Robert Wilson, avant-garde designer, director and author, has won the 1996 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which carries a stipend of $200,000.
The Gish prize was established by the Dorothy And Lillian Gish Prize Trust to be awarded to a man or woman who "has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life." Previous winners have been Frank Gehry (1994) and Ingmar Bergman (1995).
Texas-born Robert Wilson is best known for his collaboration with Philip Glass on the epic opera, Einstein On The Beach. Other works include the nine-hour the CIVIL warS, Doctor Faustus Lights The Lights, and a newly designed and directed revival of Virgil Thomson/Gertrude Stein's opera, Four Saints In Three Acts, which played New York's Lincoln Center and the Edinburgh Festival.
Wilson's work mixes movement, dance, painting, lighting, furniture design, sculpture, music and text into "a unified whole in imagery that is both aestheticlaly striking and emotionally charged."