For the primary time in historical past, a Black girl has acquired the Nasher Prize, which awards $100,000 to “a dwelling artist who elevates the understanding of sculpture and its prospects.”
In keeping with the Washington Submit, Chicago-born artist Senga Nengudi is the 2023 recipient of the Nasher Prize from the Nasher Sculpture Heart, a Dallas-based museum.
Nengudi’s work transforms cheap, on a regular basis supplies into creative expressions that tackle the feminist and Black arts actions.
In considered one of her items, Nengudi draped “cloth spirits” customary from flag materials on fireplace escapes in Harlem as a illustration of the souls of the folks she met within the metropolis.
Most notably, she created a sculpture out of worn-out pantyhose as a dedication to the feminine physique.
“I used to be on the lookout for materials that type of mirrored the feminine physique,” Nengudi beforehand informed curator Elissa Auther concerning the piece. “After which, lastly, I discovered the pantyhose. Proper after that, I went, ‘Wow,’ as a result of the entire birthing expertise — you’re increasing, after which swiftly, after it’s over, you’re contracting, and your physique type of goes again into form. I actually needed to one way or the other specific that have.”
Nasher director Jeremy Strick applauded Nengudi for her innovation and engagement with social points.
“In newer years, the extraordinary creativity of the Black artwork group — which, within the ’70s and ’80s, was in some ways marginalized — is now being acknowledged,” Strick stated. “And so she occupies a crucial place within the historical past of Black arts but additionally of artwork, interval.”
“At a second when the fitting of ladies to manage their our bodies has been taken away, she’s an artist whose exploration of feminine id by way of works made with pantyhose speaks with nice energy and relevance,” he added.
A ceremony honoring Nengudi and her work is about to happen in April 2023.
Together with the financial prize, her artwork will likely be featured at Dia Beacon subsequent yr.
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