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 Sarah Sze  (1969 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: installation sculpture-found objects

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was published in The New York Times, Inside Art section, Friday, February 24, 2012:

Installation Artist Picked for Venice 2013
Published: February 23, 2012
Sarah Sze, the installation artist known for creating site-specific environments out of everyday objects like toothpicks, sponges, light bulbs and plastic bottles, has been chosen to represent the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

Ms. Sze (pronounced ZEE), 43, was selected by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which promotes cultural exchanges worldwide. Holly Block, director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Carey Lovelace, a critic and independent curator, proposed Ms. Sze for the Biennale, and those two women will organize the exhibition together, with the Bronx Museum acting as the commissioning institution.

Ms. Sze’s work has been visible in New York for a while. A show of her works on paper is at the Asia Society through March 25. And those strolling the High Line can see her modern avian habitat — fake-wood-covered birdhouses with parallelogram sides built into grids of shiny metal rods that converge to single points.

“Her work is so sensitive to its surroundings I will be fascinated to see how she transforms the American pavilion without physically changing the architecture,” said Ms. Lovelace, who explained that she and Ms. Block have watched Ms. Sze’s work evolve for years.

Ms. Sze said she would create a sequence of environments inside the pavilion, a 1930s Palladian-style structure designed by Delano & Aldrich, and in the courtyard in front of it. The installation, called Triple Point, will be about “orientation and disorientation,” Ms. Sze said in a telephone interview.

“I plan to create a new commission in the courtyard that brings the inside out,” she added. “Wandering around Venice without a map, you find the most incredible things. And I’m hoping to create an immersive environment that deals with that abstract experience of discovery.”

Ms. Sze’s work has been shown at the Venice Biennale before. She showed in an exhibition there in 1998. This time around, she said, she will probably spend about two months in Venice, creating her installation with help from Italian university students. “My work is always a mix of stuff collected over time and all over the place,” she explained. Venice is an especially rich hunting ground, she said, adding that she expects to use local materials and local craftspeople.

Ms. Lovelace and Ms. Block said that the project would be documented as it unfolded, with live streaming on a Web site that would be accessible through the Bronx Museum.

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Sarah Sze grew up in Boston, the daughter of a Chinese-American architect father and an American born schoolteacher mother. She attended Yale University and double majored in architecture and painting. She took up sculpture during her last year at Yale, and her teacher, Ron Jonas, turned his students toward conceptualism which held great appeal for Sze.

Sze's first sculpture was made on the University center green during the Gulf War. During the night she and some friends assembled 15,000 tiny American flags laid out in a grid.

Following her undergraduate studies, Sze spent a year in Japan working at a TV station and studying ikebana, Japanese flower arranging. The following four years were spent in Boston where she worked in a public-school art-education program and painted on weekends. She then moved to New York and entered the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts.

In 1997 Sze entered a group show organized by the artist Laurie Simmons for the Casey Kaplan Gallery. Her sculpture consisted of tiny soap sculptures of Cracker Jax prizes on Ritz cracker pedestals with lots of colorfully wrapped candies.

In 1999 the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris offered Sze the opportunity to fill two glass-enclosed galleries which could be viewed from several angles at once. The resulting work, "Everything that Rises must Converge" was a sculpture of household objects and building materials which rose up and flowed throughout the space.

Since then Sarah Sze has exhibited at the Whitney Biennial; Boesky; Bard College; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy.

Source: "ARTnews", Summer 2003

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