Artists Dawoud Bey and Trevor Paglen have won 2017 MacArthur Foundation fellowships, known as “genius grants,” the Foundation announced today. They are the only photographic artists among the 24 artists, writers, scientists and scholars awarded fellowships this year.
The grants are awarded annually with no strings attached to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits,” according to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Past MacArthur Fellows include Lee Friedlander, Lynsey Addario, Uta Barth and LaToya Ruby Frazier.
Dawoud Bey is a photographer and a member of the faculty of Columbia College in Chicago. He has published three books of his portraits and studies of the African-American community, and his work has been shown at the Walker Art Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Last year he revisited the site of one of his earliest photographic projects, “Harlem USA,” which he shot in the mid-Seventies, and exhibited the new project, “Harlem Redux,” at the Studio Museum of Harlem.
Trevor Paglen has used photography to document and analyze the use of military power and mass surveillance by government entities, and to envision its impact on human rights. In 2016, he won the Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize for his exhibition “The Octopus,” which featured his long-lens images of hidden U.S. government and military installations.
Trevor Paglen Wins 2016 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize