MFA Alumnus Allan Sekula and Professor Emeritus David Antin Win CAA Awards

The College Art Association has announced the recipients of the 2012 Awards for Distinction, which honor the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of individual artists, art historians, authors, conservators, curators, and critics whose efforts transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large.

CAA will formally recognize the recipients at a special awards ceremony during the 100th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, on Thursday afternoon, February 23, 2012, 12:30–2:00 PM, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Led by Barbara Nesin, president of the CAA Board of Directors, the awards ceremony will take place in West Hall Meeting Room 502AB, Level 2; it is free and open to the public. The Los Angeles Convention Center is located downtown, at 1201 South Figueroa Street adjacent to the Staples Center.

Allan Sekula, Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art

Allan Sekula has devoted his life as an artist to writing, photography, installation, and film. While his multidisciplinary approach to problems of representation and politics has earned him accolades as an artist, his writings have helped students, scholars, and the public to think critically about interventions in the political and social realities of our world. The essays collected in his first book, Photography against the Grain: Essays and Photo Works 1973–83 (1984), significantly altered the way in which the documentary function of photography was conceptualized. His more recent volumes—such as Fish Story (1995), Titanic’s Wake (2003), and Performance under Working Conditions (2003)—mobilize us through his vision and words to carefully consider the effects of capitalism, globalization, information formats, and the dematerialization of image and word.

David Antin, Frank Jewett Mather Award

David Antin has been a singular, combative voice in art criticism since the mid 1960s. His Radical Coherency: Selected Essays on Art and Literature 1966 to 2005 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011) demonstrates his sustained critical commitment, constant formal experimentation, and a style of thought and expression that is unique to both the visual arts and poetry. The essays and “talking poems” in Radical Coherency display a no-nonsense, skeptical intelligence squaring off firsthand with the work of artists—many of them his contemporaries—who were bent on radically transforming art, from Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol to the artists of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s 1971 exhibition Art and Technology.

To see a comprehensive list of all CAA awards please visit:


Art Journal Award

CAA will announce the recipient of the 2012 Art Journal Award in late January or early February.


For more information on the 2012 Awards for Distinction, please contact Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs. Visit the Awards section of the CAA website to read about all past recipients.


Published on January 18, 2012.