Nasher Prize Gala’s Glorious Return to Dallas’ Arts District

Jhe art world is just cool. Example: the recent Nasher Award weekend of programming, which culminated with a gala in evening dress in the Museum’s sculpture garden. Esteemed guests came from around the world to participate in the scholarly discussions that are part of the ongoing Nasher Prize dialogues at the Nasher Sculpture Center, as well as to attend the Grand Dinner. All in honor of the 2022 winner Nairy Baghramian,

This annual event showcases a living artist with the distinction of being chosen by an international jury of distinguished museum directors, renowned curators, recognized artists and art historians. Since the Nasher is one of the few institutions specifically focused on the exhibition and study of modern and contemporary sculpture (its collection includes more than 300 masterpieces by artists such as Calder, Picasso and Rodin ), it made perfect sense when they launched this initiative six years ago. Past recipients of the award are Michael Rakowitz, Theaster Gates, Isa Genzken, Pierre Huyghe and Doris Salcedo.

Kenny Goss, Christen Wilson (Photo by Amanda Marie Photography)

Fashion-forward guests (not your typical North Texas black-tie event) wore bold dresses (I spotted a stunning yellow Balmain with voluminous pleats on my friend Christen Wilson) and colorful jackets as they enjoyed happy hour on the terrace behind the glorious building designed by Renzo Piano before descending to a tent on the other side of the sculpture garden. During this walk, they enjoyed the music created by activating sound sculptures designed by mid-century artist Harry Bertoia, which are part of the exhibition currently on display: Harry Bertoia: Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life.

In the stunning, dimly lit tent (the space was designed by Stage Works with exquisite Grange Hall flowers), guests mingled to catch up with friends from the art world. Perhaps for the first time in many months or years, so many art fairs have been postponed as well as this annual awards gala – which has not taken place in person since 2019. All were there to raise the glass in honor of the artist who was awarded the prize for the impact his work had on the medium of sculpture. The evening also served as the premiere of an original short documentary on the life and work of the Iranian-born, Berlin-based artist.

Pierre County
Peter Shire (Photo by Amanda Marie Photography)

The meal was an eclectic menu created by Chef Juan Garrido of Art 2 Catering that included a roasted carrot salad with harissa and olives in maple syrup, zucchini ribbon, kale and turmeric vinaigrette . The wine pairing for each dish was provided by the Green Family Art Foundation. Those on the podium (beyond Baghramian) that night included Jeremy Strickdirector of the Nasher Sculpture Center; Nancy Nacher, daughter of museum founders Ray and Patsy Nasher; and this year’s Nasher Award Chairs Nancy Carlson and Adriana Perales. Strick shared some poignant words about struggling over the past few years – “In the years since we last got together to celebrate, a lot has changed in the world, and our sense of physical safety and our connection to the community have been greatly questioned. At the same time, the things that really matter, the things that sustain us through difficulties and struggles, have sounded, clearly and forcefully — arton the one hand, and its continuing ability to help us process the experience of the world around us, however difficult it may be.

Nic Nicosia, Erin Cluley
Nic Nicosia, Erin Cluley (Photo by Amanda Marie Photography)

I found myself in good company because I had been seated with Zoe Bonnet (my evening date), Max and Ben Trowbridge, Marc Giamboroneand the recently announced new director of the Dallas Contemporary Caroline Alvarez Mathies. Max and I had a lot to catch up on as she traveled across the country doing trunk shows for her. take care clothing line, Eve and Max, which focuses on a conscious philosophy to reinvent the fashion lifecycle and is working on this year’s ReuNight (the annual fundraiser that supports Family Place). Carolina hooked us all on every word as she shared her vision for the future of our beloved Contemporary.

Other art world notables spotted at the evening’s gala included award jurors Yuko Hasegawa and Pablo Leon de la Barra; artists Sita and Piero Golia; collectors Marguerite Hoffman (who recently published an amazing book, Amor Mundi — The Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman), Jennifer and John Eagle, patrick collinsand Cindy and Howard Rachofsky; artistic advisor Loring Randolph; and art historian Miwon Kwon.

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