Annette Messager

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Biography

Often using reminiscence and memory as a vehicle for inspiration, Messager's wide range of hybrid forms has had an affinity with traditions as varied as the romantic, the grotesque, the absurd, the phantasmagoric.

Annette Messager was born in Berk-sur-Mer in 1943. She lives and works in Malakoff, just south of Paris. From the 1970s onward, Annette Messager’s work has been known for a heterogeneity of form and subject matter, ranging from the personal to the fictional, the social to the universal. Through an embrace of everyday materials, and principles of assemblage, collection and theatrical display, her diverse media has included construction, documents, language, objects,  taxidermy,  drawings,  photographs, fabric, embroidery, image collections, albums, sculpture and installation. Messager has explored fairy tales, mythology and doppelgangers throughout her œuvre. Often using reminiscence and memory as a vehicle for inspiration, Messager's wide range of hybrid forms has had an affinity with traditions as varied as the romantic, the grotesque, the absurd, the phantasmagoric.

Annette Messager was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for sculpture in 2016. She won the Golden Lion for best national pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art will present a major exhibition of her work in 2020. Recently she has exhibited at the Institut Giacometti in Paris (2018), the Institut Valencià Art Modern (IVAM) in Spain (2018), and the Villa Medici in Rome (2017). In France, an important exhibition was put in at the Musée des Beaux-Arts and at the Cité de la Dentelle et de la Mode in Calais, in 2015–16. In 2014 Messager had major exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art MCA, Sydney, and at K21 in Düsseldorf. Earlier solo shows have been exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Monterrey (MARCO), Mexico (2011); the Hayward Gallery in London (2009); the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), Finland (2008); the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (2008); and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (2008). A major retrospective of her work was organised by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 2007.

Often using reminiscence and memory as a vehicle for inspiration, Messager's wide range of hybrid forms has had an affinity with traditions as varied as the romantic, the grotesque, the absurd, the phantasmagoric.

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