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Nairy Baghramian. Photo: Tucker Blair.
Nairy Baghramian. Photo: Tucker Blair.

Nairy Baghramian Awarded 2022 Nasher Prize for Sculpture

Iranian-German artist Nairy Baghramian has won the 2022 iteration of the Nasher Prize. The prize, considered to be the world’s most prestigious sculpture honor, is awarded annually by the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, to a living artist whose work expands the parameters of the form. Baghramian will receive $100,000 and, at a ceremony in Dallas in April, a Renzo Piano–designed award.

“Deeply committed to the object-making traditions of sculpture, Baghramian carefully considers materials and form to create sculptures that are evocative, enigmatic explorations of the body and that probe our proclivity toward binaries of the interior and exterior, the insider and the outsider,” said Nasher director Jeremy Strick in a statement. “It is a privilege to celebrate her accomplishments on the occasion of this award.”

Baghramian, who is based in Berlin, is widely known for her work in unforgiving materials such as marble or steel depicting soft, organic forms that vaguely recall those of living beings, and that interact with the spaces in which they are placed. Drawing on such diverse influences as classical sculpture and modern architecture, Baghramian creates sculptures that recall appendages or prostheses, and that probe the relationship between gesture and function. The artist has said she draws inspiration from “looking at something and feeling pity for it.”

Baghramian is the sixth artist to win the prize since its establishment in 2015, joining previous recipients Michael Rakowitz, Isa Genzken, Theaster Gates, Pierre Huyghe and Doris Salcedo. Baghramian’s work is currently on view in a solo show titled “Misfits” at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan, where it will remain on view through September 26. An exhibition of her work will open at Seccession, Vienna, in November, where it will run through January 2022; solo shows of her work will additionally open next year at the Carré d’Art, Nîmes, France, and at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

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