Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) and the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation are pleased to announce that artist Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez, who is based between Lincoln, Nebraska and New York, has been awarded the 2019 Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting. In addition to a $15,000 unrestricted cash award, UMOCA, the permanent steward for the Doctorow Prize, will host a solo exhibition of Nancy’s artwork from September 21, 2019 through January 11, 2020.

Nancy Friedemann’s large-scale paintings and drawings allude to Minimalism and the Pattern and Decoration Movement while using the aesthetics of Spanish Moorish tiles found on buildings in her native Columbia, lace patterns from colonial portraits, and crocheted items similar to those made by her grandmother, to explicitly explore the experience of identity, memory, and gender.

Nancy Friedemann Sanchez Zora Muff Headshot
Nancy Friedemann Sanchez, Zora Muff Headshot

Jared Steffensen, Curator of Exhibitions, states: “UMOCA is thrilled for the opportunity to bring Nancy’s work to Utah. Her ability to mine art and history to critique current political and social issues is essential in this time of interrogating existing power structures.”

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 Nancy with the prize this year.”

The process that led to the selection of Friedemann-Sanchez’s work was a rigorous one. UMOCA received nominations from leading curators, critics, gallerists, historians, and artists from around the country. The nominations were then submitted for review by a set of jurors including:


Leeza Meksin

Artist, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice and Director of New Genre at Columbia University, Co-founder of Ortega y Gasset Projects in Brooklyn, NY

Jade Walker

Artist and former Director of the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin

Suzanne Larson

Artist and Executive Director of the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation

Laura Hurtado

Independent Curator based in Salt Lake City, UT

Peter Everett

Artist and Professor of Art at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT

About the Artist 

Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez studied at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Columbia, earned a B.F.A. from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, and an M.F.A. from NYU in 1997. Recent Individual exhibitions include: Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, Collette Blanchard Gallery, New York, Frost Museum, Miami, Galeria Diners, Bogotá, Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts, New York, Sheldon Memorial Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska, Queens Museum of Art, New York, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Panamá.
Friedemann has been awarded a Smithsonian Artist Fellowship; a Puffin Foundation grant, a Pollock Krasner grant, a National Association of Latino Arts and Culture grant. She has also been nominated for the Rema Hort Mann, and the Anonymous was a Woman Foundation grant.

Her work is in the collections of Jose Mugrabi, El Museo del Barrio, The Cleveland Museum, The Museum University of New Mexico, El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Panamá, El Museo de Arte Moderno, Cali Colombia, and el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Bogotá, Colombia.

About The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting 

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 fifth iteration having first been awarded to artist Kim Schoenstadt in 2011, Tala Madani in 2013, Firelei Báez in 2015, Anna Betbeze in 2017, and now Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez.

About the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has been an award-winning aesthetic force and community leader since it was established in 1931. Free and open to all, UMOCA is Utah’s only space devoted to contemporary arts and culture. Through our cutting-edge programming, we engage with social issues, provide a platform for dialogue and a nurturing space for artists to work and develop. UMOCA strives to be a place where all points of view, experiences, and ages feel welcome to explore the pressing issues of our time through socially relevant art exhibitions and programming.

UMOCA is a seven-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation and is a two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works grant.

UMOCA is a 501c3 institution that is supported by public, foundation, and corporate gifts. Your donation in any amount is greatly appreciated, and admission is a suggested $5 donation.

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