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tribeca Artists Awards Program

The Tribeca Film Festival anounced that 13 major contemporary artists will contribute pieces to the Festival’s 2008 Artists Awards Program sponsored by Chanel. Each of these pieces will be presented to a filmmaker whose film is selected by the jury as the winner in its respective category. Participating artists are some of the industry’s most dynamic and recognizable names, including Francesco Clemente, Ross Bleckner, Don Gummer, Timothy White, John Alexander, Stephen Hannock, Renee Cox, Brandon d’Leo, Donna Ferrato, Ralph Gibson, Ryan McGinness, O Zhang. Clifford Ross will participate for a second year, and Steven Hannock will continue his participation for the seventh consecutive year.

The artwork – consisting of paintings, photographs, prints, and sculpture – will be publicly exhibited from April 23 to May 1, 2008, between the hours of 10am to 5pm, at the Kellen Gallery in the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue, where New Yorkers and festival goers can view the works before they are awarded at the Tribeca Film Festival Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 1, 2008.

The Tribeca Film Festival Artists Awards Program sponsored by Chanel was created by Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal to celebrate New York artists and to honor downtown Manhattan after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Now in its seventh year, the Festival has grown to become internationally recognized as a major film industry event, an important economic driver for the city, and equally, a community event that engages and entertains film lovers of all ages.

“Since we began the Artists Awards Program seven years ago, we have seen how the generosity and creative vision of each artist can impact so many people and cross all mediums,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. “We are so pleased to work with each of these incredibly talented artists, whose important donations help us both to make art of all kinds accessible to everyone and to support fellow artists.”

John Alexander will contribute “The Screamer,” a 2008 oil on canvas, depicting a crow and its mirror image as it cries out into the darkness. The piece, 18 by 14 inches, reflects the somber palette for which many of Alexander’s pieces are noted. Well known internationally for his commanding landscapes and careful studies of birds and nature, his work has been exhibited hundreds of solo and group exhibitions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, as well as throughout Texas, his birthplace. Mick Jagger, Robin Williams, Sylvester Stallone and Steve Martin are just a few of the notables who own Alexander works.

Ross Bleckner is the youngest artist ever to have a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum and has been one of America’s most influential contemporary artists. Well-known for his large-scale paintings that frequently explore themes of remembrance and loss, he will contribute “Bonfire,” a 29 by 28 inch color aquatint etching from a series of 35.

Francesco Clemente, one of the world’s most illustrious contemporary artists, is known for oeuvres hallmarked by imagery that has been called “arresting if not haunting.” Throughout the past 30 years, he has sought to unseat conventional understanding of reality through his own unique interpretations of surrealism and expressionism. Clemente’s paintings, drawings, prints and illustrated books have been subject of numerous important exhibitions, at such places as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Nationale galerie of Berlin, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Tokyo’s Sezon Museum, and many more. To the Tribeca Film Festival Artists Awards Program, he has chosen to contribute “Air,” a 27-color hand printed woodcut in the Ukiyo-e tradition with 21 woodblocks. An edition of 51, the print is 24 by 18 inches in size.

Renee Cox is one of the most controversial African-American artists working today. She has used her own body, both nude and clothed, to celebrate black womanhood and to criticize a culture she often views as sexist and racist. Her photographs provoke thought and sometimes outrage as they challenge the stereotypes of our daily lives. “Missy At Home,” her contribution to the Tribeca Film Festival Artists Awards, is a striking interpretation of the perception of race and status in our society. The vividly colored photograph depicts the artist as a wealthy, powerful woman of color being attended to by her white maid. The work is an archival digital C-print.

Brandon d’Leo’s “Verge” is a steel, rubber and concrete sculpture 21 by 19 by 9 inches in scope. The atypically angled cross leans precipitously, seemingly teetering on the brink of its foundation, only to be supported at its throat by tethering anchored firmly into its base.

Donna Ferrato is an award winning photojournalist, filmmaker and author who has captured some of the most haunting and also some of the most beautiful images of love, sex, relationships. Widely known for her photography of domestic abuse, she became acutely aware of the issue when during a shoot, she witnessed a man strike his wife. Subsequently, she has worked “to make the first and most comprehensive record of battered women in the United States” and published the best seller Living with the Enemy. Her donation, “Odeon Table,” from ‘10013’her Tribeca series, is a 24 by 30 inch handmade silver gelatin print that explores the harmonies of symmetry, shape and light.

Ralph Gibson will donate “Nude on a Guitar,” seen in Light Strings: Impressions of the Guitar, a book collaborating with Andy Summers, former guitarist for the Police. 30 by 40 inches, the Digital C print is mounted on archival board and is from an edition of just five numbered prints. The image pays homage to the form of the guitar and its relationship to the body, whose “curves echo the human figure, not only requiring it to be cradled to play it, but inviting a study of its own sumptuous anatomy.”

Don Gummer will contribute his “Maquette for Primary Compass,” a site-specific outdoor permanent sculpture completed in 2000 that is part of the collection of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. The maquette is 14.5 by 14 by 12 inches in size. Gummer’s work has been showcased in more than 30 solo exhibitions worldwide and is held in more than a dozen collections, from the Chase Manhattan Bank of New York to the Kitakyushu International Center in Japan.

Stephen Hannock is a luminist painter whose evocative landscapes are often inspired by the countryside of the Berkshires and Western Massachusetts. His work involves a process of building up layers of paint and polishing them down with sandpaper to achieve a glowing effect. In 1998, Hannock became the first museum-collected artist to win an Oscar, for “Painted World,” seen in What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams. Hannock has contributed works to the Tribeca Film Festival Artist Awards Program since its inaugural year. This year, he donates “Maternal Nocturne: Clearing Storm,” which is a celebration of Mother Nature in the midst of her ongoing trials and tribulations. The works is 8 by 13 inches in size of polished mixed media on an envelope over Chuck Close daguerreotype.

Ryan McGinness’ reviews have declared him to be everything and everyone from God to Warhol of the 21st century. The former skater-punk colorfully marries “jazzy pop visions that spring as much from graffiti and corporate logos as they do from art history.” His “Peripheral Drift Illusion” is a seven-color silkscreen and an optical kaleidoscope of movement, images and symbols. 48 by 48 inches in size, this feel-good mindscape is from an edition of 50.

Clifford Ross has innovated the way we see landscapes. Frustrated by the lack of detail provided by existing cameras, the painter turned photographer invented and patented a new breed of mega-pixel camera that offers the highest resolution ever made possible. He is currently designing and building a 100 mega-pixel digital display system, which will be the largest digital display in the world for use in artistic, scientific and entertainment purposes. He donates “Harmonium I,” a 41 by 33 inch study of leaves, printed in archival pigment ink on Japanese paper.

Timothy White will donate a 30 by 38 inch giclée of Liza Minnelli to the Tribeca Film Festival Artist Awards Program. For over 20 years, White has been one of the most sought after celebrity photographers in the world. He has contributed to the covers of virtually every high profile magazine, movie posters for top Hollywood studios, and album covers for music industry royalty, including Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Jon Bon Jovi. Named one of American Photo’s most important people in photography, White has won numerous other photography and film awards, including the 2004 International Photographer of the Year.

O Zhang is donating “Daddy & I No.1, 2005.”The image is from Zhang’s collection of photographs of adopted Chinese girls and their fathers in America. In this series, she seeks to capture the love between a female child and an adult male, peering into the complexities of the both the gender and cultural disparities. The work is a 19 by 24 inch digital C-type print, Edition 2 of 5.

The CHANEL commitment to the arts began with its founder Mademoiselle Chanel almost a century ago. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was a passionate patron and enthusiast of the arts. She supported and collaborated with artists of her time in the art, theatre, ballet and cinema worlds - including Jean Cocteau, Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Jean Renoir.

The House of CHANEL continues to uphold Mademoiselle Chanel’s tradition. Karl Lagerfeld has designed costumes for many visually influential films sustaining Coco Chanel’s precedent started in 1931 when she was contracted by MGM to design for Hollywood. CHANEL has also collaborated with filmmakers such as Joe Wright, Luc Besson, Ridley Scott, Roman Polanski and Baz Luhrmann, to create original short films for the brand. CHANEL Boutiques across the country are deeply involved with their community by supporting Arts related organizations and helping them advance their artistic development. Additionally, the House has commissioned artists Joseph Stashkevetch, Peter Dayton, Ingo Maurer, Jean Michel Othoniel, Lalanne and Vik Muniz, to interpret CHANEL icons for works to be displayed in CHANEL Boutiques worldwide. CHANEL has also collaborated with artists to create original installations around new fine jewelry collections, most recently by Pierrick Sorin and Xavier Veilhan.

With art playing an integral role in CHANEL’s history, it is an honor for CHANEL to have the opportunity to support the Tribeca Film Festival and celebrate the artists of this year and years past.

The New School's Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is a new campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning spaces with exhibition galleries to create a new downtown destination for art and design programming. For more information, visit


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