Sarah Sze gleans objects and images from worlds both physical and digital, assembling them into complex multimedia works that shift scale between microscopic observation and macroscopic perspective on the infinite. A peerless bricoleur, Sze moves with a light touch across proliferating media. Her dynamic, generative body of work spans sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, video, and installation while always addressing the precarious nature of materiality and grappling with matters of entropy and temporality.
Born in Boston, Sze earned a BA from Yale University in 1991 and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1997. While still in graduate school, she challenged the very nature of sculpture, at MoMA PS1 in New York, by burrowing into the walls of the building, creating sculptural portals and crafting ecosystems that radically transformed the host architecture. A year later, for her first solo institutional exhibition, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, she presented Many a Slip (1999), an immersive installation sprawling through several rooms in which flickering projections were scattered among complex assemblages of everyday objects. This marked Sze’s first foray into video, which has since become a central medium of her installations. Citing the Russian Constructivist notion of the “kiosk” as a key inspiration, she conceived subsequent installations as portable stations for the interchange of images and the exchange of information. Sze’s work was included in the 48th Biennale di Venezia and the Carnegie International in 1999; the Whitney Biennial in 2000; and the Bienal de São Paulo in 2002. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003.