Jill Magid, Awaiting Alexander Calder, September 28, 2017, at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photo: Paula Court.

Jill Magid Awarded $50,000 Calder Prize

The Calder foundation announced that American artist Jill Magid was awarded the $50,000 Calder Prize, a biannual grant given to a living artist who honors the legacy of sculptor Alexander Calder. Magid won the prize partly for her performance, Awaiting Alexander Calder, which was commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art last September as a satellite project for its exhibition “Calder: Hypermobility.”

Magid is the seventh recipient of the award. Past winners include Darren Bader, Rachel Harrison, and Haroon Mirza, who won in 2015. In addition to the cash prize, Magid will be the inaugural resident at Calder’s historic house and studio in Roxbury, Connecticut, where the sculptor lived for several decades and first exhibited his outdoor works. Magid was born in 1973 in Bridgeport, less than thirty miles from the estate. 

In its announcement, the Calder Foundation drew parallels between Calder and Magid. “In his mobiles and stabiles, Calder unites symmetry and asymmetry, or parity and disparity, in ways that assimilate the larger, unseen forces at work in the natural world,” the foundation said in a statement. “Likewise, Magid pulls on loose ends both tangible and intangible—probing seemingly impenetrable systems—and finds unification in disparate elements. Her tenacity echoes Calder’s own in his radical transformation of sculpture.”