French Artist Pierre Huyghe Receives the Nasher Prize for Sculpture

On Saturday April 1st in Dallas, Texas, French artist Pierre Huyghe received the Nasher Prize, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the world of sculpture.

It’s not the first time Pierre Huyghe has found success in America. In 2010, he was the first French national to receive the annual Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Contemporary Artist Award. And in 2015, everyone was talking about him once again: his installation on the rooftop of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art featured fossilized fish and ancient boulders dating back hundreds of millions of years, encased in an aquarium with glass walls that changed color with the weather. “Pierre Huyghe goes beyond the traditional definition of sculpture by incorporating notions of space and time in his work,” explains Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center. He constructs scenes that the public discovers “with all five of their senses.”

Pierre Huyghe, "Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt)," 2012.

Pierre Huyghe, Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt), 2012. ©Nasher Sculpture Center

His works echo what’s currently going on in the world. Created in 2002, his black ice rink L’Expédition scintillante, Acte 3, condemned pollution of the polar regions and global warming. Unveiled in Kassel, Germany in 2012, Untilled featured the statue of a naked woman with a living beehive for a head, highlighting the subject of biodiversity loss. “I was surprised, anxious [as the bees were buzzing around] and had admiration, all at the same time,” recalls Jeremy Strick. “Pierre Huyghe does what few artists are capable of doing: he creates a new world, a new temporality.”