Michael Rakowitz has been announced as the winner of the 2020 Nasher Prize. The prize, which is supported by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Texas, awards $100,000 to 'a living artist who elevates the understanding of sculpture and its possibilities'.
The American artist, who was interviewed by Oli Basciano in the summer issue of ArtReview, practices a socially engaged art which has explored issues including homeless and migration, often taking inspiration from his own family's history as part of the Iraqi Jewish diaspora. Speaking on behalf of the jury, the institution's director, Jeremy Strick, praised an artist whose work 'wrestles in unique and revelatory ways with many of the complex questions of history, heritage, and identity that are so much at the forefront of contemporary culture and politics'.
The previous winners of an award, now in its fifth year, with a reputation for rewarding artists working within an expanded definition of sculpture are Isa Genzken (2019), Theaster Gates (2018), Pierre Huyghe (2017) and Doris Salcedo (2016). The jury for the latest edition comprised Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli, Italy; Phyllida Barlow, artist; Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, Guggenheim Museum; Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator, National Gallery of Art; Briony Fer, Professor, History of Art, University College London; Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; Hou Hanru, Artistic Director, MAXXI, Rome; and Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England.