PAMM Announces Christina Quarles as Recipient of the Inaugural Perez Prize

The new annual, unrestricted award of $50,000 is funded by The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation

installation of women drawn in different poses
Christina Quarles. Forced Perspective (And I Kno It’s Rigged, But It’s tha Only Game in Town), 2018 Installation View.

(MIAMI, FL — March 8, 2019) — Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to announce the recipient of the first Pérez Prize by Jorge and Darlene Pérez is Christina Quarles, in honor of her outstanding achievements and impact on the current art historical narrative. The $50,000 prize recognizes recent achievement in artistic innovation.

Working between abstraction and figuration, Quarles’ painting style, while thoroughly contemporary, also mines histories of genres, most especially surrealism.  Of Quarles’ work, Wendy Vogel writes in Art in America: “Quarles dabbles in methods evoking those that radicalized the very notion of painting, like Helen Frankenthaler’s pouring technique and Lynda Benglis’s usage of acrylic paint as a sculptural medium.”

The generous new award is funded by a gift from local patrons of the arts Jorge and Darlene Pérez, and reflects their commitment to supporting excellence in international contemporary art, representing diverse artistic perspectives, and drawing attention to remarkable talents. Quarles will be celebrated tomorrow night at PAMM’s Art of the Party, the museum’s largest fundraiser event of the year. The selection was made by PAMM’s curatorial team in collaboration with The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation and honors experimentation, creativity and promise. It is also a symbol of PAMM’s mission to be a leader in the presentation, study and interpretation of international modern and contemporary art.

Christina Quarles is known for figurative paintings that confront questions of racial and sexual identity, gender, and queerness. Most recently, Quarles received major recognition for her works in the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A. 2018” biennial, and one of those works was acquired by PAMM through the museum’s Collectors Council.

“We are thrilled to recognize Christina Quarles at this important moment in her career,” said Franklin Sirmans, PAMM Director. “Christina’s work, like that of our museum, offers new ways of seeing art history and I am excited to see what she accomplishes in the next step of her career.”

Starting in 2020, the Pérez Prize recipients will be selected by a jury comprised of international leaders, practitioners, and experts in the field. Future iterations of the award will emphasize artists in pivotal phases of their careers, celebrating outstanding achievement and supporting their artistic development moving forward. Award winners will be announced at PAMM’s annual Art of the Party.

“Our entire family feels very fortunate to be able to provide long-term support for artists and their craft. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we look forward to continuing to work with the PAMM team to identify and celebrate talent with far-reaching, multi-generational impact,” said Jorge Pérez.


About Christina Quarles

Christina Quarles was born in Chicago, IL in 1985 and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She completed her BA at Hampshire College in 2007 with a double concentration in Philosophy and Studio Arts. Christina earned her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 2016. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her wife and two cats.

About Pérez Art Museum Miami

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 35-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM) and led by Director Franklin Sirmans, opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.

About The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation

The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation fulfills the philanthropic vision of Jorge M. Pérez and his family to develop South Florida as an exemplary world-class urban center. Mr. Pérez, chairman and CEO of The Related Group, and his wife, Darlene, are both Giving Pledge signatories. The family foundation mission is to promote sustainable, inclusive and just communities by supporting programs and organizations focused on arts and culture, health and well-being, education, environment and economic development – with a particular preference for programs and organizations that could serve as models for other urban centers.


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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