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ISC Press Room: Lifetime Achievement Award

The ISC Honors Kiki Smith and Bernar Venet with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award

Tuesday, August 11, 2015  
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The ISC Honors Kiki Smith and Bernar Venet with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award

The 2016 Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award will be presented to world-renowned sculptors Kiki Smith and Bernar Venet at the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Gala on February 29, 2016 at Three Sixty° in New York City. The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Gala will bring together artists, arts patrons, and professionals to celebrate Ms. Smith's and Mr. Venet's remarkable careers. The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Gala will include a cocktail reception, seated dinner, awards ceremony, and art sale, where Kiki Smith and Bernar Venet will be in attendance.

The International Sculpture Center's Board of Trustees established the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991 to recognize individual sculptors who have made exemplary contributions to the field of sculpture. Candidates for the award are masters of sculptural processes and techniques who have devoted their careers to the development of a laudable body of work, as well as to the advancement of the sculpture field as a whole. Past recipients include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Fletcher Benton, Fernando Botero, Louise Bourgeois, Sir Anthony Caro, Elizabeth Catlett, John Chamberlain, Eduardo Chillida, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Mark di Suvero, Nancy Holt, Richard Hunt, Phillip King, William King, Manuel Neri, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Nam June Paik, Beverly Pepper, Judy Pfaff, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Giò Pomodoro, Robert Rauschenberg, George Rickey, Ursula von Rydingsvard, George Segal, Joel Shapiro, Kenneth Snelson, Frank Stella, and William Tucker.


To receive updates on the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Gala including information on tickets, tables, and the art sale, join the mailing list at For all other inquiries, contact the International Sculpture Center Events Department at (609) 689-1051 x302 or


Kiki Smith (b. 1954, Nuremberg, Germany) is an artist of international recognition whose career has spanned over three decades. She works in various media and subject matter including the human condition, the body, and nature. Smith's diverse body of work includes painting, photography, bookmaking, sculpture, drawing, glass and printmaking.

Smith's artistic career began in the 70's with her involvement in the artist's collective Colab. She has since had over 150 solo exhibitions internationally. Her work has also been included in multiple Whitney Biennial exhibitions (1991, 1993, 2002); La Biennale di Firenze (1996-­-1997; 1998); and La Biennale di Venezia (1993, 1999, 2005, 2009), where in 2011, she participated in the group exhibition Glasstress at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti (June 4-November 27, 2011). In 2012, Art Production Fund unveiled a major stained-­-glass installation by Smith in The Last Lot project space, located on 46th Street and Eighth Avenue.

A retrospective of Smith's prints was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2003). A retrospective of her work originated at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2005 and traveled to, among other museums, the Walker Museum in Minneapolis, MN and then on to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Smith's work is held in over fifty public collections internationally.

Smith's many accolades include the U.S. State Department Medal of Arts presented by Hillary Clinton (2012), Theo Westenberger Women of Excellence Award (2010); Nelson A. Rockefeller Award, Purchase College School of the Arts (2010); Women in the Arts Award, Brooklyn Museum (2009) and the 50th Edward MacDowell Medal (2009), among many others. Smith was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York in 2005. In 2006 TIME Magazine named her one of the "TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World." She will be honored with the International Sculpture Center's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Kiki Smith lives and works in New York City. She has been represented by Pace Gallery since 1994.

Born in 1941 in the south of France, Bernar Venet's attraction to art became evident at an early age. In 1966, he established himself in New York where, over the course of the next five decades, he explored painting, poetry, film, and performance, and was attracted to pure science as a subject for art. During the 1960s, Venet developed his Tar paintings Cardboard Reliefs, and his iconic Pile of Coal, the first sculpture without a specific shape. Venet had his first retrospective at the New York Cultural Center in 1971. Contributions to major art events such as Kassel Documenta VI, and the Biennales of Paris, Venice and São Paulo, followed. 1979 marked a turning point in Venet's career: he began a series of wood reliefs - Arcs, Angles, Straight Lines - and created the first of his Indeterminate Lines


In 1994 Venet was invited to present his Indeterminate Line sculptures in Paris, which developed into a world tour. To date, the number of Venet's exhibitions amounts to no less than 250.  In 2011, he became the 4th contemporary artist to be offered the world-renowned Château de Versailles for a solo exhibition.


Monographs in multiple languages have been published on the artist's oeuvre, with texts by noted art historians Barbara Rose, and Thomas McEvilley, among others. His work can be found in more than 70 museums worldwide, including the MoMA, and Centre Pompidou. Venet has also received commissions for sculptures permanently installed around the globe.


Venet has been the recipient of several distinguishing honors, including France's Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. Most recently, he received the 2013 Julio González International Prize. Inaugurated in July 2014, the Venet Foundation aims to preserve the site in Le Muy, France, conserve the collection, and ensure that Bernar Venet's work lives on after him. 

The International Sculpture Center (ISC) is a member-supported, non-profit organization founded in 1960 to advance the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique and vital contribution to society. ISC programming includes awards to lifetime and student sculptors and patrons and educators, ISConnects, the web site, conferences and symposia, publication of Sculpture magazine and ISC Press books, and membership services to sculptors, collectors, patrons, architects, developers, journalists, curators, historians, critics, educators, foundries, galleries, and museums-anyone with an interest in and commitment to the field of sculpture. 

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