The second annual Rob Pruitt Art Awards were held last night at Webster Hall in New York, in association with the Guggenheim Museum. The visual art world tends not to have awards shows like this one to celebrate their colleagues and contemporaries. Following the same format as events like the Tony Awards or the Oscars, this event is star-studded (with art-world names) and presents winners in an array of categories with an actual award. The event benefited the non-profit arts organizations The Guggenheim Foundation and White Columns and James Franco's studly onstage performance could be a preview of things to come when he hosts the 2011 Academy Awards.
Winners included the Artists Space, New York in the Alternative Space of the Year category, Jerry Saltz won the honor as Art Critic of the Year with Curator of the Year going to Chrissie Iles. The best exhibition outside the US award went to John Baldessari's Pure Beauty, Tate Modern, London and NY's MoMA exhibit In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960-1976 won the award for best Group Show at a museum. While the Rob Pruitt Award went to Lena Dunham, Louise Bourgeois narrowly beat out fellow nominees Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari, and Trisha Donnelly as Artist of the Year. Check out our slideshow from last night's festivities.