A native of Los Angeles, California, and current New York resident, Sanford Biggers uses the study of ethnological objects, popular icons, and the Dadaist tradition to explore cultural and creative syncretism, art history, and politics. An accomplished musician, Biggers often incorporates performative elements into his sculptures and installations, resulting in multilayered works that act as anecdotal vignettes, at once full of wit and clear formal intent. Biggers has won several awards including: 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 in performance art/multidisciplinary work, the Lambent Fellowship in the arts, the Pennies From Heaven/ New York Community Trust Award, Tanne Foundation Award, Rema Hort Mann Foundation Award Grant, James Nelson Raymond Fellowship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Camille Hanks-Cosby Fellowship.
Mr. Biggers has also participated in several prestigious national and international artist residencies and fellowships including; Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California, ARCUS Project Foundation, Ibaraki, Japan, and the Art in General/ Trafo Gallery Eastern European Exchange in Budapest, Hungary. He has been a fellow of the Socrates Sculpture Park Residency, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council World Views AIR Program, the Eyebeam Atelier Teaching Residency, the Studio Museum AIR Program, the P.S. 1 International Studio Program, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency.
Sanford Biggers’ installations, videos, and performances have appeared in venues worldwide including the Tate Britain and Tate Modern, London, the Whitney Museum and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, as well as institutions in China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Poland and Russia. Sanford has been included in several notable shows such as Prospect 1/ New Orleans Biennial, Illuminations at the Tate Modern, Performa 07, the Whitney Biennial and Freestyle at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He has also had solo exhibitions at Grand Arts, Kansas City, Mary Goldman Gallery, Los Angeles, Kenny Schachter’s ROVE gallery, London, Triple Candie, New York, D’Amelio Terras Gallery, New York, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Matrix/Univ.of Berkeley Museum, Berkeley, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw as well as venues in Hungary, Indonesia, Japan.
In 2009, Sanford will realize several new commission works for the New York Percent for the Arts, Creative Capital, New York, The Kitchen, New York, and Harvard University’s Office of Fine Arts.
Biggers is presently full time faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University Sculpture and Expanded Media program and a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s VES and OFA Departments for 2009.
Affiliated Sculpture + Extended Media faculty member, Sanford Biggers, has won the 2009 William H. Johnson Prize, a twenty-five-thousand-dollar award given annually to an early-career African-American artist. The foundation reports that it received nearly two hundred applicants this year, the most ever.
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