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Programs & Events: Lifetime Achievement Award
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

International Sculpture Center's 50th Anniversary party, 2010.


The ISC'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 sculptural work as well as to the advancement of the sculpture field as a whole.

Recipients are Magdalena Abakanowicz, Alice Aycock, Lynda Benglis, Fletcher Benton, Fernando Botero, Louise Bourgeois, Sir Anthony Caro, Elizabeth Catlett, John Chamberlain, Eduardo Chillida, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Tony Cragg, Red Grooms, Nancy Holt, Richard Hunt, Seward Johnson, Phillip King, William King, Manuel Neri, Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Nam June Paik, Judy Pfaff, Beverly Pepper, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Giò Pomodoro, Robert Rauschenberg, George Rickey, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Betye Saar, George Segal, Joel Shapiro, Kiki Smith, Kenneth Snelson, Frank Stella, James Surls, William Tucker and Bernar Venet.

James Surls

James Surls was born in Terrell, Texas in 1943. He graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1966 and from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1968. He taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX from 1968 to 1976. He then moved to Splendora, TX with his wife and artist-Charmaine Locke, where he founded the Lawndale Alternative Arts Space at the University of Houston in the late 70’s. Surls currently resides and has his studio in Carbondale, CO, where he has lived since 1997.

His sculptures, drawings and prints, which reflect his unique sensibility to natural forms, are in major art museums and public and private collections throughout the world, including: the Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.

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Photo courtesy of James Surls

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2020 Gala Held in October in Dallas, TX

The 2020 Gala honoring James Surls and Craig Hall will be held this October in Dallas, TX. If you have already RSVP'd with us, your ticket will be honored for this future date.

If you have reserved a seat but not yet paid, please consider purchasing your ticket now. This event is almost sold out, with only a few spaces still available. Gala tickets and table sponsorships start at $750 per ticket.

The ISC is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

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PAST RECIPIENTS

Red Grooms

Photo by Lysiane Luong Grooms.

Red Grooms

2019 Recipient
Red Grooms was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1937 and has lived in New York for the past 60 years. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The New School in New York City, and at Hans Hoffman School of Fine Arts in Provincetown, MA. The work of Red Grooms has been exhibited widely since the 1960s. Since Ruckus Manhattan, his widely acclaimed exhibition at Marlborough Gallery in 1976, Grooms has staked his claim as one of America's most original, inventive, and popular artists. Grooms has received numerous awards and commissions throughout his career including the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the National Academy of Design in 2003.

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Seward Johnson

Photo by David W. Steele

Seward Johnson

2019 Recipient
Artist Seward Johnson, (b. 1930, New Brunswick, NJ; d. 2020, Key West, FL) whose lifelike bronze and monumental figures are familiar sights throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, began his career as an oil painter. In 1968, he journeyed into the medium of sculpture where he found his true passion – creating a variety of artworks that pay homage to contemporary life, in its most mundane and exquisite details. Johnson is admired for his uncanny ability to create with superb realism and deft humor. During his over 50 years as a sculptor Johnson has made a significant impact on the landscape, and the world of public art. Today there are more than 300 works in cast bronze featured in public spaces, sculpture gardens, private collections and museums across the globe.

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Alice Aycock

Alice Aycock, New York Studio, 2013. Photo by Kristine Larsen

Alice Aycock

2018 Recipient
Alice Aycock has lived in New York City since 1968. She received a B.A. from Douglass College and an M.A. from Hunter College. She has exhibited in major museums and galleries nationally as well as in Europe and Japan. Currently she is represented by Marlborough Gallery, New York and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin. Her works can be found in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the LA County Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Storm King Art Center, and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany, among others. She has had three major retrospectives, and has received numerous awards, including an Academy of the Arts Achievement Award in Visual Arts from Guild Hall in March 2019.

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Betye Saar

Photo by Jacob Wheeler.

Betye Saar

2018 Recipient
Born in Los Angeles, artist Betye Saar is one of the most important of her generation. As one of the artists who ushered in the development of Assemblage art, Betye Saar's practice reflects on African American identity, spirituality, and the connectedness between different cultures. Her symbolically rich body of work has evolved over time to demonstrate the environmental, cultural, political, racial, technological, economic, and historical context in which it exists. Saar's work can be found in the permanent collections of more than 60 museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Arts, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis at MAF, 2015. Photo by Sebastian Kimspan

Lynda Benglis

2017 Recipient
Lynda Benglis was first recognized in the late sixties with her poured latex and foam works. Known for her exploration of metaphorical and biomorphic shapes, she is deeply concerned with the physicality of form and how it affects the viewer. Lynda Benglis resides in New York, Santa Fe and Ahmedabad, India. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, among other commendations. Benglis’s work is in extensive public collections including: Guggenheim Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

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Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg, Photo by Mart Engelen.

Tony Cragg

2017 Recipient
Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool, UK in 1949 and has lived and worked in Wuppertal, Germany since 1977. He has a BA from Wimbledon School of Art, London, UK (1973) and an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, UK (1977). He represented Britain at the 43rd Venice Biennale in 1988 and in the same year was awarded the Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery, London, UK. He has been a Professor at Kunstakademie, Dusseldorf, Germany since 2009. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1994; received the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture, Tokyo, Japan (2007); was Awarded the 1st Class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2012) and was made a Knight's Bachelor in 2016.

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2016 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

2016 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

Kiki Smith

2016 Recipient
Kiki Smith (b. 1954, Nuremberg, Germany) has been known since the 1980s for her multidisciplinary practice relating to the human condition and the natural world. Smith’s diverse body of work includes sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing, and textiles. Smith has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions worldwide including over 25 museum exhibitions. Her work has been featured at five Venice Biennales, including the 2017 edition. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2017 was awarded the title of Honorary Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. She is an adjunct professor at NYU and Columbia University.

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Bernar Venet

BV Departement des Yvelines via Flickr

Bernar Venet

2016 Recipient
Bernar Venet was born in Châteaux-Arnoux, France in 1941. Known for his dynamic steel sculptures and arches, Venet is regarded as a pioneer in minimalist, conceptual sculpture. As a key player in the conceptual art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, he evolved a new aesthetic with steel as his medium and mathematic configurations as his subject. Venet's work is in a number of notable collections, and he has been exhibited widely in museum and gallery exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Asia. In 2011, Venet became the 4th contemporary artist to be offered the grounds of the Château de Versailles in France for a solo exhibition of 7 monumental sculptures. He lives and works in New York and France.

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2015 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

2015 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

Joel Shapiro

2015 Recipient
Born in New York City in 1941, Joel Shapiro has explored the possibilities of sculptural form throughout his career in the visual arts. Since his first exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery in 1970, his work has been the subject of more than 160 solo exhibitions and retrospectives internationally. He has executed more than thirty commissions and publicly-sited sculptures in major Asian, European, and North American cities. Shapiro is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named Chevalier dans l‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005. His work has recently been exhibited at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2016); Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2017); Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (2018); and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin (2018).

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Judy Pfaff

Arthur Mones, Judy Pfaff, 1989

Judy Pfaff

2014 Recipient
Judy Pfaff (born in London in 1946) received a BFA from Washington University Saint Louis (1971), and an MFA from Yale University (1973). Her work spans across disciplines from painting to printmaking to sculpture to installation, but is perhaps best described as painting in space. She exhibited work in the Whitney Biennials of 1975, 1981, and 1987, and represented the United States in the 1998 Sao Paulo Bienal. Her pieces reside in the permanent collections of MOMA, Whitney Museum of Art, Tate Gallery, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Detroit Institute of Arts, among others. She is the recipient of many awards including the MacArthur Foundation Award (2004), and the Guggenhiem Fellowship (1983). Pfaff lives and works in Tivoli, New York.

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Ursula von Rydingsvard

Portrait of Ursula von Rydingsvard in her Brooklyn studio

Ursula von Rydingsvard

2014 Recipient
Ursula von Rydingsvard is best known for creating large-scale, often monumental sculpture from cedar beams, which she painstakingly cuts, assembles, and laminates before finally rubbing a graphite patina into the work’s textured, faceted surfaces. Ursula von Rydingsvard’s sculpture is included in numerous permanent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, three awards from the American section of the International Association of Art Critics, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Von Rydingsvard was born 1942 in Deensen, Germany. She has lived and worked in New York City for over 40 years.

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Nancy Holt

Holt at the Up and Under, Hameenkyro, Finland

Nancy Holt

2013 Recipient
Nancy Holt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1938 and grew up in New Jersey. Shortly after graduating from Tufts University in 1960 as a biology major, she moved to New York, where —alongside a group of colleagues and collaborators including Michael Heizer, Carl Andre, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, and her husband, Robert Smithson— she began working in film, video, installation, and sound art. With her novel use of cylindrical forms, light, and techniques of reflection, Holt developed a unique aesthetic of perception, which enabled visitors to her sites to engage with the landscape in new and challenging ways. She was the recipient of five National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two New York Creative Artist Fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors. Holt passed away in 2014 in New York City

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2013 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

2013 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC

Beverly Pepper

2013 Recipient
Born in Brooklyn in 1922, Beverly Pepper spent most of her adult life working in central Italy. She was a world-renowned sculptor who had been working since the 1950’s in a variety of materials. Although she was known for her monumental public works, site specific, and land art installations throughout the world, Pepper had also mastered more intimate forms in cast iron, Cor-ten steel, bronze, stainless steel and stone. Her works have been exhibited and collected by major museums around the world. She has received several awards, among those: Doctor of Fine Arts, Alumni Achievement Award and the Legends Award, from Pratt Institute; Doctor of Fine Arts, The Maryland Institute; Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France and The Alexander Calder Prize. Pepper passed away at her home in Todi, Italy, in 2020.

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Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero by Roel

Fernando Botero

2012 Recipient
Fernando Botero was born in Medellín, Colombia in 1932. He is best known for his distinctive style of robust, inflated and amplified human forms, still-life’s, animals and landscapes. Since his first exhibition in 1948, Botero has continually shown in museums all over the world, and belongs to a number of prominent museum collections, including The Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela; Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile; among others. Many books have been published on Botero’s work in English, Spanish, French, German Italian, Chinese and Japanese. He lives and works in Paris and New York.

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2011 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

2011 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

Frank Stella

2011 Recipient
Frank Stella was born in 1936 in Malden, Massachusetts. He studied painting and history at Princeton University, before moving to New York in 1958. In the 1960s, he produced works that were included in a number of significant exhibitions in museums like the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Jewish Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His early works were regarded as a precursor to Minimalism, and they proved to define the art of the time. In 1970, Stella became the youngest artist to receive a full-scale retrospective at MoMA, an honor he was given again in 1987. An accomplished sculptor, painter, printmaker, published author, costume designer, architect, educator, and muralist, Stella continues to live and work in New York City.

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2010 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

2010 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

Phillip King

2010 Recipient
Born in Tunis, Tunisia in 1934, Phillip King graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1957. He pursued his interest in sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art from 1957-1958, where he adopted a Brutalist-Surrealist style expressed in small scale clay and plaster sculptures. In 1962, he began working in fiberglass and color, and later started mixing materials including steel, wood, and ceramics. In the 1990’s he studied large scale ceramics in Japan. Upon finishing his post graduate studies, King served as an assistant to Henry Moore and went on to become a full time teacher at St. Martin’s, a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London, a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools, London, and finally the President of the Royal Academy.

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William Tucker

William Tucker Photo

William Tucker

2010 Recipient
William Tucker was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1935, and moved to England at the age of 2. He initially enrolled at Oxford University in 1955, before continuing his postgraduate studies in sculpture at the Central and St. Martin’s Schools of Art (1959-1961). Tucker came to public prominence after being included in the New Generation 1965 exhibition at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Tucker has worked with a number of materials including steel and recycled wood to create abstract geometric figures that consisted largely of negative space, as well as more solid pieces cast from plaster and concrete. Tucker made significant contributions to the sculpture world through his academic work, including his book The Language of Sculpture (1974), a fellowship at Leeds University Fine Arts department (1968-70), and teaching at Columbia University, New York Studio School, and Bard College.

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2009 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

2009 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

Richard Hunt

2009 Recipient
Richard Hunt (b. 1935, Chicago, IL) developed an appreciation of the arts at a young age and gravitated towards drawing, painting, and sculpture. He received a B.A.E. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1957, and was the youngest artist to exhibit at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. His work has been exhibited 12 times at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, including a solo retrospective in 1971, when the artist was only 35 years old. With his rich body of work, Hunt has explored many historical and contemporary themes and his creations reveal the artist's profound insight into social and political issues. With more than 125 public sculptures, Hunt has established himself as one of the most productive public sculptors in the United States.

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Fletcher Benton

Photo courtesy of Fletcher Benton.

Fletcher Benton

2008 Recipient
Fletcher Benton was born in Jackson, Ohio in 1931. He began working within the arts as a sign painter, opening his first shop at the age of 14. In the early stages of his career Benton worked as an artist, educator, and became a pioneer in the bourgeoning field of kinetic sculpture. Benton spent significant time during the early stages of his career in San Francisco where he taught at California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco Art Institute, and the California State University. Benton’s first solo exhibition was at Gump’s Gallery in San Francisco. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, including museums and galleries all over the globe, and his pieces are in many private and public collections world-wide. Benton passed away in 2019 in San Francisco, CA.

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Arnaldo Pomodoro

Arnaldo Pomodoro portrait by Bob Kreiger

Arnaldo Pomodoro

2008 Recipient
Arnaldo Pomodoro was born in Italy in 1926. He got his start as a stage and costume designer, and jewelry goldsmith, landing his first exhibition at the Galleria Numero, Florence in 1954. Pomodoro spent a significant portion of his early days in the Bay Area working as a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, CA and teaching at Mills College, Oakland, CA. He was also included in the 1964 Venice Biennale, and he became the first artist to have a solo exhibition at the Marlborough galleries of New York and Rome. His pieces are now part of museum, private, and public collections all over the world. Throughout his career as a sculptor he has continued his work in set and costume design for Italian theatre, and founded the Fondazione Pomodoro.

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2007 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

2007 ISC Gala. Photo courtesy ISC.

William King

2007 Recipient
William King was born in Jacksonville, Florida and grew up in Coconut Grove, Miami. After attending the University of Florida, he moved to New York in 1945, and graduated from Cooper Union in 1948. The following year, he went to Rome on a Fulbright scholarship. He has taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the University of California, Berkeley, and elsewhere. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was President of the National Academy of Design between 1994 and 1998. King’s work has been the subject of over 60 one-person exhibitions. His familiar, often long-legged, figures, embody a unique blend of social satire, fantasy, and an affectionate eye for everyday life, and have long been recognized as a distinctive contribution to American art. William King passed away in 2015 in East Hampton, NY.

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Manuel Neri

Photo courtesy Manuel Neri

Manuel Neri

2006 Recipient
Manuel Neri was born in 1930 in Sanger, California. Neri is recognized for his life-size figurative sculptures in plaster, bronze, and marble, as well as for his association with the Bay Area Figurative movement during the 1960s. Since 1972, Neri has worked primarily with the same model, Mary Julia Klimenko, creating drawings and sculptures that merge contemporary sculptural concerns with classical forms. The anatomical skill of these works recalls the sculptures and drawings of Rodin, Giacometti and Degas. In Neri's work with the figure, he conveys an emotional inner state that is revealed through body language and gesture. In addition to his sculptural works in various media, Neri is known for his use of vibrant color in drawings and paintings on paper.

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Magdalena Abakanowicz

Photo courtesy Magdalena Abakanowicz

Magdalena Abakanowicz

2005 Recipient
Magdalena Abakanowicz (b. 1930, Falenty, d. 2017, Warsaw, Poland) is an internationally recognized artist, who, after attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, began her career as a painter. After gradually moving toward working with three-dimensional forms, in 1970 she began creating figurative and non-figurative sculptures from burlap and resin, eventually moving to bronze, wood, stone, and steel. She has created over 1000 sculptures worldwide. She taught as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan for 25 years, and has also designed and choreographed dances deriving from her sculptures, performed by a Japanese Butoh dance group and Polish dancers. She has received honors from the Rhode Island School of Design, The Academy of Fine Arts Lodz, Poland and the Pratt Institute, New York, among others.

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Christo and Jeanne-Claude by Martin Dürrschnabel

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

2004 Recipient
Christo Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude de Guillebon were both born in 1935, he in Gabrova, Bulgaria, and she in Casablanca, Morocco. Christo studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia (1953–56) before moving to Paris in 1958, where he met Jeanne-Claude. She had earned her baccalaureate in Latin and philosophy from the University of Tunis in 1952. Together, Christo and Jeanne-Claude created works of environmentalist art on an impressive scale. Notable works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, as well as the 23 miles-long instillation of The Gates in New York City’s Central Park. Once presented, the work is displayed, and then removed. It survives only in its documentation (photos by Wolfgang Voltz) and Christo’s sketches. Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009 in New York, NY.

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Elizabeth Catlett

Catlett by ECatJK013 via flickr

Elizabeth Catlett

2003 Recipient
Elizabeth Catlett (b. 1915, Washington, D.C., d. 2012, Cuernavaca, Mexico) explored themes relating to race and feminism in her range of sculpture, paintings, and prints. She enrolled at Howard University and went on to study at the University of Iowa, becoming the first African-American woman to graduate with an MFA from the school. In the 1940s, she traveled to Mexico on a fellowship and began to paint murals influenced by the work of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. From 1975 until her death, she lived and worked between Cuernavaca, Mexico and New York, NY. Her works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

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Giò Pomodoro

Giò Pomodoro by PD Italy via wikimedia commons

Giò Pomodoro

2002 Recipient
Giò Pomodoro (b. 1930, Orciano di Pesaro, d. 2002, Milan, Italy) was an Italian sculptor, printmaker, and stage designer. In 1954 he moved to Milan, where he associated with leading avant-garde artists, showing at the best Italian galleries of the time. He also made jewelry, produced reverse reliefs in clay, and formed assemblages of various materials, including wood, textiles, and plaster, subsequently cast in metal. He was invited to the Venice Biennale (1956 and 1962) and Documenta II (1959). During the 1960s, he developed several series of sculptures, which explored a range of abstract shapes, usually with smooth undulating surfaces. In his later career, Pomodoro regularly received public commissions and produced a number of large outdoor structures in cities such as Prato, Milan, Frankfurt, Lugano, and Tel Aviv, among others.

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Nam June Paik

Image of Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik

2001 Recipient
Nam June Paik (b. 1932, Seoul, Korea, d. 2006, Miami, FL) created a large body of work including video sculptures, installations, performances, videotapes, and television productions. Paik graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1956, and then traveled to Germany to pursue his interest in avant-garde music, composition and performance. After immigrating to the United States in 1964, he settled in New York City. In 1969, he worked with Japanese engineer Shuya Abe to construct an early video-synthesizer that transformed electronic moving-image making. Paik has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including two major retrospectives, and has been featured in major international art exhibitions including Documenta, the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennial. The Nam June Paik Art Center opened in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea, in 2008.

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Mark di Suvero

Photo courtesy Mark di Suvero

Mark di Suvero

2000 Recipient
Mark di Suvero (b. 1933, Shanghai, China) immigrated to the United States in 1941 and received a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. He began showing his work in the late 1950's, and his architectural-scale sculptures have been exhibited in the United States, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. His work is in over 100 museums and public collections. In 1962, he co-founded Park Place Gallery, the first artists' cooperative in New York City. In 1977, he established the Athena Foundation to assist artists to realize their ambitions. In 1986, he established Socrates Sculpture Park at the site of a landfill on the East River in Queens, New York. To date, the park has hosted the work of over 900 artists.

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George Rickey

Image of George Rickey

George Rickey

1999 Recipient
George Rickey (b. 1907, South Bend, IN, d. 2002, St. Paul, MN) is known for carefully crafted kinetic sculptures made of reflective stainless steel. Studying history at Baillol College in Oxford, he received formal art training under Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant at the Académie Lhote and the Académie Moderne in Paris. Despite beginning as a painter, while serving in World War II for the USA, Rickey worked as mechanic for gunnery and aircraft. His time working with machinery revived his childhood interest in mechanical systems, and he began producing simple moving sculptures after the war. His works have been exhibited and commissioned for several public spaces around the world. Rickey’s works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the San Diego Museum of Art, among others.

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Kenneth Snelson

Kenneth Snelson by thekirbster via flickr

Kenneth Snelson

1999 Recipient
Kenneth Snelson (b. 1927, Pendleton, OR, d. 2016, New York) was an American contemporary sculptor and photographer. His sculptural works are composed of flexible and rigid components arranged according to the idea of 'tensegrity', or floating compression. He studied at the University of Oregon in Eugene, at the Black Mountain College, and with Fernand Léger in Paris. His sculpture and photography have been exhibited at over 25 one-man shows in galleries around the world including the structurally seminal Park Place Gallery in New York in the 1960s. Snelson was a founding member of ConStruct, the artist-owned gallery that promoted and organized large-scale sculpture exhibitions throughout the United States. He has won several awards including the City of Osaka Civic Environment Award in Osaka, Japan, and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Art Award, among others.

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Eduardo Chillida

Eduardo Chillida in Stedelijk_Museum A

Eduardo Chillida

1998 Recipient
at the University of Madrid, before turning to drawing and sculpture and moving to Paris in 1948. Working primarily in iron, wood, and steel, Chillida’s interlocking sculptures reflected his interest in space and materiality. A winner of the Grand International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1958, the artist’s own museum, the Museo Chillida-Leku, opened in 2000 in Hermani, Spain. Chillida’s monumental sculptures are permanently installed internationally and comprise a major facet of his artistic production. His works are held in collections all over the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Tate Gallery in London, and The Museum Modern Art in New York, among others.

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Sir Anthony Caro

Tony in Studio, London, 2008. Courtesy of Anthony Caro.

Sir Anthony Caro

1997 Recipient
Anthony Caro (b. 1924, New Malden; d. 2013, London, UK) was best known for his abstract constructions made from steel, bronze, lead, and wood. He received his M.A. in 1944 from Christ’s College, Cambridge, England, before training as a sculptor at the Royal Academy Schools, London. From 1951 to 1953, Caro worked as an assistant to Henry Moore. He went on to teach at Saint Martin's School of Art in London and Bennington College in Vermont, inspiring a younger generation of British abstract sculptors. Caro’s works can be found in the collections of museums throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Tate Gallery in London, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others.

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Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg (1968) by Jack de Nijs

Robert Rauschenberg

1996 Recipient
Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925, Port Arthur, TX; d. 2008, Captiva, FL) was a prominent member of the American Post-War avant-garde. He is known for Combines, sculpture-painting hybrids broke the stylistic and conceptual dominance of abstract expressionism in the 1950s. He was drafted into the Navy during World War II where he served as medical technician in San Diego. After the war, he used the GI Bill to travel to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. He and his wife, Susan Weil, went on to attend the Black Mountain College in North Carolina alongside John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Rauschenberg’s works are held in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Kunstmuseum Basel, among others.

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Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen, courtesy Pace Gallery.

Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen

1994 Recipient
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen began working in partnership in 1976. Together they executed over 50 large-scale, site-specific projects that established direct contact with a wide audience into various urban settings in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Their collaboration extended to smaller-scale park and garden sculptures as well as to indoor installations. Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929, Stockholm, Sweden) studied literature and art history at Yale University, New Haven, (1946-50), and art under Paul Wieghardt at the Art Institute of Chicago (1950-54). Coosje van Bruggen (b. 1942, Groningen, Netherlands - d. 2009, Los Angeles) received an MA in Art History with a minor in French Literature from the city's Rijksuniversiteit. Together, Oldenburg and van Bruggen produced sculpture, drawings, performances, and colossal monuments that transform the familiar into the unexpected.

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John Chamberlain

Phot of John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain

1993 Recipient
John Chamberlain (b. in 1927, Rochester, IN, d. 2011, New York) attended the Art Institute of Chicago before finishing his education at Black Mountain College in 1956. The following year, he moved to New York, Chamberlain became an almost instant sensation after unveiling the first of many sculptures involving the assemblage of old scrap metal from cars. Chamberlain’s crushed assemblages of automotive steel have secured him a place in art history and in nearly every major museum collection. He experimented with other mediums, such as painting, film, photography, and printmaking. Chamberlain was well exhibited before and after his death in group and solo shows, and his works are contained in several major museum collections around the world. He received a major retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2011.

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George Segal

Photo of George Segal

George Segal

1992 Recipient
George Segal (b. 1924, New York, – d. 2000, South Brunswick, NJ) came to be recognized primarily for his life-size white plaster sculptures made from casts taken from living models. He studied at Pratt, Cooper Union, and NYU, where he completed a degree in teaching in 1949. He eventually moved to South Brunswick, NJ where he hosted a diverse range of artists from New York City and helped forge connections between Rutgers University professors and other active New York artists. Segal’s prolific work is in the collections of more than 100 museums throughout the United States. His career was surveyed in a traveling retrospective in 1997–98 organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 1999, he received a National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton.

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Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois in 1992 with a 1949 portrait of her by Berenice Abbott in the background. © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, Photo: Adar Yosef

Louise Bourgeois

1991 Recipient
Louise Bourgeois (b. 1911, Paris, France – d. 2010, New York) was best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art. She was also a prolific painter and printmaker and explored a variety of themes in her work, including domesticity, sexuality, and death. She studied mathematics at the Sorbonne before enrolling in art school. She studied under Fernand Léger at the École des Beaux-Arts and later with Vaclav Vytlacil at the Art Students League of New York in 1938. Largely underappreciated during her early career, she gained critical and public acclaim after her retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1982. Her works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Kunstmuseum Basel, among others.

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Recommendations for honorees of the Lifetime Achievement Award are made by peers and reviewed by the ISC's Board of Trustees. Honorees are artists who have devoted their career to the development of sculpture, display a generosity of spirit, have made exemplary contributions to the field of sculpture, are masters of sculptural process and techniques, and who have advanced the field of sculpture as a whole.

The Lifetime Achievement Award Gala can be held anywhere, and the location is determined with the recipient(s). This year, the gala will take place at the HALL Arts Hotel in Dallas, Texas. For more information, join the mailing list or contact the Events Department at events@sculpture.org.

Gala tickets are on sale now, and vary in price. An individual ticket to the Gala is $750, and table purchases (10 seats) start at $10,000. Limited tickets are available. For more information, join the mailing list or contact the Events Department at events@sculpture.org.

Lifetime Achievement Award honorees often contribute work to support ISC. These works become part of the ISC Collection, which is available via the online store. An Art Sale, featuring these works, may be held at the gala. If you are interested in purchasing art work from the ISC Collection at any time, you may contact the Associate Director at associatedirector@sculpture.org.

As a policy, the ISC does not extend press passes to attend entire events such as conferences or galas. The ISC will consider requests for a member of the press to attend portions of an event such as the cocktail reception or awards portion. Please submit all requests to attend ISC events in writing to Jennifer Galarza, Conference and Events Manager, at conferencemanager@sculpture.org for more information.