b. 1985, Macclesfield, U.K; lives and works in London, U.K.
Helen Marten works across sculpture, painting, video, screen print and writing to create a body of work that questions the stability of the material world and our place within it. Alluding to ideas, systems and experiences, her work across all media sets out to articulate complex ideas about the way in which we exist and understand the world around us. Marten has used handmade and found objects within her work, including cotton buds, coins, shoe soles, limes, marbles, eggs and snooker chalk. But equally, in video renders, Marten’s work probes the boundary between found objects and highly sophisticated rendering, representation and edifice. The artist has expressed a particular interest in language, stating: ‘Language is a system that we know very well how to exploit and wrap around things. Words are communicating, but at the same time, they're tumbling about themselves in a very knotty chaos of pictures and images.' Like her physical works, Marten's texts and titles reflect and reinforce her sense of play and logic. There is a symbiotic relationship between the text and objects, titles and images found in the works; a kind of unusual topology or counter-mapping of our usual expectations of how these things function together.
Helen Marten's recent solo exhibitions include Third Moment Profile | The Almost Horse, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2022); Sparrows On the Stone, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2021); Therefore, An Ogre, Greene Naftali, New York (2021); 18 Works on Paper, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2020); Fixed Sky Situation, König, Berlin (2019); Drunk Brown House, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2016); Eucalyptus, Let us in, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York (2016); Parrot Problems, Fridericianum, Kassel (2014); Oreo St. James, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2014); No borders in a wok that can’t be crossed, CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson (2013); Plank Salad, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012); Evian Disease, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); ALMOST THE EXACT SHAPE OF FLORIDA, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich (2012). Major group exhibitions include Hybrid Sculpture, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019); The Body Electric, The Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis (2019, travelling to YBCA Galleries Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco, 2019); A TIME CAPSULE: Works Made by Women for Parkett, 1984 – 2017, Parkett Exhibition Space, Zurich (2018); Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2016); WELT AM DRAHT, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin (2016); Hepworth Sculpture Prize, Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK (2016); All the World’s Futures, 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice (2015); Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice (2013); 12th Lyon Biennale, Lyon (2013) and New pictures of common objects, MoMA PS1, New York (2012). Marten received the Lafayette Prize in 2011, the LUMA Award in 2012 and The Turner Prize and Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, both 2016.
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