Sam Taylor-Wood graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1990. Her work in photography and film is distinguished by an ironic and subversive use of these media, which centre on the creation of enigmatic situations replete with a latent but explosive energy; situations that could go any way and in which any number of things could happen.
She has recently completed a series of photographs titled ‘Crying Men’, 2002-2004. The series consists of photographs, in colour and black and white of male, film actors crying. The images are multi-layered, and provocative. The viewer is presented with seemingly private, intimate moments of sorrowful emotion. However, with the knowledge that they are actors it is left unconfirmed whether what the viewer is experiencing is an insight into their souls or the beautiful execution and capture of another acting role.
Taylor-Wood's film ‘David’, 2004 allows us to witness David Beckham, the England football Captain, asleep. It provides the viewer with an intimate, serene vision of an otherwise heavily exposed celebrity. The work was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and is in their permanent collection.
In films like ‘Ascension’, 2003, and photographs such as ’Wrecked’, 1996 and the ‘Soliloquy’ series (1998-2000), Taylor-Wood explores the boundaries between the sacred and the profane, fusing religious imagery informed by Renaissance and Baroque painting with the secular, urban and contemporary landscape that she inhabits.
Her works compulsively examine and dissect the contemporary psyche and the place of the individual within the social group. Films like ‘Strings’, 2004 and her photographic series ‘Self Portrait Suspended’, 2004, display the vulnerability and fragility of the human body and self.
Since her first solo exhibition at White Cube in 1995, Taylor-Wood has had numerous solo shows including Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona; Kunsthalle, Zurich; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; Fondazione Prada, Milan; Matthew Marks Gallery, New York; Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal.
In 1997 she received the Illy Café Prize for Most Promising Young Artist at the Venice Biennale and was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 2002 she was the youngest artist to have a solo show at the Hayward Gallery, London. She is currently preparing for shows of her new work at Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (September 18th - 30th October); White Cube, London (28th October - 4th December) and the Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg (24th November - 15 January 2005).
1999 Noli Me Tangere, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington, DC
1999 Wuerttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany
1998 Prada Foundation Milan, Italy
1998 Turner Prize, Tate Gallery London, UK
1998 New Photography, The Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1998 Video: Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Sam Taylor-Wood, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1997 Campo 6, The Spiral Village Turin, Italy
1997 Worldwide Video Festival, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1997 Sensation, Royal Academy of Arts London, UK
1997 Group Exhibition, PS1 Long Island City, NY
1997 2nd Johannesburg Biennale Johannesburg, South Africa
1997 Sam Taylor-Wood, Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland
1997 Sam Taylor-Wood: Five Revolutionary Seconds, Fundacio "la Caixa" Barcelona, Spain
1997 Sam Taylor-Wood, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Humlebaek, Denmark
1996 Life/Live, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Paris, France
1996 The Event Horizon, The Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin, Ireland
1996 Prospect 96, Kunstverein Frankfurt, Germany
1995 Young British Artists, Project for General Release, Venice Biennale Venice, Italy
1995 Masculin/Feminin, Centre George Pompidou Paris, France
1995 Brilliant! New Art from London, Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN
1994 Killing Time, The Showroom London, UK
1993 Information Dienst, Kunsthalle Stuttgart, Germany