Robert De Niro says his late father’s estate has established a new $US25,000 annual award, the Robert De Niro Sr Prize, which will honour American artists for achievement in painting.
The prize will be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute.
De Niro made the announcement in his role as Tribeca Film Institute co-chair.
He was joined by Megan Fox Kelly and Jeffrey Hoffeld, advisers to the estate, at a reception held at his father’s studio in New York.
A committee of distinguished individuals in the art world will be appointed annually to nominate and select three finalists and the prize recipient.
The estate will also host a group exhibition for the finalists at which the winner will be announced.
De Niro will fund the prize, which is among the first in America to celebrate and shine a light on mid-career artists.
The first prize will be awarded in 2011.
“I am proud to honour my father as an artist and pay tribute to his painting through the Robert De Niro Sr Prize,” De Niro said.
“By annually awarding an American artist who is recognised for exceptional quality in painting, we hope to support artists, like my father, who are making a lifelong commitment to their art.”
De Niro Sr was part of the New York school of post-war American artists.
His work blended abstract and expressionist styles of painting with traditional representational subject matter, bridging the divide between European modernism and abstract expressionism.
His work is found in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Parrish Art Museum, among others.