The Annual 2012

School of Visual Arts

An American in Venice

Sarah Sze

In February 2012, it was announced that New York-based artist and SVA alumnus Sarah Sze (MFA 1997 Fine Arts) had been selected to represent the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale, the international art world’s most prestigious event. Sze says that her installation, a characteristically intricate agglomeration of everyday materials, will engage directly with the 1930s architecture of the American pavilion, while an online component will allow remote users to live-stream video of its fabrication and installation.

Profiling Sze in Modern Painters, the writing team of Julia Halperin and Benjamin Sutton said:

Sze’s art-world cred is iron clad. The Boston-born, Chinese-American artist graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1991, and then went on to get her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Only two years after graduating from art school in 1997, she won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and then received a MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grant in 2003. For much of her career Sze has been enthusiastically embraced by museums. Among other projects, she created an on-site sculpture with found materials over the course of 10 days at the MCA Chicago, built a labyrinth of plastic tubes for the Whitney Museum, and, most recently, showcased her drawings at the Asia Society in New York.

Nor is this the first biennial for Sze, who is represented by Tanya Bondakar in New York and Victoria Miro Gallery in London—though it is certainly her most high profile. She has shown previously at the Berlin Biennial, the São Paolo Biennale, the Liverpool Biennial, and the Lyon Biennale. The artist, who lives and works in Brooklyn, has also produced a number of public artworks in her own backyard. She contributed a much-loved sculpture—a kind of futuristic bird feeder—to New York’s High Line park, and will create the public art for the forthcoming 96th Street 2nd Avenue Subway station in New York.

Sarah Sze Will Represent the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale