Life and work
Cathy Wilkes was born in Belfast. She attended Glasgow School of Art 1985–1988, and took an MFA at the University of Ulster 1991–1992. She was a Fine Art sculpture tutor at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design 1996–2000.
Wilkes was nominated for the Turner Prize for her show at the Milton Keynes Gallery. This included her sculpture, Non-Verbal Installation, influenced by Lazarus Breaks His Fast, a painting in 1927 by Walter Sickert. The first meal taken by Lazarus after his coming back to life is porridge. Wilkes' piece includes a shop mannequin with bits of dried porridge in a bowl by its feet. The sculpture also includes a jar of apricot preserve, a baby buggy and a television. This work may be considered one of many examples of Wilkes' artistic practice which she claims "occludes any intentionality of conceptual determinism", where any aesthetic interest functions as a "false phenomenological projection from the spectator's own ego position." Her 2005 exhibition at Galleria Raucci/Santamaria may be seen as another attempt to address these non-conceptual concerns along with issues of auto-critique and alienation, where Wilkes fictionally installed her own paintings in addition to other objects, such as a sink or artificial lighting fixture.
Stephen Deuchar, director of Tate Britain and 2008 Turner Prize chairman, said: "Cathy’s work is not always going to be comfortable for the viewer. It’s like fragments of episodes in her life that we are not quite sure about. At some level, she’s inviting us to share issues that are deeply personal, almost too personal. One of the strongest visual features is the shop mannequin which has several attachments around her head. It is almost as if the mind is burdened with too many ideas."
The artist has a forthcoming show at Studio Voltaire, London. It will be her first solo show since her Turner Prize nomination.
Solo exhibitions include The Modern Institute, Glasgow (1999), Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2001), Cubitt Gallery, London (2001); Migros Museum, Zurich (2002); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2004), Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin (2004, 2007), Milton Keynes Gallery (2008) and Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany (2011).
Her many group exhibitions include Beck's Futures, ICA, London (2000); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2002); Independence, South London Gallery (2003); Selective Memory, Scottish Pavilion, Venice Biennale and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2005); 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2004) and If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, MuHKA Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (2007).
Notes and references
- "Cathy Wilkes", Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
- "Tate courts controversy with Turner Prize shortlist", The Times, 14 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
- "Interview with Cathy Wilkes", 2007. Selected-Frankfurt Journal, Issue 3.
- Cathy Wilkes at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
- Turner Prize 2008 at the Tate
- Guardian exhibition review
- A review of her exhibition from 2001 in the Transmission Gallery.
- Art Monthly exhibition review
- A review of her exhibition in 2008 in Milton Keynes.