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Three Local Artists Win SFMOMA’s SECA Art Award

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dark gallery space with spotlit sculptures of hair-covered loops and wall hanging
Installation view of Angela Hennessy, 'As I Live and Breathe,' 2022 at SOMArts. (Courtesy of SFMOMA)

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has announced the three winners of the 2024 SECA Art Award: Lauren D’Amato, Angela Hennesy and Rupy C. Tut. The artists will have an exhibition at the museum Dec. 14, 2024–May 25, 2025 accompanied by a publication.

Curated by Maria Castro, assistant curator of painting and sculpture, and Shana Lopes, assistant curator of photography, this year’s SECA awardees were narrowed down from a list of 16 finalists after studio visits and a month of deliberation. The resulting exhibition, on the museum’s second floor, will give each artist an entire gallery for the presentation of new and recent work.

And what will that work be? Expect precise paintings, commanding sculptural installations and detailed scenes on paper and linen.

wide painting of diamond shapes with lettering "star market" reflected back and forth
Lauren D’Amato, ‘Star Market,’ 2024. (Yubo Dong)

Lauren D’Amato, trained as a sign painter and pinstriper, has developed a crisp and text-filled painting style that pays homage to the signage of everyday city life. She renders the ghostly remnants of businesses as if seen through car windows, semi-obscured by shining chrome. A recent show at San Francisco’s House of Seiko included a mechanized sculpture of rusty metal, painted glass and a slowly spinning hubcap.

Angela Hennessy’s deeply meditative art, often installed in black-walled exhibition spaces, uses the gestures of domestic labor (wrapping, stitching, braiding) to construct somber, intricate sculptures. Her material lists are often long, including elements like the artist’s own hair, gold leaf and twist ties. Her large-scale mourning wreaths, hanging textiles and tall standing sculptures touch on the artist’s personal experience of gun violence (she survived a gunshot wound in 2015) and her work as a hospice volunteer.

painting of white-clad person under greenery covered umbrella perched on globe
Rupy C. Tut, ‘A Place Dear to Me,’ 2024. (Photo by Phillip Maisel; Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery)

Rupy C. Tut’s vibrant paintings on linen and hemp paper borrow from the language of calligraphy and traditional Indian painting to depict women in dense, lush landscapes. In action and in repose, they often blend into their natural surroundings, Tut’s tiny brushstrokes embellishing fabric and foliage with the same lively intensity.

The 2024 SECA Art Award exhibition will take place at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Dec. 14, 2024–May 25, 2025.


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