Jordan Wolfson, a Jewish American artist, has won the 2009 Cartier Award. Mr Wolfson, 28, who is represented by galleries in Berlin, Naples and New York, is a conceptual artist whose recent work focuses on film and video.
The award is considered one of the most important in the world and will allow Mr Wolfson to create a major new work at Frieze Art Fair, the UK’s largest art fair which takes place at London’s Regents Park in October.
The award funds production costs of up to £10,000, an artist’s fee of £1,000, and a three-month residency in London.
Born in New York in 1980, Mr Wolfson divides his time between there and Berlin. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 2003. He describes himself as a “Reform New York City Jew” and is the great great-nephew of Harvard Professor Harry A Wolfson, a leading historian of religious philosophy.
He said he had been amazed at his win. “My project was unusual. I didn’t think I would win, as normally I don’t get things I apply to and I had already assumed defeat.’
Mr Wolfson did not want to reveal too much about his plans for the work but did give some hints. “Basically, there will be an intervention during the fair that will facilitate the production of a short film. Ideally, the film will then get shown about a year later, but mostly the project will be a special gesture for the visitor to Frieze.”
Although his work has already been shown in London, most notably at Tate Modern in 2007, Mr Wolfson is looking forward to his residency here. “I am excited as I’ve never spent time in London before.”
His work has been featured at previous Frieze Art Fairs “but I have only been there once and only had a short time there. It will be amazing to be part of it, particularly as I don’t consider myself to be a very commercial artist”.