Posted October 22, 2009

Ryan Trecartin named Wolgin prize winner

Ryan Trecartin has been named the winner of the inaugural Jack Wolgin International Competition in the Fine Arts, which recognizes the highest level of artistic excellence on an international level with a $150,000 cash prize.

Jack Wolgin, who established the competition earlier this year at Temple's Tyler School of Art, presented the prize to the artist at a reception with Temple President Ann Weaver Hart, the three finalists and distinguished guests.

The Jack Wolgin Fine Arts Prize is the world’s largest prize given to a visual artist in a juried competition.

Trecartin was one of three finalists selected earlier this year from a group of 14 nominees by a panel of three prominent art professionals. He will present a lecture for the Temple student body and the public on Friday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. at the Tyler School of Art. The event will be streamed live online.

“We congratulate Ryan Trecartin on being awarded the prize, and we hope that it will be of great benefit to him in his career development," said President Hart. "Having Ryan, as well as finalists Sanford Biggers and Michael Rakowitz, at Tyler School of Art for the Jack Wolgin Competition was a formidable honor, and the whole campus feels energized by their presence and the presence of their work.”

Ryan S. Brandenberg/Temple University
Ryan Trecartin, left, accepts the inaugural Jack Wolgin Fine Arts Prize from Jack Wolgin, right, who established the competition earlier this year, and Temple President Ann Weaver Hart.

“We are also incredibly grateful to Mr. Wolgin for his vision and for his trust in Temple University. We look forward to many more competitions and prizes in years to come, and we know that they will contribute greatly to what we bring to Philadelphia.”

Courtesy of Ryan Trecartin and Elizabeth Dee

"Re'Search Wait'S (Edit 1: Missing Re'Search Corruption Budget)" by Ryan Trecartin (2009)

Born in 1981 in Webster, Texas, Trecartin lives and works in Philadelphia, where he structures his art practice in varying collaborative ways. He has established a singular video practice that, in both form and in function, advances understandings of post-millennial technology, narrative and identity, and also propels these matters as expressive mediums. His work depicts worlds where consumer culture is amplified and absorbed to absurd or nihilistic proportions where characters circuitously strive to find agency and meaning in their lives. The combination of assaultive, nearly impenetrable avant-garde logics and equally outlandish, virtuoso uses of color, form, drama and montage produces a sublime, stream-of-consciousness effect that feels bewilderingly true to life.

In addition to his work in video, Trecartin also has a collaborative sculpture practice with artist Lizzie Fitch. Trecartin’s work has been included in several major exhibitions and institutions worldwide, including the 2006 Whitney Biennial, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Saatchi Gallery, London; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, N.Y.

During the reception, a bust of Wolgin by Timothy Rusterholz, an MFA student at Tyler, was also unveiled and dedicated in recognition of his contributions to the university.

In celebration of the prize announcement, and in order to give students and the public more time to view works by Trecartin and the other finalists, the exhibition of the inaugural Jack Wolgin Competition finalists has been extended until Nov. 14 at Temple Gallery.