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The Gish Prize Trust Names Artist Maya Lin As The 21st Recipient Of The Award

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
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Today, the Gish Prize Trust announced that internationally renowned artist, designer and environmentalist Maya Lin will receive the 21st annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize at a privent event at The Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.In keeping with the mission of the Prize, the Gish Prize Trust recognizes Lin for her outstanding and continuing artistic contributions to society and to the beauty of the world.


The Gish Prize Trust was established in 1994 through the will of legendary actress Lillian Gish. Today, the Prize is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious honors given to artists in the United States and bears one of the largest cash awards, currently valued at $300,000.


Over the past two decades, the Gish Prize Trust has paid tribute to Lillian Gish’s achievements as the First Lady of American Cinema by recognizing highly accomplished artists who have pushed the boundaries of their art forms, contributed to social change and paved the way for the next generation. Maya Lin will join a roster of honorees that includes Frank Gehry, Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Shirin Neshat, Ornette Coleman, Trisha Brown, Anna Deavere Smith and Spike Lee.


Speakers who are scheduled to help present the Gish Prize are Michael R. Bloomberg; architecture critic Paul Goldberger; and the Toby Devan Lewis Director of The New Museum, Lisa Phillips.


Upon finding out that she would be the 21st recipient of the prize, Maya Lin stated, “I am deeply touched and grateful to become a part of this astonishing line of Prize winners, all of whom were selected because of the very simple but powerful goal set down by Lillian Gish: to bring recognition to the contributions that artists make to society, and to encourage others to follow on that path. Because I have been donating so much of my time over the past seven years to a single long-term project,’What Is Missing?’, the award will make an enormous difference in enabling me to move the work forward.”


In her remarkable career, Maya Lin has created a powerful and highly influential body of work, such as the recent ‘A Fold in the Field’ (2013), ‘Storm King Wavefield’ (2009) and the epoch-making Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, in each piece consistently exploring how we experience and relate to the landscape.


This year’s Gish Prize selection committee chose Maya Lin from among a group of nearly 100 nominees in all fields of the arts. The selection committee for 2014 was committee chair David Henry Hwang, playwright, librettist and screenwriter; Ella Baff, executive and artistic director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; Fairfax Dorn, executive director of Ballroom Marfa; Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall; and Carrie Mae Weems, visual artist. JP Morgan Chase & Co. serves as trustee of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize Trust.


On selecting Maya Lin, David Henry Hwang stated, “I first became a juror for the Gish Prize in 2005, and have now been honored to serve four times, twice as chair. The Gish Prize recognizes an internationally renowned virtuoso whose artistic excellence is indisputable, one whose life and work demonstrate a commitment to improving society and our world. With her design for the Vietnam Memorial, Maya Lin created arguably the most important piece of public art of our time. Since then, she has continued to achieve greatness, through a singular vision which has come to embrace her passionate concern for the environment.”


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