Calder Foundation Announces 2011 Calder Prize

New York, NY – The Calder Foundation and the Scone Foundation are pleased to announce that the 2011 Calder Prize will be awarded to American artist Rachel Harrison. The ceremony will take place in early June at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, where a work by the artist will be on view during the opening week of the Venice Biennale.

The Calder Prize, in the amount of $50,000, honors contemporary artists who have completed exemplary work early in their careers. 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. True to the spirit of Alexander Calder, Harrison blurs the lines between abstraction and figuration, as well as sculpture and other media, by negotiating both imagined and existing space. The Prize honors the artist’s hybrid and reference-laden use of photography, found objects, and sculptural elements to elicit highly intellectualized cognitive as well as real-time visceral responses from her viewers. Harrison’s work challenges us to reconsider the definition of sculpture, while simultaneously recontextualizing it within the history of art.

Born in New York City in 1966, Harrison currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited worldwide since the early 1990s, including the artist’s recent solo exhibition Consider the Lobster, curated by Tom Eccles, Center for Curatorial Studies, Hessel Museum, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (2009), which traveled as HAYCATION, curated by Daniel Birnbaum and Melanie Ohnemus, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (2010) and Conquest of the Useless, curated by Iwona Blazwick, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010). Harrison has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, such as Notations/Everyday Disturbances at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011); Modern British Sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2011); Contemporary Art from the Collection and The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); the Venice Biennale (2003, 2009) and the Whitney Biennial, New York (2002, 2008).

Harrison is the fourth artist to receive the Calder Prize. The impact of this recognition is evident in the success of past recipients. The inaugural 2005 Prize laureate, Tara Donovan, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2008. In 2007, Bernard Kouchner, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, awarded the prize to Zilvinas Kempinas, who went on to represent Lithuania in the 2009 Venice Biennale. Tomas Saraceno, who received the 2009 award from French Minister of Culture Christine Albanel, continues to exhibit successfully around the world, including an upcoming solo exhibition of his Atelier Calder project Cloud Cities at Maison Hermès in Toyko in 2012.

Image: Rachel Harrison Zombie Rothko, 2011 Wood, polystyrene, cement, acrylic and plastic doll 70 x 23 x 31 inches overall 177.8 x 58.4 x 78.7 cm Photo Credit: John Berens

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