Sarah Sze is a modern artist who lives and works in one of the world’s busiest cities, the city of New York. She was born in 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. She uses ordinary day to day objects to make sculptures and site specific installations. In the year 1991, Sarah Sze graduated summa cum laude from The Yale University, and in the year 1997, she received an MFA from the New York school of Visual Arts.
Among Sze's solo shows of her work include; the museum of contemporary art in Chicago, the Institute of contemporary art in London, the Malmo Konsthall in Sweden, and the foundation Cartier in Paris. Sze has taken part in various national exhibitions as well as international exhibitions including; the Whitney Museum of American Art, the carneie museum of art, the 48th Venice biennial and the biennial de Lyon 2009.
Sze’s artistic work can be located in a number of museums and the public collections as well. These include; the museum of modern art in New York, the San Francisco museum of modern art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum as well as the walker art center. She received a Radcliff fellowship 2005 and in 2003 she was named the MacArthur fellow as well. The fellowship she received at MacArthur in 2003 normally comes with an annual stipend of $100,000 for five years. Therefore, she was one of the few who managed to get it. Since that time, the high profile artist has managed to produce at least a major commission a year. This is in addition to her other pieces that she has done for the gallery shows. Sze got into a contract with another high profile artist namely Victoria Miro, in London in the year 2007. At the time she had not had a New York gallery from the time she left Marianne Boesky in 2005. This situation managed to change only last year when she joined Bonakdar which was the year 2010. From the MacArthur reward, she gained a healthy platform to begin a channel of communication with an audience which she wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Sze has not only managed to be a well known artist with her spectacular work but also still has a family and lives with them in the city of New York, together with her Indian husband Siddhartha Mukherjee, and their two daughters. Sze started gaining interest in incorporating household objects into her art work after her consecutive visits to India, since she regularly visited the country due to her relationship with her husband, who is Indian. Her regular visits may be owed to her Indian husband who is an author, and is also a practicing research oncologist at Columbia University Medical Center.
During her visits in New Delhi, Sze visited a gold show at a crafts museum, which probed her to reflect on the value of material in relation to that of workmanship. Later on when she went back to her homeland, which is the United States of America, she started exploring this dichotomy in "Untitled (Soho Annual)," (1996), this is among her most basic installations, which were basically constructed from hundreds of tiny sculptures molded from toilet paper and put in tidy rows on the floor and a shelf.
Her main motivation in her art is to take an object that has no intrinsic value, and give it a touch of art that leaves one intrigued by the familiarity of the material used but at the same time thrown off by the way it has been touched. She soon began to incorporate in her work whole rolls of toilet paper, as well as any other items normally kept in pockets and drawers, which may in relative situations be considered functional.
While still in school, Sze caught the attention of heavyweight curators such as Alana Heiss, Robert Storr, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, who each chose her work for a diverse exhibition in 1997. This is the same year in which she graduated from sva. Within a span of three years, she had been involved in the 1999 Venice Biennale and later on the 2000 Whitney Biennial, and she had the opportunity to make solo presentation shows at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, The mfa Boston, and as well as the Cartier Foundation, in Paris, where an extensive sculpture containing enormous ladders hanging at all angles established her talent for, among other things, defying gravity.
Sze’s sculptures are flowing structures consisting of an assembly of small-scale household objects that respond to and blend in to the surrounding architecture. Her compositional language can be easily compared to the manner in which information flows in the World Wide Web. Her art takes form by successively linking small bits of disconnected information into a complex network where they are all connected, and they blend in a smooth manner. The strong manner in which her artistic work intertwines between the individual varied components to form an overall opinion of great admiration for her work. This has also enhanced her with the ability to explore the relationship between art and everyday life
Sze work 1
Take for example The Uncountable (Encyclopedia), one of her very well known sculptures. This piece is similar to an imagination of a cabinet of curiosities set into a leaning tower, or alternatively it is an imagery of the Library of Congress being tossed around by the Ajax White Tornado—and you acquire an inspiration of the insane spatial tricks that are yet to be discovered. A makeshift pulley system that jerry-rigs stability out of a set of slanting shelves, Sze's sculpture at once flies apart and comes together while toting a mini-museum of cast and paper objects. in the sculpture there are bottles of various provenances, a couple of takeout trays, some juice cartons, a pair of flip-flops, flowers, a feather, leaves, fish made from newsprint, rocks, fans, lamps, plants, some paper cups, a level, rolls of tape, a package of salt, and, to be honest a number of objects that one cares to number (hence invoking the piece's title). The objects in this particular sculpture run from pedestrian to transporting—yet cumulatively, Sze's encyclopedic reach brings out nothing less than the symbolic shakiness of all knowledge.
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It probably looks similar to a house of cards, but Sze founded the whole thing on a totally different principle which is a principle of Japanese landscape design that leads a wanderer on a path of discovery and disorientation. There are also grid lines of blue tape placed on the floor diagonal to the walls of the room and parallel to the shelves direct traffic through the viewing aisles but also create an illusion of gyroscopic movement that can cause vertigo.
Though she assembled the piece in her Manhattan studio, the moment Sze moved its components into the gallery she had to redo it for the new space she was now using, so she had to do it bit by bit. This process basically took her a month to complete.
This piece of art is visually stimulating in that, one gets to see how you can turn anything into something appealing and at the same time a piece that defies all natural norms. It has incorporate objects which we use in the everyday life and at times barely take not of and turn them into something magnificent that demands attention from various art gurus.
Sze’s second work
A second work, Duped, also contains massive amounts despite being purposely constructed in a comparatively minor way. It is the kind of arrangement that is bound to be overlooked. it was mainly made from very simple and priceless material such as a pair of matching stools, a mug, a plant, and a roll of extension cord, a lamp —the sculpture wattles several of its forms from debris like branches, bits of string, newspaper, an LED light, , matches, toothpicks and wires. Useless copies of a functional lamp and a stool, they suggest nonphysical versions shaped from whatever the wind blew in.
These remains from humans behavior have been released from their commonplace duty possess a certain energy and aspiration within her work. Her careful analysis of small detail between the smallest and the most complex detail, the knowledge of the precious items to keep and used in her art work and those that are of no use, the incidental and the essential solicits a new experience of space, which has a disorienting and reorienting effect on the viewer at every moment while studying the piece, it is quite phenomenal.
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Like her previous art work this one leaves an intrigue in the skill of how she has managed to turn some invaluable objects into some worthwhile trophy like item. This specific exhibition advances her visual conceits—allusive yet enlightening flights of taxonomical visions in tiny bits and pieces of increments that quickly become avalanches of massed details in the her talented artistic hands. Her arrangement in this piece intimidates ones thinking —the challenge is always to consider both simultaneously this will defiantly force a critique to consider big ideas while wading menially into the chore of list making.
Piece has been given some artistic touch that turns the junk into unfathomable objects that only elicit awe among the many that lay their eyes on it. Which we have seen is her motivational factor in all her pieces. It is clear that she enjoys to take an object that has no intrinsic value, and give it a touch of art that leaves one intrigued by the technique she has used in making the simple familiar objects into complex and intriguing material, that manages to throw off her audience by familiarity of the material used but at the same time by the way it has been touched.
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This piece like many of her other pieces of sculpture is an assembly of small-scale household items that respond to and infiltrate the surrounding architecture. This piece incorporates the use of very diverse objects that lack any hint of correlation into one interconnected piece that may deceive one that all the tools used in the making of the sculpture are quite similar. She has managed to take bits and pieces of simple discrete objects and combine them to form one complex sculpture that leaves many with the question of how the sculpture came about. Her style in mixing and matching the simple into a complex has enabled her to explore the linkages between the everyday life and the work of art.
These among other installations in Sarah’s show routinely intimidate the viewer to think outside the cocoon of having only one point of view. Her Sculpture that's insistently on the brink, as they incorporate art and the normal life as we know it and back to art as it was first intended. Like Heraclitus' famous river, Sze's arrangements provoke her audience to think outside of the box and leave them holding their breath in the uncertain of what her next work of art will entail. In summary her work of art is quite dynamic and at the same time it is mind blowing.