Tacita Dean emerged in the 1990s alongside artists like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, with work that stood out for its formal elegance and intellectual rigor. She has since become one of the most celebrated British artists of the past twenty years, during which period Dean has produced over forty 16mm films and a rich body of drawings, photographs, and writing. She has often attempted to capture subjects—people, objects, buildings, and natural phenomena—at the moment of their disappearance, tracing their contours and fixing their image as they dissolve into painterly expressions of light and shadow. This approach has taken on an increased poignancy as the facilities that produce and process her preferred 16mm film stock have begun to disappear themselves. Dean has been an outspoken advocate of film as a distinct and vital artistic medium, finding in the material properties of celluloid the only appropriate vehicle for her alchemical meditations on light and the beauty of obsolescence. From May 6, 2012 until July 1, 2012, the New Museum presents an exhibition of works by Dean—the most substantial presentation of the artist’s work in New York to date. The presentation focuses on a group of recent pieces that capture five important American artists and thinkers of the last fifty years and features Merce Cunningham, Leo Steinberg, Julie Mehretu, Claes Oldenburg, and Cy Twombly. These works are beautifully crafted portraits of each individual, opening a lens onto their artistic processes and personal memories. This installation, organized in close collaboration with Dean, provides insight into the way in which her filmmaking intersects with painting, sculpture, writing, and dance.
New Museum; 2012; Softcover; 5.5" x 8"; 72 pp; 23 color and 2 b&w images; ISBN 9780985448509