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2 Americans win arts awards

October 17, 2005|From a Times staff writer

American choreographer Merce Cunningham and painter Robert Ryman are among the winners of this year's Praemium Imperiale awards, announced today by the Japan Art Assn. for lifetime achievement in arts categories not recognized by the Nobel prizes.

Other winners are fashion designer Issey Miyake of Japan for sculpture, Yoshio Taniguchi of Japan for architecture and pianist Martha Argerich of Argentina for music.

The five will be honored Tuesday in Tokyo, where they will each collect a prize of 15 million yen (about $135,000).

Cunningham was lauded as "one of the most distinguished choreographers of our time." And the judges praised Ryman for exploring "the subtleties of texture, the qualities of pigment ... and the natural colors of the surfaces to which he has applied his brush."

Previous winners of the Praemium award, which was established in 1989, include Frank Gehry, Arthur Miller, Leonard Bernstein and Akira Kurosawa.

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