The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has announced Senga Nengudi as the recipient of the 2023 Nasher Prize.
Established in 2015, the international award for sculpture is bestowed annually to one living artist who is selected by an international jury. This year’s jury members included Nairy Baghramian, German artist and 2022 Nasher Prize winner; Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim Curator at Large, Latin America and Director of the Casa França-Brasil in Rio de Janeiro; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Italy; Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Briony Fer, London-based art historian and critic; Hou Hanru, Artistic Director of the MAXXI in Italy; Yuko Hasegawa, Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan; and Nicolas Serota, Chairman of Arts Council London and former Director of Tate.
Ms. Nengudi’s artistic practice brings together sculpture and performance and often incorporates poetry, installation, film, and photography. Ms. Nengudi, who was born in 1943, creates work that is deeply influenced by the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and second-wave feminism. Though early in her career her work was sometimes criticized for not directly representing issues facing Black Americans, her use of abstraction and performance have shown how non-representational art forms can address political issues.
In a 2018 interview by Anna Souter for Hyperallergic, Ms. Nengudi stated, “Simply by being, that’s a political statement. So, whatever comes out of me has all those elements of me in it: I’m black, I’m a woman, at this point I’m a woman of a certain age, which also has issues related to it. So simply by being, I am those things.”
Ms. Nengudi will be presented the award, designed by Nasher architect Renzo Piano, and a $100,000 prize during a ceremony on April 1, 2023. Her work will also be the focus of a long-term exhibition at Dia Beacon, opening February 17, 2023.
In a press release announcing the award, Nasher Director Jeremy Strick stated, “We are honored to award the 2023 Nasher Prize to Senga Nengudi. Throughout her career, Nengudi has helped push the boundaries of the field of sculpture, inviting the world to reconsider the temporality of sculptural works, where these works can be displayed, and the materials out of which they can be composed.”
As part of the Nasher Prize celebration, the museum will additionally present Nasher Prize Dialogues, its annual series of programs exploring contemporary sculpture. Programs include a virtual Graduate Symposium in January 2023, a week of activities as part of Spring Break at the Nasher in March, and a lecture by Ms. Nengudi on March 31.
To learn more about the Nasher Prize winner and upcoming programs, visit the Nasher’s website.