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Lili Reynaud-Dewa. Photo: Jean-Michel Sicot.
Lili Reynaud-Dewa. Photo: Jean-Michel Sicot.

Lili Reynaud-Dewar Wins 2021 Prix Marcel Duchamp

Installation and performance artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar has been announced as the winner of this year’s Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s most prestigious art prize. She received the award, which comes with $41,000 attached, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, earlier today. Through a practice incorporating sculpture, video, performance, and film, and often collaborating with others, the La Rochelle–born artist investigates feminist and social tropes in work often themed around cultural references.

Reynaud-Dewar, who studied ballet and law before turning her attention to art, first came to broad attention with pieces in which she danced nude in the spaces where she made or showed her work. She has since 2010 taught at the Haute École d’Art et de Design in Geneva, at times holding class in her hotel room (she otherwise lives and works in Grenoble, France). Her students are among her frequent collaborators, as in the 2018 film Beyond the Land of Minimal Possessions, a kind of horror film in which a group of European students visit Marfa, Texas, to see the work of Donald Judd. She has participated in numerous biennials, including the Berlin Biennale, the Paris Triennale, the Venice Biennale, and the Gwangju Biennale, and has enjoyed solo exhibitions at institutions including the New Museum, New York; the Kunsthalle Basel; the Hamburger Kunstverein; the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; and the Monash University Museum of Art in Melbourne.

Reynaud-Dewar was chosen from among four artists shortlisted for the prize, including Julian Charrière, whose multivalent practice examines the effects wrought on nature by humanity; Isabelle Cornaro, whose sculptural installations address art history; and Julien Creuzet, who investigates colonialism and its relation to geography via installations incorporating poetry, sound, and painting.

Xavier Ray, who earlier this month took of the post of director of the Pompidou, lauded Reynaud-Dewar for her “universal approach, effective institutional and social critique,” noting that “the risks taken with her own body are particularly moving.”