William Cordova named the recipient of the 2017 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art

William Cordova has been named the 2017 recipient of the Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art. Glen Gentele, the Director and CEO of the museum, made this announcement on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the Florida Prize Exhibition Preview Party.

The three jurors of the exhibition were Dan L. Hess, a visual artist based in Central Florida; Katherine Navarro, Associate Curator of Education at The Mennello Museum of American Art; and Joanna Robotham, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Tampa Museum of Art.

Robotham said “It was a pleasure to serve as a juror for the 2017 Florida Prize. Hansen Mulford selected an extraordinary group of artists for the exhibition, each remarkable in their own right. It was challenging to select one winner, as there are many strong, smart works on view. Congratulations to William Cordova. I look forward to seeing more from this outstanding artist.”

The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art award is generously underwritten by Gail and Michael Winn who also provided funds for honoraria to each of the artists included in the exhibition.

The other terrific artists featured in this year’s exhibition are Domingo Castillo, Coco Fusco, Mark Gerstein, Aramis Gutierrez, Dana Hargrove, Lisa Iglesias, Carl Juste, Ralph Provisero and Chase Westfall. The exhibit is on view now through August 20, 2017. The Platinum Exhibition Sponsor of The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art 2017 exhibition is Sam Flax.

William Cordova was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Miami in his youth. He attended Miami Dade Community College before completing his BFA at the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA at Yale University. He lives in Miami, New York, Lima, Peru and travels extensively for research, projects, residencies and exhibitions. “These transitions between countries, between economies, between the nuance of language and culture, has developed for me an understanding of the visual world, its’ potential for limitations and its potential for resilience,” Cordova said. “I invest in these nuances to find a critical space, which pushes past complacency to modes of resistance in the present moment.”

Included in the exhibition is Cordova’s, the house that frank lloyd wright built 4 fred hampton y mark clark (despues de atahualpa), an architectural installation that is a memorial and meditative space that synthesizes spiritual, physical and historical references. Also included are a selection of drawings, collages and sculptures. These often reference modes of communication transformed by ever changing contexts of history and culture. One reoccurring motif is seen in collages of abstract patterns of color which draw upon ancient Andean textiles whose fractal designs have biological origins and are applied to all aspects of Andean society; architecture, philosophy and spirituality.

Cordova incorporates an array of historic and contemporary images, such as patterns of Andean stonework, details of domestic architecture, old audio speakers, stacks of vinyl records, and the humble detritus of the past and present, all symbols that represent concepts of transmission, movement and data storage.  These images are combined with a rich variety of materials, such as gold leaf, plaster, coffee pigment, ballpoint pen and paints of many types.  Cordova deploys this vocabulary of image and material to address such topics as the ontological crossroads, our interdependence and reciprocity, and the alchemy of necessity.

“As a group these artists are responding to many of the difficult issues of the moment,” said Hansen Mulford, Curator at the Orlando Museum of Art. “With some artists, these issues are as specific as political violence in Syria or the urgency of an election in Haiti; while other artists engage more universal concerns of social justice, cultural identity and the importance of art in interpreting the challenges of contemporary life. The Florida Prize in Contemporary Art is an opportunity to explore a range of ideas that are relevant today as expressed by these artists in exciting and visually provocative works of art,” continued Mulford.

“This is the fourth year that the Orlando Museum of Art has held its Florida Prize in Contemporary Art. The purpose of the exhibition is to bring a new level of support to the artists who live and work in the State of Florida by recognizing their significant contributions to the field,” said Glen Gentele, Director & CEO, Orlando Museum of Art.

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