Tony Tasset USA, b. 1960


Tony Tasset is a Post-Atomic visual troubadour. A standard bearer in the realm of Pop Conceptualism, he makes work that both monumentalizes and satirizes the contemporary culture of exhibition and display. 


Whether it's the monumental stoicism of a massive fiberglass Eye sculpture watching over downtown Dallas like a Neo-Surrealist sentinel; a slumping, exhausted Paul Bunyan paying sad tribute to manifest destiny gone awry; or the nuanced melancholy of to-scale sculptures of a ripped Styrofoam cup, melting snowmen, and smashed pumpkins; Tasset has demonstrated time and again his unique ability to memorialize the peculiar beauty and pathos of the American visual vernacular.


Tasset’s work engages with the principle that the formation and under-standing of our history is crucially affected by the manner in which our most esteemed objects are displayed and how our most cherished narratives are told—an approach that echoes McLuhan’s axiom “the medium is the message.”


Many of Tasset’s works, such as Hot Dog Man (2011), Bear (2012), and Rainbow (2012), reference the fiberglass advertisements common in America’s Midwest or on eastern seashore boardwalks, tapping into a tradition of amusement and advertising culture unique to Americana. In these pieces, dime-novelties and roadside attractions are presented within the context of fine art, a synthesis which subverts traditional cultural critique.


Tasset’s series of Arrow Paintings and Arrow Sculptures consider the culture surrounding habitual valuation, interrogating ups and downs in the stock market, likes and dislikes on social media, and changing values within the art world. Composed of one up arrow and one down arrow, the logo manifests in 69 paintings and an on-going series of sculptures, all of which have unique color schemes.


Tasset has also become increasingly known for his ambitious, diverse public sculpture projects, such as The Artists Monument, which was featured at the Whitney Biennial. The sculpture is a massive list of nearly 400,000 artist names, listed alphabetically to put all artists together democratically, free of value judgments.


Major exhibitions of Tasset's work include The Weight, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, USA; Front International: Cleveland Triennial For Contemporary Art, OH, USA; 2014 Whitney Biennial, curated by Michelle Grabner, NY, USA; “For Your Infotainment: Hudson and Feature Inc.” - non-selling Exhibition at Frieze NY, Curated by Matthew Higgs; Tony Tasset: As It Is, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA; MCA DNA: Chicago Conceptual Abstraction, 1986-1995, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, US; This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980’s, curated by Helen Molesworth, ICA, Boston; Life During Wartime, Walker Art Center, MN, USA; and Unnatural Rubber, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Tasset’s work is in the permanent collections of San Francisco MOMA, the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Museum für Moderne Kunste, Frankfurt, Germany, and many others.