English Professor Wins Warhol Foundation Award

Arts Writers Grant will support Jennifer Doyle’s work on book about the interaction of sports and contemporary art

Jennifer Doyle

Jennifer Doyle

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Jennifer Doyle, professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, has won a $35,000 Arts Writers Grant from the Warhol Foundation. She is one of 21 writers selected from an international pool of applicants — and one of only four from California.

The Arts Writers Grant program is designed to “encourage and reward writing about contemporary art that is rigorous, passionate, eloquent, and precise, as well as to create a broader audience for arts writing,” the foundation said in announcing the winners today. Grants ranging from $8,000 to $50,000 were awarded in four categories: articles, blogs, books and short-form.

Doyle’s grant will support her work on a book, “The Athletic Turn: Contemporary Art and the Sport Spectacle,” will explore how sports and contemporary art interact. Chapters include analyses of artists working in India, South Africa, Europe, Mexico, Brazil and the United States.

“Where much scholarship emphasizes the differences between art and sports, Doyle will consider the affinities between these two modes of cultural expression as social practices and practices of the self,” foundation officials said. “Her book aims to expand our sense of the sports world to consider how artists like Juergen Teller, Miguel Calderon, Charles Fairbanks, Jennifer Locke, Saatch Hoyt, Heather Cassils, Tracey Rose, and Zanele Muholi engage sports in experimental cinema, sculpture and installation work, contemporary photography, and performance art. ‘The Athletic Turn’ is an experiment in arts writing and, equally, an experiment in sports writing.”

Doyle is the author of “Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art,” due to be published next year by Duke University Press, and “Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire” (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), which was a finalist for a Lambda Award for writing in art and culture. She writes a soccer blog, “From a Left Wing,” and provides commentary on the cultural politics of sports for media outlets such as KPFK-FM, the New York Times, the Guardian and Fox Soccer.

Her research focuses on American literary and cultural studies, visual and performance studies, contemporary art history, and gender studies.

The Arts Writers Grant Program is spearheaded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of its broader Arts Writing Initiative and is administered by Creative Capital, a national nonprofit organization that provides financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines. The Warhol Foundation, created from the estate of American pop culture icon and artist Andy Warhol, awards grants “to support the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognized, or challenging in nature.”

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Jennifer Doyle
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