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Prestigious French art prize awarded to Swiss

Thomas Hirschhorn used wood, plastic, plexiglas, neon tubes and cardboard for his "Precarious Construction".

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The Swiss sculptor, Thomas Hirschhorn, is to receive a French art award worth nearly SFr50,000 ($29,500). His sculptures are made from everyday materials such as paper, cardboard and aluminium foil.

The Marcel Duchamp Prize was created in 1994 by private collectors, who wanted to encourage new artistic forms among artists working in France.

Hirschhorn qualified as a recipient of the award because although born in Bern he has been based in Paris since 1984.

The 43-year-old artist moved to France after studying graphic design in Zurich and joined a Paris collective of left wing graphic designers.

Despite the power of the graphic media to put across messages for commercial or political ends he decided that neither advertising nor propaganda reflected his social and aesthetic concerns. By 1986 he had abandoned graphic design to start a new career as a sculptor.

Since then his work has been exhibited all over the world.

The Marcel Duchamp Prize will be presented to Hirschhorn at the Georges Pompidou art and culture centre in Paris, which is devoting an exhibition to his work early next year.

swissinfo with agencies

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