Fellow: Awarded 2018
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Janet Biggs is known primarily for her work in video, photography and performance. Her work focuses on individuals in extreme landscapes or situations, and often navigates the territory between art and science. She has captured such events as sulfur miners inside an active volcano and kayakers performing a synchronized ballet in Arctic waters. Her recent projects have explored the creation and loss of memory from personal, physical, and scientific perspectives. Biggs’ work has taken her from areas of conflict in the Horn of Africa to Mars (as a crew member of one of Mars Desert Research Station’s simulation missions). She has collaborated with neuroscientists, Arctic explorers, aerospace engineers, astrophysicists, Yemeni refugees, a gospel choir, and a robot.
In addition to videos, her work includes multi-discipline performances, often in untraditional settings and including multiple large-scale videos, live musicians, and athletes.
Biggs has had numerous solo exhibitions and film screenings at institutions including the Neuberger Museum of Art; SCAD Museum of Art; Blaffer Art Museum; Musee d'art contemporain de Montréal; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Tampa Museum of Art; Joslyn Art Museum; Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art; and the Mint Museum of Art. Reviews of her work have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, ArtForum, ARTNews, Art in America, Flash Art, ArtReview, and many others.
She has received awards and honors including Moore College of Art and Design Distinguished Alumni Award; Electronic Media and Film Program at the New York State Council on the Arts Award; Arctic Circle Fellowship/Residency; Art Matters, Inc.; Wexner Center Media Arts Program Residency; Anonymous Was a Woman Award; and the NEA Fellowship Award. In 2012 the Tampa Museum of Art published “No Limits: Janet Biggs” to accompany a mid-career survey of Biggs’ work. Biggs works with Cristin Tierney Gallery, NYC, CONNERSMITH, Washington D.C., and Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva.
Biggs lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Biggs will continue working with and filming refugees in the Horn of Africa and will return to Mars. She plans to explore the far ends of the spectrum of human movement and ambition in pursuit of hope and new possibilities.
Profile photograph by Régis Figarol