Simon Starling

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Simon Starling

Work from his oeuvre.

“Humor is little discussed in art criticism, though funny art abounds. Many of Simon Starling’s projects have been comic—slapstick and harebrained, funny ha-ha and funny peculiar—at the same time that they have been unimpeachably erudite. In his thought and work processes, Starling generally follows one thing with another, a third and a fourth. This shaggy-dog-story method places him in danger of establishing connections that come to feel contrived or attenuated—a risk of failure that he willingly assumes.

Born in Epsom, England, in 1967, Starling earned a degree in photography at Nottingham Polytechnic in 1990, and finished his studies in 1992 at the Glasgow School of Art. He had his first solo exhibition in 1995 in London, followed by one in Glasgow in 1997; since then, he has had more than 50 solo shows. In 2003, he was one of three artists in the first Scottish pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and he won the Turner Prize two years later.

Peripatetic (he now lives in Copenhagen) and formidably inventive, Starling ranges widely among installations, elegantly fabricated objects, rough-and-ready assemblages, photographs, short films, books and more. He is comfortable at diverse scales, keeps a big toolbox of conceptual and technical strategies, and is equally adept with the obvious and the obscure. Ecological concerns are pervasive. Possessed of a storyteller’s knack, a researcher’s zeal and a traveler’s nose for lucky finds, he nimbly links present and past in backstory narratives that are typically posted on gallery walls and/or printed in handouts.” –Art in America

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