Foundation News

Laura Owens Named Winner of the 2015 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize

December 31st, 2015

Peter M. Brant is pleased to participate as a member of the selection committee for the fifth year of the Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize, awarded to Laura Owens.


Tribeca Film Institute Awards Laura Owens with the 2015 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize
Left to right: Richard Flood, Director of Special Projects and Curator at Large at the New Museum Sarah P. Hanson, Editorial Director at Paddle8 Robert De Niro Laura Owens, 2015 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize Recipient Peter M. Brant Leah Dickerman, Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art / Photo credit: Dave Allocca/Startaks


In 2012, the artist’s son, Robert De Niro, announced the creation of an annual award in his father’s name, The Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize, which recognizes the work of a mid-career American painter who has made a significant contribution to the field of painting. It is the younger Mr. De Niro’s hope, that this prize will both honor the legacy of his father’s career, and bring positive attention to a deserving artist working today. The prize is awarded solely on merit and is not based on need. The recipient of the award is to be nominated and selected by a committee of four jurors made up of scholars, curators, collectors, and critics whose awareness of the field of contemporary art will bring insight and expertise to the selection process. A shortlist of potential artists is first made, then after further discussion, one artist is selected to receive the award to be presented through the Tribeca Film Institute.

Selection committee for the 2015 Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize:
Sarah Hanson, arts journalist and Executive Editor of Paddle8
Leah Dickerman, Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA
Kelly Baum, Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Richard Flood, Chief Curator, New Museum
Peter Brant, Collector, Philantropist and Publisher

I am honored to be one of the judges to choose this year’s De Niro prize winner, Laura Owens. Laura is one of America’s most gifted painters. She has demonstrated her masterful skills as a painter consistently over the past 20 years. Laura is well deserving of this award.

– Peter Brant

That Laura Owens is an accomplished painter goes without saying. Yet this alone is not the reason we saw fit to grant the Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize to her. Over the course of a career that is now past its second decade, Laura has dedicated herself ceaselessly to the investigation of painting as a formal and material practice. That she has refused to settle on one particular approach or style, that she remains restless in her experimentation, makes her particular deserving of this prize.

– Kelly Baum