebted to Keith Haring. It’s on view through April 4, 2016.
— Scott Indrisek (@indrisek)
(Photos: Top image by Roberto Chamorro of Mark Godfrey, Massimiliano Gioni, and Frances Stark at the Absolut Art Award dinner in Stockholm. Bottom image of Ilja Karilampi’s Absolut Art Bar, “President Room,” in Stockholm. Both images courtesy of Absolut.)