Staircases, Women, and Balloon Trees: The Inside Scoop on the Pollock-Krasner Foundation's Grants to Artists

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, named after the late Lee Krasner, one of the 20th century's leading abstract painters and widow of Jackson Pollock, recently awarded $2,163,000 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year to a variety of arts, sculptors, and artists.

Much like other visual arts foundations — the Warhol Foundation inevitably comes to mind — one can make an educated guess about what, specifically, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation looks for based on the interests of its namesakes. And, not surprisingly, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation has traditionally funded abstract and impressionistic work.

For example, one previous winner, Japan's Tuki Nakamura, created a piece called "Red Stair" in which a staircase seemingly morphs into the lower half of a woman's body. Another winner, Wolfgang Aichner, produced a piece called "Tilia Inflata," a large, balloon-like tree strategically placed in what looks like a public park.

The foundation welcomes applications from "visual artists who are painters, sculptors and artists who work on paper, including printmakers" on a rolling basis. It specifically encourages applications from "artists who have genuine financial needs that are not necessarily catastrophic." (The foundation doesn't provide exact insight around what "not necessarily catastrophic" means; we imagine it may be a relatively subjective interpretation.)

And speaking of relative interpretation, the grants, which are intended for a one-year period, will be determined by the "individual circumstances of the artist." Also, a few more points of interest for would-be applicants:

  • The foundation will consider need on the part of an applicant for all legitimate expenditures relating to his or her professional work and personal living, including medical expenses.
  • Professional exhibition history will be taken into consideration.
  • Artists must be actively exhibiting their current work in professional artistic venues, such as gallery and museum spaces.
  • The foundation does not accept applications from commercial artists, video artists, performance artists, filmmakers, craftmakers, computer artists or any artist whose work primarily falls into these categories.

Lastly, a cursory look at the foundation's recent award recipients suggests that the foundation is internationally oriented in the truest sense. You'll see artists from Montclair, New Jersey to Harare, Zimbabwe to Kromeriz, Czech Republic. In fact, since the foundation started awarding grants in 1985, over $61 million has been given to artists in 76 countries.

Click here for more IP analysis on the foundation.