Michael Rakowitz United States, b. 1973


Michael Rakowitz bridges socially, historically, and politically forced gaps between humans and objects and makes the less visible and disappeared palpable through sculpture, video, installation, and performance. Based on deep research that spans the Mesopotamian and the current, his own biographical heritage as an Iraqi American with Jewish faith is a significant point of departure in many of his works, which simultaneously allow other personal and historical narratives to intertwine and expand.


Michael Rakowitz (b.1973, New York) has recently participated in Sharjah Biennial 15 (2023) and a solo exhibition at Frac Lorraine, Metz, France (2022). From 2019 to 2020, Rakowitz’s major retrospective toured from Castello di Rivoli in Turin, the Whitechapel Gallery in London, and Jameel Arts Center in Dubai. In 2018 he won the Fourth Plinth Commission, in which he built The invisible enemy should not exist (Lamassu of Nineveh) out of 10,500 Iraqi date syrup cans in London’s Trafalgar Square. His works were also exhibited in dOCUMENTA (13), MoMA P.S.1, MassMOCA, Palais de Tokyo, the 16th Biennale of Sydney, the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennials, Tirana Biennale, National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt, Transmediale 05, Creative Time, Tate Modern in London, The Wellin Museum of Art, MCA Chicago, Malmö Konsthall, and many more.


Michael Rakowitz is the recipient of the 2020 Nasher Prize, the 2018 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (Visual Arts category), a 2012 Tiffany Foundation Award; a 2008 Creative Capital Grant; a Sharjah Biennial Jury Award; a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Grant in Architecture and Environmental Structures; the 2003 Dena Foundation Award, and the 2002 Design 21 Grand Prix from UNESCO. Rakowitz currently lives and works in Chicago, and is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Art Theory and Pratice department, Northwestern University.