Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting

SALT LAKE CITY, UT Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation are pleased to announce that L.A. based artist Tala Madani is the recipient of the 2013 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting.  In addition to a $15,000 cash award, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) will host a solo exhibition of Madani’s artwork from October 4, 2013 through January 4, 2014.

Maggie Willis, Interim Director of UMOCA states:

“By being the home of the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, the residents of Utah are given an incredible opportunity to experience cutting-edge work from the nation’s leading painters. The engaging quality of Tala Madani’s work is certain to initiate dialogue among our visitors; I am thrilled that UMOCA will present Madani’s work this fall.”

Tala Madani (b. 1981 in Iran) creates drawings, paintings, and animations depicting humorously grotesque scenarios of male vulnerability and fraternal idiocy. Merging the satire of R. Crumb with the palette of Morris Louis, the language of her paintings oscillates between figuration and abstraction, seriousness and comedy.

It is this passionate dedication to a visionary practice in painting that exemplifies the spirit of the Catherine Doctorow Prize.

Suzanne Larson, daughter of Catherine Doctorow, remarked: “Catherine Doctorow was a prolific contemporary painter in the 1950’s and 1060’s. All of her family at the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation are very proud to have established the Catherine Doctorow Prize at UMOCA. We know she would be delighted that her love of painting is creating a place today for emerging and mid-career artists to flourish.”

The process that led to the selection of Madani’s work was a rigorous one.  UMOCA received nominations from leading curators, critics, gallerists, historians, and educators around the country.  The nominations were then submitted for review by two separate juries. The finalist jury included:

  • Adam Bateman– Artist and Curator. His sculptures and sculptural videos, photos, installations, and drawings have been exhibited internationally and across the United States. He is also the director and curator at CUAC, an artist-run, non-profit gallery which aims to connect the international contemporary art community with Utah’s local art community.
  • Suzanne Larson– Executive Director of the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation since 2010.  Suzanne is a sculptor/glass artist, giving her an understanding of the importance of supporting the arts and the critical relationship between arts education and mental health. She has worked in corporate and government arenas gaining an awareness of the time consuming complexities of obtaining funding. Suzanne intends to keep DFF approachable and communicative to increase the efficiency with which the Foundation operates and help grantees to do what they do best.
  • Paul (Monty) Paret– Associate Professor of Art History and Associate Dean of the Honors College at the University of Utah, where he writes and teaches on modern and contemporary art and visual culture. His research concerns the Bauhaus, the relationship of sculpture to the visual and material culture of modernity, and issues of land use in contemporary art.
  • Chris Wiley– Artist, writer and curator.  As a writer, he is a regular contributor to Frieze,, and Kaleidoscope, where he is also an Editor-at-Large.  As a curator, he has worked on numerous exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and most recently as a curatorial advisor and head catalog writer for the 55th Venice Biennale.  He is represented by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York.


DoctorowAbout The Prize
The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting is an unrestricted cash prize awarded every two years to an innovative painter practicing in the United States. Created by The Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation (JCDFF), the prize is in its second iteration having first been awarded to artist Kim Schoenstadt in 2011 and now Tala Madani in 2013.