September 14, 2019 - Nasher Sculpture Center - Michael Rakowitz wins the 2020 Nasher Prize
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September 14, 2019

Nasher Sculpture Center

Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu), 2018. Installation view, Trafalgar Square, London, 2018. Middle eastern food packaging and newspapers, glue, labels, sound, drawings. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Michael Rakowitz wins the 2020 Nasher Prize

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, TX 75201
USA
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +1 214 242 5100

www.nashersculpturecenter.org
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Michael Rakowitz wins the 2020 Nasher Prize

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, TX 75201
USA
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T +1 214 242 5100

www.nashersculpturecenter.org
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

The Nasher Sculpture Center announces American artist Michael Rakowitz as the recipient of the 2020 Nasher Prize. Now in its fifth year, the Nasher Prize is an international award for sculpture, established to honor a living artist who elevates the understanding of sculpture and its possibilities. Rakowitz will be presented with an award designed by Renzo Piano, architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center, at a ceremony in Dallas on April 4, 2020. 

Since his career began in the late 1990s, Michael Rakowitz’s dynamic body of work has involved intensive research, resulting in an array of objects, environments, films, and publications that seek to reclaim, reposition or refocus complicated aspects of material and cultural histories or events. He has especial interest in refugee and migrant populations, particularly from the Middle East. Often durational in nature, his projects frequently enlist the participation of collaborators or the public to create objects or events, making the work as much participatory as it is material.  

“In Michael Rakowitz, the Nasher Prize jury has selected a laureate whose work wrestles in unique and revelatory ways with many of the complex questions of history, heritage, and identity that are so much at the forefront of contemporary culture and politics,” says Director Jeremy Strick. “Interrogating objects and materials—their history and associations—Rakowitz weaves dense webs of meaning in distinct bodies of work rich with insight and surprise.”

Rakowitz is the fifth artist to receive the award; previous winners are Isa Genzken (2019), Theaster Gates (2018), Pierre Huyghe (2017) and Doris Salcedo (2016). The 2020 Nasher Prize jury that selected Rakowitz is comprised of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli, Italy; Phyllida Barlow, artist; Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, Guggenheim Museum; Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Art; Briony Fer, Professor, History of Art, University College London; Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; Hou Hanru, Artistic Director, MAXXI, Rome; and Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England.  

“Michael Rakowitz’s work bridges, on the one hand, social sculpture—what we’ve come to call relational aesthetics—and embodied material work on sculpture, with a great sense of humor and a great sense of empathy,” says Nasher Prize juror Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. “Michael’s work is about healing and about how to take the problem of cultural destruction and transform that into a resource for a very optimistic vision of the reconstruction of our society.” 

In conjunction with the Nasher Prize, the Nasher Sculpture Center annually presents a series of public programs exploring the climate of contemporary sculpture. Called Nasher Prize Dialogues, the talks gather interdisciplinary luminaries to discuss the most compelling topics regarding contemporary sculpture. By galvanizing international discourse, Nasher Prize Dialogues are an apt extension of the Nasher Prize’s mission to advocate for and advance a vital contemporary art form. The most recent talks have taken place in Copenhagen, Denmark in partnership with CHART; Reykjavik, Iceland in partnership with the Reykjavik Art Museum; in Glasgow, UK in partnership with The Common Guild and Glasgow International 2018; and in Dallas in partnership with The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. 

The 2020 Nasher Prize is generously co-chaired by Nancy Carlson and Adriana Pareles who help garner support for the prize and its attendant programs, including the Nasher Prize Dialogues.  

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