Anthea Hamilton: The New Life

Secession, Vienna, Austria
14 Sep 2018 - 04 Nov 2018

Anthea Hamilton, The New Life, exhibition view Secession 2018, photo: Sophie Thun

Anthea Hamilton, The New Life, exhibition view Secession 2018, photo: Sophie Thun

Anthea Hamilton’s interdisciplinary interest in performance is evident in her sculptural assemblages and installations whose tableau-like quality makes them reminiscent of stage sceneries or film sets, and which she has referred to as ‘performative spaces’. Her sculptures, idiosyncratic constructions precariously balanced between emergence and collapse, function like props for stories that remain to be told.

Hamilton’s work grows out of wide-ranging research, whether she explores strands in cultural history such as the roots of 1970s disco, art-historical references like Art Nouveau, Italian furniture design or ancient Japanese theatre, documentary photography or lichen. Each subject is studied closely and used as a lens through which to understand the world.

For her first solo exhibition in Austria, in Secession’s iconic gallery space, Turner Prize nominee (2016) Anthea Hamilton has developed an immersive installation. The artist occupies the space by covering it with an all-over pattern, turns it into her own, in which she will present a number of individual sculptures and which will have a striking effect on how the space is perceived. Hamilton has also conceived and designed an artist book to be published with Secession, which comprises a series of images collaged from personal photographs, found images and computer-based drawings.

Asked about her sources of inspiration, Hamilton has frequently mentioned the French writer Antonin Artaud and his idea of a “physical knowledge of images.” It is this bodily response to an idea or an image that she wants us to experience when we encounter her work and its use of unexpected materials, scale and humour; like the off-kilter proportions of the various elements, they attest to the fine sense of humour that sustains her art.


Association of Visual Artists
Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12,
1010 Vienna




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