Arts / Museums

The Year of the Frenchman

Mind-Bending Artist Celebrated in the Nasher Prize’s Worldly Dallas Blitz

BY // 11.07.16

For the second Nasher Prize Laureate, an international jury looks to the scintillating, otherworldly Pierre Huyghe.

“Recognizing the achievements of its greatest practitioners, the Nasher Prize advances sculpture,” says Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick. When he launched the Nasher Prize last year, his vision was an ambitious one: a program that placed the Nasher on a global stage and expanded the conversation about sculpture as an art form.

As the Pritzker Prize recognizes the world’s most visionary architects, the Nasher Prize aims to be synonymous with the highest level of sculpture. The $100,000 award is bestowed upon an artist who has had “an extraordinary impact on the understanding of the art form,” Strick says.

A jury of internationally renowned museum directors, curators, artists, and art historians selects the recipient Last year, Colombian artist Doris Salcedo received the inaugural prize.

In late September (as detailed in a breaking story on PaperCityMag.com), French artist Pierre Huyghe joined the ranks as the 2017 Nasher Prize Laureate, named by a jury that includes Phyllida Barlow, Huma Bhabha, Pablo León de la Barra, Lynne Cooke, Okwui Enwezor, Yuko Hasegawa, Steven Nash, Alex Potts, and Nicholas Serota.

Huyghe has received numerous accolades, including the special jury prize at the 49th annual Venice Biennale, and his thought-provoking works have been showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, among others.

Employing a mixture of objects and elements, Huyghe creates uncharted, often enchanting, interactive worlds that mix materials and disciplines — from music, cinema, dance, and theater, to dogs, microorganisms, automata, and parades — to connect the worlds of biology and philosophy. His avant-garde work explores the different life states and the interconnectedness between the immaterial and material.

The New York Times called him one of the “most admired and intellectually formidable European artists of his generation,” and Art Review credits him as one of the founding members of the relational art movement — an approach to art that pushes the boundaries of human relations within their social context.

Huyghe comes to Dallas to receive his award — designed by Renzo Piano, the architect behind the Nasher Sculpture Center — on April 1, 2017, during a gala chaired by art patrons Deedie Rose and Sharon Young. Upon arrival, he will also debut a site-specific work at the Nasher, which will no doubt be sublime and intellectually challenging.

But first … A year’s worth of public programming, dubbed the Nasher Prize Dialogues, has already begun, vested with expanding the impact of the Nasher Prize. In September, the first interdisciplinary forum was held at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

On March 18, 2017, Nasher Prize juror Pablo León de la Barra moderates a program in Mexico City at Museo Jumex, before the Nasher Prize team makes it way to Dallas for the grand finale at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

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