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The Wexner Prize, first awarded in 1992, recognizes living artists working in any medium or discipline whose achievements reflect bold originality, innovation, and creative excellence. Prize recipients are highly influential, not only within their own field or discipline but across multiple artistic practices. The $50,000 prize is funded by the Wexner Center Foundation through a gift from Leslie H. Wexner, chairman of the Wexner Center Foundation and chairman and founder of Limited Brands, and his wife Abigail Wexner, also a trustee. The recipient is selected by the Wexner Center Foundation trustees, along with the center’s director and senior program staff.
Prize awardees receive an engraved commemorative sculpture designed in 1991 by artist Jim Dine. Throughout his career, Dine has produced numerous images of saws, rakes, pliers, brushes, and other hand tools. According to the artist, hammers which can be used to build as well as to break apart symbolize the creative force that drives artists. A native of Ohio, Dine served as an early member of the Wexner Center’s International Arts Advisory council.
"For me, the most touching thing about the prize is the feeling of being accepted as a part of a group of people that I've admired and loved all along...It is a wonderful family which the Wexner Center brings together."--Gerhard Richter (1998)
Film and theater director
Merce Cunningham and composer John Cage
Choreographer and filmmaker
Bill T. Jones