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Pollock-Krasner Foundation awards Todd Williamson the Pollock Prize for Creativity

photo courtesy Todd Williamson

$50,000 Prize Supports His Exhibition, “Processional”

At Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà During the 58th Venice Biennale

May 9 through November 24, 2019


New York, NY – March 5, 2019 – The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has awarded the Pollock Prize for Creativity to Todd Williamson. The $50,000 award will be directed towards Williamson’s exhibition Processional, a solo installation on view during the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, May 9 through November 24, 2019.

In partnership with MAK Center for Art and Architecture and curated by MAK Executive Director Priscilla Fraser, Processional will be presented at the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà, located on Riva degli Schiavoni between St. Mark’s Square and the entrance to the Arsenale. Williamson’s eight large-scale canvases will be displayed on the walls of a narrow chapel and will interact with the 18th-century church’s classically proportioned interior, challenging perceived order and tradition. The exhibition will explore contemporary influencers and thought leaders such as Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and Nelson Mandela. It will also feature a sound room in the entry vestibule, with music that will be a harmonic nocturne created in collaboration with Professor Greg Walter from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The annual Pollock Prize for Creativity, created to honor the artistic legacies of Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, is given to an artist whose work embodies high creative standards and has a substantial impact on individuals and society. Previous Pollock Prize winners include Amy Sherald and Gideon Mendel. The Foundation also honors artists with the Lee Krasner Award, recognizing a lifetime of distinguished artistic achievement. Recipients have included Mel Chin, Chris Drury, Alfred Leslie, Don Nice, Morgan O’Hara, and Masami Teraoka.

Established in 1985 through the generosity of Lee Krasner, the Foundation provides grants to artists that allow them to create new work. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded $75 million to 4,500 artist grantees in 77 countries. These grants can be used by artists to create new work, rent studio space and prepare exhibitions.

Williamson, an American artist based in California whose work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Naples, and Tokyo, has been part of the California school of abstraction and was the recipient of a 2010 Pollock-Krasner Grant.

“Todd Williamson is a gifted artist who, with curator Priscilla Fraser, has created an innovative installation,” said Ronald D. Spencer, Chairman and CEO of Pollock-Krasner Foundation. “The Venice Biennale provides a wonderful platform for Todd to show his work on an international stage. We are delighted to help support his exhibition, because fostering new work and the development of visual artists is central to the Foundation’s mission.”

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation with the Pollock Prize for Creativity. The award provides invaluable support for my work in Venice, allowing me to focus on the creation of my art,” said Todd Williamson. “I am grateful to the Foundation for their generous support.”

Williamson’s concept for Processional interplays with the Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Pietà’s classical design. Occupying the long, narrow chapel located to the side of the Church, the space will invite a meditative, sequential process of reflection. Drawing from the formal proportions, material richness, and dramatic natural light of the site, Williamson has developed a series of works to encourage contemplation yet challenge the perceived order. The eight-painting installation will offer a new layer to the deep patina of aging plaster and brick, establishing a rich, and continuous monochromatic palette.


The Pollock-Krasner Foundation is also supporting Madison Square Park Conservancy’s role as commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2019 with a $100,000 grant towards Martin Puryear’s exhibition, Martin Puryear: Liberty/Martin Puryear: Libertà.

From May 28 through September 1, 2019, the Barbican Centre will present Lee Krasner: Living Colour, the first major European retrospective of the artist’s work in over 50 years. The Foundation is a major lender to the exhibition and has provided funding for its accompanying monograph, edited by art historian and Barbican Art Gallery curator Eleanor Nairne and co-published by Thames & Hudson and the Barbican. The Lee Krasner exhibition will travel to the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt October 10, 2019 – January 12, 2020, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern February 7 – May 10, 2020 and Guggenheim Bilbao May 29 – September 6, 2020.

For the past 20 years Todd Williamson has been a vital part of the California school of abstraction. Williamson has exhibited extensively both in the United States and internationally including the Palm Springs Art Museum (2016), Galerie Stenzel (2017), Villa di Donato (2015), and MOCA Museum (2009). Williamson has been awarded two ArtSlant International Showcase Awards, Curator’s Choice Award from the Micro Museum, Brooklyn NY, and an Artistic Merit Award from the City of Naples, Italy.


The Pollock-Krasner Foundation was established in 1985 through the generosity of Lee Krasner, a leading abstraction expressionist painter and spouse of Jackson Pollock. Based in New York and operating internationally, the Foundation’s grants enable artists to advance their art. Recipients of Pollock-Krasner grants have acknowledged their critical impact in allowing concentrated time to work in the studio and prepare for exhibitions.


To provide additional support, the Foundation maintains an up to date and comprehensive Grantee Image Collection representing the work of artists who have received grants since 1985. For more information, including guidelines for grant applications, the public may visit the Foundation’s website:

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The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. awards the second Pollock Prize for Creativity to Amy Sherald.

NEW YORK, NY, April 16, 2018— Kerrie Buitrago, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, today announced that Amy Sherald is the recipient of the second Pollock Prize for Creativity, honoring an outstanding artist whose work embodies high creative standards and exemplifies the impact of art on individuals and society. The Pollock Prize carries a cash award of $50,000.

Sherald hails from Baltimore. Her portraiture is a compelling commentary on race and heritage; the work is subtle in its innuendo, yet the subject’s gaze is always very direct, creating a dynamic tension on the canvas. Sherald is the first African American to receive first prize in 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Gallery, where her portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama was unveiled earlier this year.

The Pollock Prize is an extension of the existing Lee Krasner Award, given to an older artist in recognition of a lifetime of achievement. The Pollock Prize, by contrast, will lend support to outstanding artists who may be in mid-career, and whose ongoing work has a social and cultural dimension. The Prize will be awarded to an artist working in one of the disciplines the Pollock-Krasner Foundation supports—painting, sculpture, works on paper and printmaking, or photography. As with the Lee Krasner Award, there is no application for the Pollock Prize, which is given by a Foundation jury based on the recommendations of a network of nominators.

Amy Sherald said, “I am honored to receive this year’s Pollock Prize for Creativity. Jackson Pollock’s radical disruption of the two-dimensional picture plane to energize abstract forms has resonated greatly in my own journey to examine and elaborate art historical conventions. My paintings seek to reshape critical and cultural dialogues around representations of black experiences in portraiture and other modes of visual imagination. Depicting black people engaged and present in contemporary, everyday life, I partake in the slow and intensive tradition of American realist painting. I am profoundly grateful to the Pollock-Krasner Foundation for supporting this work and for providing me with the resources to continue sharing American stories otherwise removed from the dominant, canonical narratives.”

Kerrie Buitrago noted, “It is exciting to encounter an artist like Amy Sherald who is able to convey in a beautiful and meaningful way the important historical narrative of black heritage. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation is delighted to be able to make this award and to recognize Amy Sherald’s groundbreaking achievement in conceptual portraiture.”

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. was established in 1985 through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstraction expressionist painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock. Based in New York but operating internationally, the Foundation through its grants has enabled artists to create new work, purchase needed materials and pay for studio rent, as well as meet their personal and medical expenses. Recipients of Pollock-Krasner grants have acknowledged their critical impact in allowing concentrated time to work in the studio and prepare for exhibitions and other professional opportunities such as residencies. The Foundation has awarded more than 4,400 grants to date in 77 countries, for a total of more than $71 million.

To provide additional support, the Foundation maintains an up to date and comprehensive Grantee Image Collection representing the work of artists who have received grants since inception. Each artist is requested to give the Foundation permission to post two images of works from the year of his or her grant and also has the option of adding to this number with later works. The database also provides contact information for each artist.

For more information, including guidelines for grant applications, the public may visit the Foundation’s website at

Kerrie Buitrago
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / (212) 517-5400

Image credit: Amy Sherald, They Call Me Redbone But I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake, oil on canvas, 54 x 43 inches.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. announces the appointment of Ronald D. Spencer as its Chairman and CEO.


New York, NY – It was announced by Kerrie Buitrago, Chief Operating Officer of The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, that Ronald D. Spencer, attorney at the law firm of Carter, Ledyard and Milburn will succeed Charles C. Bergman as Chairman and CEO of the Foundation. “Mr. Spencer is a distinguished lawyer whose career demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge and experience in advising artist and collector established foundations, “ said Ms. Buitrago. “We have worked with Mr. Spencer over many years and are delighted to welcome him as our Chairman and CEO. I know first-hand how much the Foundation will benefit under his stewardship.” Samuel Sachs II, Board President noted “Long associated with both his predecessor and this foundation, Mr. Spencer brings a wealth of knowledge which will greatly enhance our future.”

Mr. Spencer is Chairman of the Art Law Group at the law firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn in New York City and as author of The Expert Versus The Object: Judging Fakes and False Attributions in the Visual Arts has demonstrated expertise in the legal aspects of art authentication issues. He is the Editor of Spencer’s Art Law Journal, published on Artnet and The Art Newspaper, dealing with legal issues of practical significance for collectors, dealers, scholars and the art-minded public.

Mr. Spencer is a Trustee of the Lachaise Foundation. He is founder and Chairman of the Fund for Park Avenue which landscapes the Park Avenue Malls from 53rd Street to 86th Street in Manhattan. He is also a member of the Sculpture committee of the Fund which selects contemporary sculpture for exhibition on Park Avenue. Mr. Spencer is legal counsel to numerous artist and collector-established foundations.

“It has been a great privilege to serve as legal counsel to The Pollock-Krasner Foundation since its establishment.  Now, under my leadership, I look forward to continuing the tradition established by my friend and predecessor, Charles C. Bergman. Lee Krasner’s will states that the mandate of the Foundation is to aid ‘worthy and needy’ visual artists, and I will do my utmost to carry out her wishes,” stated Mr. Spencer.


The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. was established in 1985 for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to individual working artists of established ability through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstract painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock. To date, the Foundation has given 4,414 grants totaling over $71 million to artists in 77 countries.