November 10, 2015 - Calder Foundation - 2015 Calder Prize Laureate Haroon Mirza
November 10, 2015

Calder Foundation

Haroon Mirza, An_Infinato (detail), 2009. Courtesy hrm199 Ltd and Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. Photo: Ken Adlard.
2015 Calder Prize Laureate Haroon Mirza
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2015 Calder Prize Laureate Haroon Mirza
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The Calder Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2015 Calder Prize will be awarded to British artist Haroon Mirza

The Calder Prize, in the amount of 50,000 USD, honors contemporary artists who have completed exemplary work early in their careers that can be interpreted as a continuation of Calder’s legacy. In addition to the cash prize, the recipient benefits from a residency at the Atelier Calder and the placement of a signature work in a major public collection. 

Haroon Mirza (b. 1977, London) has garnered international attention for installations that test the interplay and friction between sound, light waves, and electric current. He combines a variety of readymade and time-based materials to create audio compositions, which are often realized as performances, site-specific installations, and kinetic sculptures. In doing so, Mirza complicates the distinctions between noise, sound, and music, altering the function and meaning of everyday objects and sociocultural constructs. 

Mirza earned a BA in Painting from Winchester School of Art, an MA in Design Critical Practice and Theory from Goldsmiths College (2006), and an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design (2007). Solo exhibitions include Haroon Mirza/hrm199 Ltd. at Museum Tinguely, Basel (2015); The Light Hours, Villa Savoye, Poissy; Are Jee Be? at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Random Access Recall at Le Grand Café, St. Nazaire, France (2014); Haroon Mirza at The Hepworth, Wakefield, UK (2013); and Preoccupied Waveforms at the New Museum, New York (2012). His work was included in the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, China (2012) and the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), where he was awarded the Silver Lion. 

The Calder Prize, co-supported by the Scone Foundation, grew out of the success of the Atelier Calder residency program, which Mirza completed in 2013. For his residency, Mirza lived and worked in Calder’s home and studio in Saché, France, during which time he made The Calling (2013). At its culmination, he staged The Last Tape (2010/13), a spoken word performance and sculptural installation based on “Johnny 23," an unrealized Ian Curtis song about William S. Burroughs. The piece was performed by cult musician and actor Richard “Kid” Strange, and was set within a stage format borrowed from Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape.”

Mirza is the sixth artist to receive the Calder Prize. The impact of this recognition is evident in the success of past recipients. The inaugural laureate, Tara Donovan (2005), was subsequently named a MacArthur Fellow in 2008. Zilvinas Kempinas (2007) went on to represent Lithuania in the 2009 Venice Biennale, where he presented a work made in Saché, and has had subsequent solo exhibitions at the Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, and at the Museum Tinguely, Basel. Tomás Saraceno (2009) was given a solo exhibition in 2012 on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where he presented Cloud City, a project developed at the Atelier Calder. Rachel Harrison (2013) counts works in prestigious public collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Most recently, Darren Bader (2013), who received his award on the heels of his much-acclaimed solo exhibition at MoMA PS1 in 2012, presented a solo show at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne this year. 

The Atelier Calder was created over 20 years ago by Calder’s wife, Louisa, and his daughters, Sandra Calder Davidson and Mary Calder Rower, with the invaluable assistance of Stanley Cohen, Calder’s lawyer, long-time friend, and neighbor in Saché. Currently under the presidency of Alfred Pacquement, the Atelier Calder was established in conjunction with the Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP) and receives additional financial support from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (DRAC Centre), the Région Centre, and the Calder Foundation. The Atelier Calder works closely with the Calder Foundation and the Scone Foundation to make this award possible.

The Calder Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 by Alexander S. C. Rower, is dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, preserving, and interpreting the art and archives of Alexander Calder and is charged with an unmatched collection of his works. The Foundation’s projects include collaborating on exhibitions and publications, organizing and maintaining the Calder archives, examining works attributed to Calder, and cataloguing the artist’s works. Over the past several years, the Calder Foundation has expanded its programming to include exhibitions, lectures, performances, and events on Calder as well as contemporary artists, including those supported by the Foundation through its biannual Calder Prize and the Atelier Calder residency program in Saché. 

The Scone Foundation was founded in 1997 by Stanley Cohen to foster the arts and historical studies. In addition to the Calder Prize, the Scone Foundation acknowledges the unsung heroes of research and scholarship with its annual Archivist of the Year Award.

Calder Foundation
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