b. 1964, Aylesbury, England
Liam Gillick is one of the most prominent and important figures to have emerged in international contemporary art since the mid-1990s. The diverse forms of his art—ranging across sculpture, installation, film-making, writing and other, widely varied, collaborative projects—often allude to pivotal moments in the history of modern and postmodern art. In particular, the profound, dual influence of minimalism and conceptualism is evident both in his recurrent sculptural use of sleek modular forms (strictly colour-coded based on the RAL system) and in his continued commitment to more ‘dematerialised’ modes of practice (his many texts and talks are, for example, understood as integral elements of his art).
Crucially, however, Gillick’s references to prior forms of progressive art are always situated in relation to other vital co-ordinates for understanding the place of art within contemporary culture. Questions of economy, labour and social organisation are ongoing pre-occupations. So, the precisely calibrated use of Plexiglas and aluminium in a Liam Gillick sculpture might recall minimalism’s ‘specific objects’, but these materials are also employed on the basis of other associations—as, for example, the main components of riot shields or corporate signage. Gillick’s work brings apparently contradictory meanings into renewed proximity, thus repeatedly testing—and troubling—the terms and expectations of art within contemporary capitalism.
Liam Gillick has had many solo exhibitions and presentations including Fundação de Serralves, Porto (2016-17); Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (2016); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015); MAGASIN, Grenoble (2014); The Contemporary Austin, TX (2013-14); Bampton Lecture Series, Columbia University, New York (2013); Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2012); Museum Stzuki, Lodz, Poland (2011); Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany (2010); German Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice (2009); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich (2008), travelling to Witte de With, Rotterdam (2008); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005). Selected biennales include Yinchuan Biennale, China (2016); EVA International, Ireland (2016); 14th Istanbul Biennale (2015); 8th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2010) and the German Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). In 2016, Gillick directed the first Okayama Art Summit, Japan.
In 2017, the artist will collaborate with electronic music group New Order as part of Manchester International Festival.