Jan 11, 2022

Sanford Biggers receives Heinz Award

Conceptual artist and former fellow Sanford Biggers receives the Heinz Award for the Arts for creating a multifaceted body of work that grapples with the interplay of culture, history and modern society in new and powerful ways.

Akademie Schloss Solitude congratulates the conceptual artist and former Solitude fellow Sanford Biggers (visual arts 2007) for receiving the Heinz Award for the Arts.

Established to honor the memory of John Heinz and to celebrate the vision and the spirit that produce achievements of lasting good, the Heinz Awards recognize individuals making contributions to the Arts, the Environment and the Economy.

In the 26th year of the award the jury was convinced by Sanford Biggers multifaceted work. For more than two decades, the artist has been developing a body of work that seamlessly weaves together references to modern and contemporary art, social history, sacred geometry and more. Exploring often overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history,  His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past. His work encompasses painting, sculpture, film, textiles, installation and performance, employing a wide variety of media such as antique quilts, bronze, marble, sequins, vinyl and sound.

Codeswitch, Sanford Biggers’ largest museum survey of the Codex series, opened in 2020 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York. Parts of the series were also exhibited at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles CA/USA in 2021/2022. The exhibition’s title refers to the idea of code-switching: the practice of shifting from one linguistic or behavioral code to another depending on the social context.

The jury states: »Inspired by the poetic and metaphorical possibilities of historical objects and discarded materials, Mr. Biggers’ thought-provoking work is using these objects and materials to blur the lines between old and new, high and low and ultimately, to push our visual literacy forward.«

Sanford Biggers was a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in the visual arts field. He teaches as professor for sculpture at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond VA/USA.

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