2021 Doctorow Prize Winner Announced

Installation view of Genesis Jerez: Her Maiden Name in the Street Gallery

UMOCA and the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation are pleased to announce that the Harlem, New York-based artist, and 2020-2021 Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Genesis Jerez has been awarded the 2021 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting. A generous bi-annual prize made possible with funds from the Doctorow Foundation, the prize comes with a $15,000 unrestricted cash award, and a  solo exhibition of Jerez’s artwork from September 24, 2021, through January 8, 2022.

UMOCA is the first major institution to show Jerez’s work. Additional work, created for the Studio Museum in Harlem, will open in November 2021 at MoMA PS1. Of the work, Jared Steffensen, Curator of Exhibitions, states: “UMOCA is honored to award Genesis Jerez the 2021 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting. Her hauntingly beautiful work examines family bonds through a mix of collage and painting, using her mother’s photographs as source material. We look forward to sharing her work with residents of Salt Lake City and the surrounding communities.”

Suzanne Larson, daughter of Catherine Doctorow, remarked: “Since the inception of the Catherine Doctorow Prize, we have worked hard to select artists who challenge and enhance the concept of painting. To that end, The Doctorow Family Foundation is delighted to continue that practice by awarding Genesis with the prize this year.”

Looking toward family photographs as visual references, Jerez reconstructs the space and figures of family scenarios to reëxamine her early experiences growing up in New York City’s public housing projects. Jerez’s formal negotiations with flattening techniques, patterned textures, underdrawings, and a collaged application of paint, arrive at a layered understanding of her source material. As she recontextualizes the environment of her traditional Dominican household, Jerez creates a counter-archive that transforms her intergenerational memory of complex familial relationships.