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Gestures made by the winning artists include shipping a 4.5-ton block of ice to the Bahamas and painting condemned homes in Black neighbourhoods bright colours.

Which Artists Won MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants in 2022?

Tavares Strachan, The Blues (20212). Panels, oil, enamel, Bambara mask (Mali), natural fibres, pigment, brass, acrylic. 213.4 x 213.4 x 6.3 cm. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.

The MacArthur Foundation has revealed the 25 winners of this year's fellowship awards, known informally as 'genius grants'. Winners will receive US $800,000 with no strings attached, up from $625,000 in previous years.

Several artists won awards this year, which are given to people working in disparate disciplines — including scientists, academics, lawyers, activists, and musicians — for their 'exceptional creativity', 'promise for important future advances', and the potential for the fellowship to support future creative work.

Tavares Strachan works at the intersection of art and science. He grabbed the art world's attention in 2005 when he used FedEx to ship a 4.5-ton block of ice from the Arctic to the Bahamas, and again when he launched a likeness of Robert Henry Lawrence Jr., the first African-American astronaut, into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Strachan is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery, Beyer Projects, and Perrotin.

Paul Chan is the Hong Kong-born artist and the publisher behind Badlands Unlimited (2010–2019). He is known for digital animations such as Happiness (Finally) After 35,000 Years of Civilisation (after Henry Darger and Charles Fourier) (1999–2003) and his series of inflatable fabric works entitled 'Breathers' (2017-ongoing). Chan is represented by Greene Naftali Gallery in New York.

Chicago native Amanda Williams is an architect-turned-artist who explores spatial inequities. For the series Color(ed) Theory (2014–2015) she painted homes slated for demolition in Chicago's predominantly Black Englewood neighbourhood in bright colours. In 2021, she imagined new social uses for MoMA's Marron Atrium in Embodied Spaces. Williams' solo show CANDYLADYBLACK was presented at Gagosian in New York from 10 June to 8 July this year.

Ho-Chunk Nation artist and filmmaker Sky Hopinka has developed a new cinematic language that centres indigenous people. Recent film maɬni—towards the ocean, towards the shore (2020) uses the chinuk wawa language in voiceovers and subtitles as it explores Native Americans' relationships with their families, the landscape, and traditions.

Self-described 'artivista' (artist-activist), musician, and scholar Martha Gonzalez cultivates artistic collaborations to build communities and advance social justice. She is the lead singer of East Los Angeles music collective Quetzal and co-creator of Entre Mujeres, a cross-border recording project with women in Veracruz, Mexico.

MacArthur Fellows Director Marlies Carruth described the 2022 Fellows as 'excavators uncovering what has been overlooked, undervalued, or poorly understood. They are archivists reminding us of what should survive.'

Previous winners of MacArthur 'genius' awards include artists Cindy Sherman, James Turrell, Kara Walker, Xu Bing, Mark Bradford, and Jordan Casteel.

The full list of 2022 fellows can be found on the organisation's website. —[O]

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