Tauba Auerbach

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Tauba Auerbach
Born 1981
Nationality American
Alma mater Stanford University
Known for Painting
Movement Conceptual art
Graphic art

Tauba Auerbach (born 1981, San Francisco, California[1]) is a visual artist working across many disciplines including painting, artists' books, photography, and sculpture. Her work "operat[es] in the gap between Conceptual Art, abstraction and graphic art".[2] She lives and works in New York.[3]


Auerbach graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Visual Art in 2003.[4]


Auerbach draws much of her inspiration from mathematics and physics.[5] “Engaging a variety of media, ranging from painting and photography to book design and musical performance, Auerbach explores the limits of our structures and systems of logic (linguistic, mathematical, spatial) and the points at which they break down and open up onto new visual and poetic possibilities".[6]

Early Work[edit]

Auerbach's early work engaged with the limits and possibilities of language through the use of text, typography, and design. In her first solo exhibition, How To Spell The Alphabet, at New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA (2005), she showed a series of text-based drawings that explored various linguistic systems including calligraphy, Morse code, semaphore signals, and the Ugaritic and Alexander Melville Bell alphabets.[7] Her exhibition Yes and not yes, at Deitch Projects, New York, NY (2006), included paintings and drawings that also focused on language, both written and spoken. The book How To Spell The Alphabet was designed by Auerbach and features reproductions of the works included in both of these exhibitions.

Recent Work[edit]

Her more recent work focuses on abstract patterns, order and randomness, and multi-dimensional space. She has gained acclaim for her “fold paintings”, which she first exhibited in 2009.[6] To make the “fold paintings”, she folds and twists a canvas to form creases, then lays it flat and paints it with an industrial sprayer, resulting in a painted surface that has the illusion of three-dimensional space.[8] She exhibited the "fold paintings" in her 2009 show at Deitch Projects, Here and Now/And Nowhere, where she also debuted the Auerglass, a two-person pump organ designed by Auerbach and the musician Cameron Mesirow, also known as Glasser (musician). The instrument is designed for two players, each with a keyboard with alternating notes of a four octave scale. The instrument cannot be played alone because each player must pump to supply wind to the other player’s notes.[9] The book Choas by Auerbach was produced for this exhibition.

In her 2012 exhibition Tetrachromat, initiated by Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, Auerbach presented her “weave paintings”, composed of woven strips of canvas. As with the “fold paintings”, these paintings collapse two-dimensional and three-dimensional space.[10] Tetrachromat also included “fold paintings”, drawings, photographs, and book sculptures, including the "RGB Colorspace Atlas", a cube-shaped book of digital offset prints of all possible variations of the RGB color model. The book Folds was published to accompany this exhibition.


Auerbach had her first solo exhibition, How To Spell The Alphabet, at New Image Art in 2005.[11] She has since had solo exhibitions at Paula Cooper Gallery (2012),[6] Bergen Kunsthall in Bergen, Norway (2011),[12] Deitch Projects (2006),[13] among others. Her work has been in many notable group exhibitions including Abstract Generation: Now in Print, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013),[14] The Painting Factory at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2012),[15] The Indiscipline of Painting at Tate St. Ives, St. Ives, UK (2011),[16] the Whitney Biennial, New York (2010),[17] and Younger than Jesus at The New Museum, New York (2009).[18]


Art market[edit]

Auerbach is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, and Standard (Oslo), in Oslo, Norway.[19][20] In 2014, a 2011 trompe l’oeil canvas by Auerbach reached $1.8 million at Phillips auction in New York, surpassing the high estimate of $1.2 million. The price set a record for Auerbach.[21]


  1. ^ Getty Union List of Artist Names. http://www.getty.edu/vow/ULANFullDisplay?find=auerbach&role=&nation=&prev_page=1&subjectid=500294123
  2. ^ Smith, Roberta (October 27, 2006). "Art in Review; Tauba Auerbach". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Whitney Museum of Modern Art: Tauba Auerbach." Whitney Museum of American Art. Whitney Museum of American Art, 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  4. ^ Tauba Auerbach. http://www.taubaauerbach.com/bioleft.html
  5. ^ "Tauba Auerbach: Tetrachromat." WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre. 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Paula Cooper Gallery. http://www.paulacoopergallery.com/exhibitions/519
  7. ^ 2008 SECA Art Award : Tauba Auerbach, Desiree Holman, Jordan Kantor, Trevor Paglen. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, ©2009.
  8. ^ "Tauba Auerbach: Tretrachromat." Malmö Kunsthall. 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  9. ^ Tauba Auerbach. http://www.taubaauerbach.com/auerglass.htm
  10. ^ Fiske, Courtney. "Tauba Auerbach's Peripheral Visions." Art in America. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Tauba Auerbach: How to Spell the Alphabet." New Image Art Gallery. New Image Art Gallery, n.d. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Tauba Auerbach at Bergen Kunsthall." Contemporary Art Daily. Contemporary Art Daily, 13 December 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Tauba Auerbach: Here and Now/and Nowhere." Deitch Projects. Deitch Projects, 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Abstract Generation: Tauba Auerbach." Museum of Modern Art. Museum of Modern Art, n.d. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  15. ^ "The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol." Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  16. ^ "The Indiscipline of Painting." Tate Britain. Tate St. Ives, 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  17. ^ "2010 Whitney Biennial." The Whitney Museum of American Art. The Whitney Museum of American Art, 2010.
  18. ^ "The Generational: Younger Than Jesus." The New Museum Digital Archive. The New Museum, 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  19. ^ "Tauba Auerbach." Paula Cooper Gallery. Paula Cooper Gallery, n.d. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Tauba Auerbach." Standard (Oslo). Standard (Oslo), n.d. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  21. ^ Katya Kazakina (May 16, 2014), Paul Allen’s Rothko Sells for $56.2 Million at Phillips Bloomberg.