Public Place of Sculpture

2017 Nasher Prize Dialogues | Location: Mexico City

The Public Place of Sculpture considered socially-engaged sculpture in various modes, from social practice outright to objects which employ themes of monument and document. Featuring artists Sanford Biggers, Damián Ortega, Amalia Pica, Pedro Reyes, and panel moderator Pablo León de la Barra, the discussion centered on the historical role sculpture has played in public spaces and the dynamic and evolving ways it is currently presented, especially in light of the global political climate. Presented in partnership with the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo. 

Watch the Conversation   Read the Transcript

Panel Chair / Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America / Mexico and USA

Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America, was born in Mexico City in 1972, and holds a Ph.D. in Histories and Theories from the Architectural Association, London. León de la Barra has organized or co-organized exhibitions at institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Architecture Foundation, London; Kunsthalle Zu¨rich; Museo Tamayo, Mexico; TEOR/éTica, San José, Costa Rica; and the David Roberts Art Foundation, London. He is the founder of the Novo Museo Tropical, was the curator of the first Bienal Tropical, San Juan (2011), and currently serves as the Director of the Casa França-Brasil in Rio de Janeiro.


Sanford Biggers was born in Los Angeles, CA and lives and works in New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA; the Brooklyn Museum; Sculpture Center, NY; and Ringling Museum, Sarasota, FL, among numerous others. His work has been exhibited in institutions including Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London; Whitney Museum of American Art; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, as well as institutions in China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Poland and Russia. Group exhibitions include: Prospect 1/ New Orleans Biennial; Illuminations at the Tate Modern; Performa 07 in NY; The Whitney Biennial; and Freestyle at the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. Biggers’ awards include The Creative Time Travel Grant; Creative Capital Project Grant; New York Percent for the Arts Commission; Art Matters Grant; New York Foundation for the Arts Award, among others. Damián Ortega was born in 1967 in Mexico City and currently lives and works in Mexico City and Berlin, Germany. He has exhibited internationally including solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2002), Kunsthalle Basel (2004), Tate Modern, London and Museu da Arte Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (2005), The Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, The Gallery at REDCAT, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2009), Barbican Curve Gallery, London (2010), The Freud Museum, London (2013) and the Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2014). Group exhibitions include the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), ‘Made in Mexico’, Insitute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2003) and the São Paulo Biennial (2006).

Amalia Pica was born in 1978 in Neuquén, Argentina. She moved to Buenos Aires to study at Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes P. Pueyrredón, completing her undergraduate degree in 2001 while assisting in the workshop of artist Tulio de Sagastizabal. Pica has had solo exhibitions at Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2010); University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (2011); Modern Art Oxford; Chisenhale Gallery, London; and Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (all 2012); and MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Neuquén, Argentina (all 2013). She has participated in the group exhibitions Deceitful Moon, Hayward Gallery Project Space, London (2009); the Venice Biennale (2011); and The Ungovernables: New Museum Triennial, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2012). Pica received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award and participated in the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation’s Grants and Commissions Program (both 2011), among others. She lives and works in London.

Pedro Reyes was born in Mexico City in 1972, where he lives and works. He studied architecture at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City. Solo exhibitions include Creative Time, New York, USA (2016); Dallas Contemporary, Texas, USA (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2015); ICA, Miami, FL, USA (2014); The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2014); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2013); Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, MN, USA (2011); Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2011); CCA Kitakyushu, Japan (2009); Bass Museum, Miami, FL, USA (2008) and San Francisco Art Institute, CA, USA (2008). Group exhibitions include Beijing Biennale, China (2014), documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2013), Liverpool Biennial, UK (2012), Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2012), Lyon Biennale, France (2009) and the 50th Venice Biennale, Italy (2003).

About Nasher Prize 

The Nasher Prize is an annual international award presented to a living artist in recognition of a significant body of work that has had an extraordinary impact on the understanding of sculpture.


Nasher Prize Dialogues: The Public Place of Sculpture Media Partners: Cool Hunter and Revista Codigo. Nasher Prize Media Media Partners: KERA's Art & Seek, PaperCity, and Texas Monthly.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the Presenting Sponsor of Nasher Prize. The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger are the Founding Partners.  Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers are the Laureate Sponsor. The Dallas Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of Nasher Prize Month, with additional support generously provided by The Donna Wilhelm Family Fund. The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation is the Arts Youth Education Sponsor of Celebration Month. Sotheby’s is the Juror Conversation Sponsor.

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