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  • Nov 13, 2015

Haroon Mirza Wins 2015 Calder Prize

HAROON MIRZA, Backfade_5 (Dancing Queen), 2011, mixed media. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery, London.

On October 20, the Calder Foundation in New York announced its selection of 38-year-old British artist Haroon Mirza as the 2015 Calder Prize Laureate. The award grants Mirza a cash prize of USD 50,000, in addition to a residency at the Atelier Calder and the placement of his artwork in a major public institutional collection.

The Calder Prize, co-supported by the Scone Foundation in New York, is awarded every two years and aims to commend artists whose works are influenced by the late Modernist master Alexander Calder, and whose practice has made an outstanding contribution to the field of visual arts.

Calling himself a composer of sorts, Mirza uses a myriad of readymade objects such as turntables and vinyl records, furniture, LED lights and common household electronics to create immersive installations, kinetic sculptures and performances. His projects push the boundaries of sound, music, noise and light, blurring its perceptual distinctions to create a new function and interpretation. Born in London, and of Pakistani descent, Mirza quickly rose to critical acclaim following the completion of his masters studies at Goldsmiths College and Chelsea College of Art and Design (in 2006 and 2007, respectively) and has since exhibited widely in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Mirza's works have appeared in group exhibitions and festivals such as the Liverpool Biennial (2008), Istanbul Biennale (2009), the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2012) and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (2013). In 2011, Mirza  participated in the 54th Venice Biennale and was awarded its coveted Silver Lion award. Most recently, in June, he was the subject of a one-man exhibition at Switzerland’s Museum Tinguely in Basel, and currently a solo show of his works is on display at Matadero in Madrid, Spain.

Denise Tsui is assistant editor at ArtAsiaPacific.