Tony Tasset USA, b. 1960

Overview

Tony Tasset has become renowned for creating work that satirizes our culture of exhibition and display.

 

His 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 harkens McLuhan’s axiom “the medium is the message”.

 

Works like Tasset’s Hot Dog Man (2011), Bear (2012), or Rainbow (2012) have come to epitomize Tasset’s work. Referencing the fiberglass advertisements common in America’s Midwest or on eastern seaboard boardwalks, these sculptures tap into a tradition of amusement and advertising culture considered unique to the States. In these pieces, dime-novelties and highwayside attractions are presented within the context of fine art, a synthesis which equates dichotomous ends of the traditional cultural evaluative spectrum.

 

Tasset’s series of Arrow Paintings and Arrow Sculptures presents a unique icon created by Tasset to represent habitual valuation. Ups and downs in the stock market, likes and dislikes on social media, 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 completely 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 2014. 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.

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