Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt), 2012 Concrete cast with beehive structure, wax, by Pierre Huygh. Photo courtesy of the Nasher.

Visual Arts

Pierre Huyghe Wins 2017 Nasher Prize

The French artist is known for his sculptures of "uncompleted, evolving worlds."

The Nasher Sculpture Center on Monday night named French artist Pierre Huyghe the winner of the second Nasher Prize, given to a “living artist in recognition of a significant body of work that has had an extraordinary impact on the understanding of the art form.” The Dallas museum created the prize, which comes with a $100,000 award, last year, inserting itself it into the international art discussion and lofty prize circuit — the inaugural winner was Colombian artist Doris Salcedo.

Huyghe, who was selected by an international jury of artists, curators, and historians, will receive the award in Dallas on April 1.

The press release from the Nasher is copied below:

Pierre Huyghe. Photo by Philippe Quaisse, courtesy of the Nasher.
Pierre Huyghe. Photo by Philippe Quaisse, courtesy of the Nasher.

Dallas, TX (September 26, 2016) – The Nasher Sculpture Center announces French artist Pierre Huyghe as the recipient of the 2017 Nasher Prize. In its second year, the Nasher Prize is the most ambitious international award in sculpture, established to honor a living artist who elevates the understanding of sculpture and its possibilities. Pierre Huyghe has profoundly expanded the parameters of sculpture through artworks encompassing a variety of materials and disciplines, bringing music, cinema, dance, and theater into contact with biology and philosophy, incorporating time based elements that vary in intensity, as diverse as fog, ice, parades, rituals, automata, computer programs, video games, dogs, bees, and microorganisms. Huyghe has consistently sought new ways to bring together unconventional and heterogeneous materials into a practice exceeding the sum of its multifarious parts.

Pierre Huyghe was selected for his extraordinary work by an international jury of museum directors, curators, artists, and art historians who demonstrate an unparalleled expertise in the field of sculpture. Huyghe will be presented with an award designed by Renzo Piano, architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center, at a ceremony in Dallas on April 1, 2017.

“I’m looking at the co-evolution of interdependent agents, biotic and abiotic, real or symbolic—different states of living, self-organizing in a dynamic and unstable situation: mesh, porous, contingent. It could be immaterial things such as time, light, temperature, air, scents, but interconnected within a network of material systems in order to generate a particular and sensible experience,” says Pierre Huyghe. “This individual and inter-subjective experience within an environment is important in what I do. It speaks to the history of the things perceived as a link to a context and a time—to objects as transitory, as sentient, but also to considering objects as ecosystems—actual, virtual, indifferent—that you navigate and influence, as in a garden for example.”

The exhibitions or works Huyghe creates act as uncompleted, evolving worlds that people wander through, encountering living entities and environments that can range from intellectually provocative to hauntingly beautiful. As such, Huyghe’s achievements have deeply affected our understanding of sculpture’s possibilities, delving into urgent issues raised by technology and media—identity, community, ecology, knowledge—as well as enduring questions regarding time, the exhibition ritual, the role of the artist and the connections to each other.

“We are so delighted by the choice of Pierre Huyghe as our 2017 Nasher Prize laureate,” says Director Jeremy Strick. “His expansive view of sculpture so wonderfully embodies the goal of the Nasher Prize, which it to champion the greatest artistic minds of our time. His incorporation of living systems, films, situations, and objects into his sculpture highlight the complexities between art and life and challenge the very limits of art-making. And at this moment, when the environment and culture are so under threat, Huyghe’s imaginative, uncanny approach to the serious ecological and social issues facing our planet tie his oeuvre to the ancient purposes of sculpture: they possess a shamanistic quality which tips the mimetic into life.”

The 2017 Nasher Prize jurors are: Phyllida Barlow, artist; Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Art; Okwui Enwezor, Director, Haus der Kunst; Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT); Steven A. Nash, founding Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center and Director Emeritus of the Palm Springs Art Museum; Alexander Potts, art historian; and Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate. This year, the jury also welcomed two new members, artist Huma Bhabha and Pablo León de la Barra, UBS MAP Curator, Guggenheim.

“It was very important for those of us on the jury to continue to expand the purview of the Nasher Prize in its second year with the choice of an artist whose practice is dynamic, challenging, edifying, and in the case of Pierre Huyghe, very enigmatic,” says juror Okwui Enwezor. “Huyghe’s work extends far beyond any tidy definition of sculpture in ways that continue to grow and develop well into his career, allowing for ever-new discoveries and artistic possibilities. In that, we found him exceedingly deserving of this significant award.”

In conjunction with the Nasher Prize, the Nasher Sculpture Center annually presents a series of public programs exploring the climate of contemporary sculpture. This year, the Nasher Prize Dialogues will occur in Berlin, Mexico City, and Dallas, Texas. Interdisciplinary luminaries such as artist Bettina Pousttchi, writer Jörg Heiser, and curator Kasper König will summit 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 Nasher Prize is generously co-chaired by Deedie Rose and Sharon Young.  They have helped garner support for the prize and its attendant programs, including the Nasher Prize Dialogues. The first dialogue, a panel discussion called The Work of Sculpture in the Age of Digital Production, took place in Berlin on September 14, 2016 at the Akademie der Künste. The second Nasher Prize Dialogues program will take in Mexico City on March 18, 2017 at Museo Jumex and will be moderated by Nasher Prize Juror, Pablo Leon de la Barra.

The Nasher Prize presenting sponsor is JPMorgan Chase & Co. Founding Partners of the Nasher Prize are The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger.

About Pierre Huyghe

Huyghe was born in 1962 in Paris, he lives and works in Chile and New York. He studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 2013, his retrospective opened at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, then traveled to Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2014) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014-2015). He has had numerous international solo exhibitions at such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010), Tate Modern, London (2006); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2003); French Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2001); Kunstverein München, Munich (1999); and Secession, Vienna (1999). Huyghe has also participated in a number of group exhibitions such as the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015); Documenta 13 and 11, Kassel (2012 and 2002); 6th Sydney Biennale (2008); theanyspacewhatever, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2008); Whitney Biennial (2006); and Traffic, CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (1996), curated by Nicolas Bourriaud. He is also a participant in the 32nd Bienal de São Paul (2016). Huyghe has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Kurt Schwitters Prize, Hannover (2015); Roswitha Haftmann Prize, Zürich (2013); Contemporary Artist Award; Smithsonian Museum’s Contemporary Artist Award, Washington (2010); Hugo Boss Prize, New York (2002); Special Jury Prize, 49th Venice Biennale (2001); and DAAD Berlin Artists-in-Residence, Berlin (1999-2000). Huyghe’s work is in the collection of many museums such as Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate, London; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and several Foundations like Fondation Louis Vuitton, Fondation Pinault and LUMA Foundation.

 

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