Anderson Ranch Arts Center will honor Chinese conceptual artist and human-rights activist Ai Weiwei with the International Artist Award at its Annual Recognition Dinner in Snowmass Village on July 19. The award is given to globally recognized artists whose careers have fundamentally influenced contemporary art; past winners have included Frank Stella, Theaster Gates, Cindy Sherman, Vik Muniz, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Born in Beijing in 1957, Ai was the subject of a well-known arrest and imprisonment by the Chinese government. Now exiled, Ai resides and works in Berlin; his work spans a wide range of media, including architecture, installation, social media and documentary film, including his first feature-length documentary, Human Flow, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2017. “My duty as an artist is to associate myself with freedom of expression, and to spark dialogue around urgent issues facing humanity,” says Ai. “We live in a complex and ever-changing society, and my art calls on people to question and engage with that reality, to respond to history as it happens, and to demand accountability.”