2009 Selectors

John Stezaker

John Stezaker was born in 1949 in Worcester, England. He studied at the Slade School of Art, and currently teaches Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art.

Stezaker has been highly influential in the key artistic developments of the last three decades, from Conceptual Art, New Image Art through to the re-emergence of collage. As a leading figure of the British Conceptual Art group, Stezaker showed in the first Hayward Annual of 1972 called The New Art, but his conceptual interests soon gave way to what can now be seen as a long-term fascination with the image. Using found photographs and printed material, Stezaker's collages involve various techniques such as removals, maskings, reparations, rotations and visual concordances. While juxtaposing disparate sources, his work creates compelling new images, relationships and characters.

Selected recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne (2009); Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York (2009); Mask and Shadow, A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy (2008); Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Düsseldorf (2008); Fumetti, GAK- Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, Germany (2008); a two-part show: Marriage, Karsten Schubert, London and Masks, The Approach W1, London (2007); The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA (2007); Stills Gallery, Edinburgh (2007); Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (2007); Bridges and Other Metaphors, Norwich Gallery, Norwich (2006); White Columns, New York (2006); Archiv & Erzählung / Archives and Narration: John Stezaker and TJ Wilcox, Kunstverein Muenchen, Munich (2005).

Selected recent group exhibitions include William Horner & John Stezaker, The Russian Club Gallery, London (2009); Collage: The Unmonumental Picture, New Museum, New York (2008); Past-Forward, 176, The Zabludowicz Collection, London (2008); Cohabitation: 13 Artists and Collage, Francesca Kaufmann, Milan, Italy (2008); Panic Attack, Barbican Art Gallery, London (2007); Dereconstruction (curated by Matthew Higgs), Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York (2006); Figures of the Player: The Paradox of the Actor, Collection Lambert en Avignon, Avignon, France (2006); World Gone Mad: Surrealist Returns in Recent British Art, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury and travelling to Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, Limehouse Arts Foundation, London (2006); Tate Triennial 2006 – New British Art, Tate Britain, London (2006); Time Lines, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2005); 1979, Bloomberg Space, London (2005); Collage, Signs & Surfaces, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York (2005).

Stezaker lives and works in London and is represented by The Approach.

Ellen Gallagher

Ellen Gallagher was born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA in 1965, and studied at Oberlin College and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Using different techniques from painting to 16mm films, Ellen Gallagher opens up windows on to a universe in which narratives of history and identity are at once pulled apart and re-imagined. Gallagher's work is affected through its subtle straddling of the aesthetic, social and political, in the collision of historical realism with science fiction, or the austere structures of minimalism with highly evocative staccato rhythms. The cyborg figures that have emerged from science fiction writing have long presented Gallagher with an inspiration for rethinking prosthetically transformed subjectivities. Gallagher's use of pattern and texture in works like DeLuxe and Host, creates a spatiality in which a sense of the interiority of the body is infinitely expanded and becomes a means of remembering the past. The abstract spaces opened up in Gallagher’s paintings, prints and drawings create a sense of time that can be linked to her 16mm films. An early painting Host is a good example, created on penmanship paper that darkens over a period of time. It is also a readymade abstraction drawn and painted with disembodied signs that invites the spacing of language as a means to activate the signs as characters. This compositional arrangement suggests a reading from up close and the meticulous making over time determines their interiority through a precise spacing of form. Gallagher is both inside the work and hovering over it, improvising a shimmering playful web that seems to belie the labour of its making.

As Gallagher's process of painting has evolved, incorporating more complex combinations of collaged and painted elements, her works have become more resistant to decoding. Her painting IGBT, for example, takes the internal form of a circuit board as the template for a geometric patterning against which two silhouettes are inlaid and appear to be both inside the structure and floating away from it. Within this double portrait Gallagher references archaic portraiture of two freedom fighters encased within a circuit board to invoke a post human future anterior. Their confidence and postural semantics, less bravado than evocative of an intimacy and familiarity of form that has become oblique.

Recent works continue Gallagher's interest in making visible the expansive realms of interiority we have become familiar with in scientific imagery but has yet to be represented as a contemplative space of reflection.
Selected recent solo exhibitions include, An Experiment of Unusual Opportunity, South London Gallery (2009); Coral Cities, Tate Liverpool and Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (2007); Salt Eaters, Hauser & Wirth, London (2006); DeLuxe, Hauser & Wirth, Zürich (2006); Ellen Gallagher: Ichthyosaurus, Freud Museum, London (2005); Ellen Gallagher: Murmur and DeLuxe, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2005); DeLuxe, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2005); Orbus, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2004); Ellen Gallagher – eXelento, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck/AT and Gagosian Gallery, New York (2004).

Selected recent group exhibitions include Moby Dick, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (upcoming 2009); Paper: Pressed, Stained, Slashed, Folded, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009); Artist Rooms, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2009); Medals of Dishonour, The British Museum, London (2009); For What You are About to Receive, Gagosian Gallery / Red October Chocolate Factory, Moscow (2008); Paper Trail II: Passing Through Clouds, Rose Art Museum, Waltham MA (2008); Eclipse. Art in a Dark Age, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2008); Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); Passages From History, Tate Modern, London (2007); Comic Abstraction, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); The Secret Theory of Drawing, The Drawing Room, London and The Model Arts Gallery & Niland Gallery, Sligo (2006); Black Alphabet – ConTEXTS of Contemporary African-American Art, Zacheta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, Warsaw (2006); Heart of Darkness, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (2006).

Ellen Gallagher lives and works in New York and Rotterdam, Netherlands. She received the American Academy Award in Art in 2000, the Joan Mitchell Fellowship in 1997 and the 1996 MacDowell Colony Award.

Saskia Olde Wolbers

Saskia Olde Wolbers was born in Breda, The Netherlands in 1971. She studied at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London and at the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam.

Olde Wolbers makes complex, multi-layered films, whose narratives often take their starting point from overheard conversations, newspaper articles or television programmes. Factual incidents are then filtered into fictional narratives, which move away from an actual identification with the real event, person or conversation that may have inspired the idea. Whilst reportage and documentary style are used to relay the story, the visual imagery draws on surreal, fantastical or dream-like interiors and environments. The process of making is integral to her practice and, rather than using computer animation techniques, Olde Wolbers constructs the film sets by hand – in miniature – in the studio.

Selected recent solo shows include Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis, USA (2008); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2008); Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Canada (2008); Maureen Paley, London (2007); Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (2007); The Falling Eye, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2006); Trailer, South London Gallery and Art Gallery of New South Wales, (2005); Baloize Prize 2003, SMAK, Gent, Belgium (2004); Now That Part of Me Has Become Fiction, Kunsthalle St Gallen and Museum Het Domein, Stittard, The Netherlands (2003-2004); Lightbox, Art Now, Tate Britain (2003).

Selected recent group exhibitions include Heaven, 2nd Athens Biennale, Athens (2009); Automated Cities, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego (2009); Four Thursday Nights: Creative Imagination, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2008); The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image, Part I: Dreams, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2008); Genesis: Life at the End of the Information Age, Centraal Museum, Utrecht (2007); Love and Politics, in a Minor Key, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul (2007); Stop, Look and Listen, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York (2007); Visibilities: Between Facts and Fictions, Edith Russ Site for Media Art, Oldenburg (2006); The British Art Show 6, touring to Gateshead, Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham (2005); Into My World / Recent British Sculpture, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Connecticut, USA (2004); Real World Theatre – Encapsulated in Life, Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, USA (2004); Becks Futures, ICA (2004); Displaced, Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2003); Turbulence, Museum voor Moderene Kunst, Arnehem (2003); Reality Check, British Council Touring Exhibition, Slovenia, Prague, London, Zagreb, Cracow, Riga, (2002); Prix de Rome Award, Montevideo, Amsterdam (2002).

Olde Wolbers curated the project Blink at Gasworks Gallery in London in 2006, and was recipient of the Becks Futures Award in 2004 and the Prix de Rome Film & Video Award in 2002. 

Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans was born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany and studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design between 1990 and 1992.

In 1995 he won the Ars Viva Prize, Germany and in 2000 was the first artist working with photography at the centre of his practice to win the Turner Prize. Since 2003 he has been Professor of Interdisciplinary Art at Stadelschule, Frankfurt, Germany and since 2006 has run the exhibition space Between Bridges in London.

Wolfgang Tillmans has reinterpreted representational genres from portraiture to still life to landscape through the medium of photography. In the early 1990s he was recognised for his unconventional portrait photographs of his friends and street subculture. While embracing a broad range of subjects, he also explores abstraction through experiments with the photographic process in the dark room.

His method of presenting his work in an exhibition context uses both form and scale to produce installations that create dynamic relationships between the audience and the photographs; these installations have challenged the way in which photographic images are read and received. Tillmans has also produced a number of artist's books throughout his career including Concorde, 1997. As well, there are numerous solo publications on his work including 2008's Lighter.

Recent solo shows include Lighter, Hamburger selselhnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2008); Beugung, Kunstverein Münich, Münich; Bali, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover (2007); Freedom from the Known, PS1 Contemporary Art / MoMA, New York (2006); Wolfgang Tillmans, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and touring to Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington and Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporanea, Mexico City (2006-2008); truth study center, Maureen Paley, London, (2005); if one thing matters, everything matters, Tate Britain, London, 2003.

Selected recent group exhibitions include 53rd International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, Fare Mondi / Making Worlds curated by Daniel Birnbaum (2009); The Nordic and Danish Pavilions, 53rd International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (2009); Holbein to Tillmans, Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland (2009); Street & Studio: An Urban History of Photography, Tate Modern, London, UK and travelled to Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2008); Life on Mars: Carnegie International 2008, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2008); Depth of Field: Modern Photography at the Metropolitan, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2007); Arbeit an der Wirklichkeit, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, (2006); Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2000); Apocalypse, Royal Academy of Arts, London, (2000).

He is winner of the 2009 Kulturpreis of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie, and lives and works in London and Berlin.