CLEVELAND, OH.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) presents the first major U.S. museum exhibition of the work of UK-based artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Taylor-Wood is acclaimed for creating photographic and film-based work that examines the shared social and psychological conditions of the human experience, often through depictions of highly charged and emotional situations. Organized by MOCA Cleveland, the exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of 29 works from the mid-1990s to the present, including individual photographs, photographic installations, and single and multiple film/video installations. The exhibition is curated by Margo A. Crutchfield, Senior Curator.
Drawing freely from a variety of sources ranging from opera and Renaissance and Baroque painting to Hollywood celebrities, Taylor-Wood's thought-provoking portraits and scenarios focus on states of being, often grappling with mental and physical breaking points. The film/DVD Hysteria (1997) portrays a woman's tumultuous descent from a state of exhilaration to psychic disintegration. The poignant and beautifully rendered Crying Men (2002-2004) series of photographs depicts international male film stars such as Laurence Fishburne, Ed Harris, and Benicio del Toro, among others, in moments of sorrow and introspection. Other works, such as the beautiful but wrenching film/DVD Still Life (2001), deal with the passing of time and our own mortality.
More recent works explore a fascination with suspended states - the sense of being caught in between two worlds. In David (2004), Taylor-Wood portrays soccer icon David Beckham asleep, caught somewhere in the nether world of dreams. In the Self Portrait Suspended (2004) series, Taylor-Wood appears weightless and gracefully suspended in mid air, in what appears as a quest to reach a moment of absolute release and freedom.
"With a sensibility that can be trenchant or poetic, Taylor-Wood examines the human experience from the inside out, exploring everything from the inner psyche to human strength and vulnerability. In doing so, she confronts the richness and complexity of our humanity," comments Ms. Crutchfield.
The exhibition is on view at MOCA Cleveland through May 11, 2008, following which it travels to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (Aug. 2 - Oct.5, 2008).
The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue published by MOCA Cleveland, with essays by Ms. Crutchfield; Barbara London, Associate Curator Media Arts, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Linda Nochlin, Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. The catalogue will be distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., New York, and will be available for purchase at MOCA's ARTspace Museum Store and online at mocacleveland.org beginning February 2008.
Since her first solo show in 1995 at White Cube, one of London's leading galleries, Sam Taylor-Wood (born in London in 1967) has exhibited her work extensively in exhibitions at prominent museums, such as La Fundaciò "La Caixa" (Barcelona); the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam); and the Hayward Gallery (London). In 1997, Taylor-Wood received the Illy Café Prize for Most Promising Young Artist at the Venice Biennale and was nominated for the Turner Prize. Her most recent one-person exhibitions have included presentations at the STUK Kunstencentrum, Leuven, Belgium, in 2007, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, Australia) and the Baltic (Newcastle, England), in 2006. Taylor-Wood's work is in many prominent collections, ranging from the Tate Modern (London) to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York).
This exhibition and its catalogue are generously underwritten by National City with additional sponsorship support from Donley's, John P. Murphy Foundation, Forest City Enterprises, M%, and ideastream.