Carol Bove

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Carol Bove (born 1971) is an American artist based in New York City.[1] She lives and works in Brooklyn.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in 1971 in Geneva to American parents, Bove (pronounced bo-VAY)[3] was raised in Berkeley, California, moved to New York in the 1990s, and graduated from New York University in 2000.[4][5] She was an artist-in-residence at Yale University Art Gallery in 2010, where she pursued research on the history of architecture on the Yale campus and the effect of changing tastes in painting conservation on the Gallery's collection.[6]


La Traversee difficile (The difficult crossing), 2008. Steel, glass, silver, wood, concrete, wax, bronze, brass, aluminum, seeds, coral, insulating foam, paper, shells, rocks, and found photograph. 73 5/8 x 98 x 48 inches (187 x 243.8 x 121.9 cm). La Coleccion Jumex, Mexico City.

Using a wide range of materials, including steel, concrete, books, driftwood, peacock feathers, seashells, and foam,[4] Bove’s diverse practice encompasses sculpture, installation, and drawing. Her oeuvre plays with questions of materiality, re-presenting and updating historical strategies of display.[6] As the art historian Johanna Burton notes, "Bove brings things together not to nudge associative impulses into free play driven by the unconscious, but rather to conjure a kind of affective tangle that disrupts any singular, historical narrative."[7]

Bove is perhaps best known for her large-scale sculptures, which she has described as "big, heavy, but fragile."[8] Her sculptures are often displayed outside or in public spaces. For example, the steel and petrified wood sculpture Lingam was installed in City Hall Park in New York as part of the 2016 summer group exhibition, The Language of Things, while Bove’s 2013 show, Caterpillar, featured seven large-scale sculptures specifically created for the High Line at the Rail Yards in New York.

Earlier works by Bove range in form and medium from ink drawings of nude women taken from vintage Playboy magazines to sculptures composed of curated bookshelves featuring volumes from the 1960s and 70s. In past exhibitions, Bove has also included the work of other artists in her installations. In a 2007 show at Maccarone, she presented work by the artist Bruce Conner, Berkeley book dealer Philip Smith, and painter Wilfred Lang.[9] Similarly, Bove designed her 2014 installation, Setting for A. Pomodoro, which features a baroque assemblage of driftwood, peacock feathers, pedestals, and bases, as a setting for a sculpture by the Italian Modernist Arnaldo Pomodoro. Every time the installation has been exhibited, it has featured a different Pomodoro sculpture.[10]

In 2016, after working from a studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn for many years, Bove moved her practice to a former brick factory near the Brooklyn waterfront.[11]

Carol Bove's talk in ICA, Boston. The artist's discussion on how interior architecture influences her artwork.


Since she started exhibiting in the late 1990s, Bove’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Common Guild,[12] Glasgow (both 2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010); Horticultural Society of New York (2009); Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas (2006); Kunsthalle Zürich; Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (both 2004); and the Kunstverein Hamburg (2003).[4] In 2017, Bove represented Switzerland at the 57th Venice Biennale.[13] Other major group exhibitions include Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008).

Bove's sculptures were part of the High Line Show Caterpillar, one of the last opportunities to see the undeveloped High Line.[14]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • 2017
    • 57th Venice Biennale, Venice
    • Grey Matters, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
    • The Artist's Voice: Carol Bove - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
  • 2016
    • Carol Bove: Polka Dots, David Zwirner, New York
    • The Artist’s Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
    • First Light: A Decade of Collecting at the ICA, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
    • The Language of Things, City Hall Park, New York (organized by Public Art Fund, New York)
    • Her Crowd: New Art by Women from Our Neighbors’ Private Collections, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut
    • The Keeper, New Museum, New York
    • L'esprit du Bauhaus/The Spirit of the Bauhaus, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
    • Making and Unmaking, Camden Arts Centre, London
  • 2015
    • Carol Bove: The Plastic Unit, David Zwirner, London
    • America Is Hard To See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
    • Another Minimalism: Art after California Light and Space, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
    • Hôtel Dunkerque, Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain (FRAC) Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France
    • The Persistence of Objects, Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland
    • Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
    • Venganza (I Don’t Want To Be Friends), ARMADA, Milan
  • 2014
    • Carol Bove/Carlo Scarpa, Museion - Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bolzano (itinerary: Henry Moore Institute, Leeds and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle)[15]
    • Earthly Delights, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
    • Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions, Fundació Museu Picasso de Barcelona
  • 2013
    • 54th Venice Biennale: ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations, Venice
    • The Equinox, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
    • Caterpillar, The High Line at the Rail Yards, New York
    • The Foamy Saliva of a Horse, The Common Guild, Glasgow
    • RA, or Why is an orange like a bell?, Maccarone, New York
    • The Angel of History, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris
    • A Place in Two Dimensions: A Selection from Colección Jumex + Fred Sandback, Museo Jumex, Mexico City
  • 2012
    • dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany
    • Coquilles mécaniques, CRAC Alsace Centre Rhénan d'Art Contemporain, Altkirch, France
    • El mañana ya estuvo aquí, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (itinerary: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)
    • In the Holocene, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • 2011
    • 54th Venice Biennale: ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations, Venice
    • After Images, Musée Juif de Belgique, Brussels
    • The Age of Aquarius, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago
    • Frauenzimmer, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
    • The Language of Less (Then and Now), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
    • We Will Live, We Will See, Zabludowicz Collection, London
  • 2010
    • Prix Lafayette 2009: Carol Bove, La traversée difficile, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
    • Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
    • At Home/Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-On-Hudson, New York
  • 2009
    • Plants and Mammals, Horticultural Society of New York
    • Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • 2008
    • Bronze Peanut, Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Düsseldorf
    • Art Now: The Way In Which It Landed, Tate Britain, London
    • The Artist's Library, Centre international d'art et du paysage, Ile de Vassivière, France
    • Heavy Metal, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany
    • Saints and Sinners, The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachuse
  • 2007
    • The Middle Pillar - Maccarone, New York, NY
    • Archaeologies of the Future, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao
    • Every Revolution is a Roll of the Dice, Ballroom Marfa, Texas
    • Just Kick It Till It Breaks, The Kitchen, New York
    • Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London
    • Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
    • Strange Events Permit Themselves the Luxury of Occurring, Camden Arts Centre, London
    • Um-Kehrungen, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany
    • Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
  • 2006
    • Carol Bove: The Night Sky Over Berlin, REC, Berlin
    • Carol Bove: Setting for A. Pomodoro, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
    • CAROL BOVE, Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Wien
    • Draft Deceit, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
  • 2005
    • KRITISCHE GESELLSCHAFTEN - TEIL III. Ökonomien: Resistenzen, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
    • KRITISCHE GESELLSCHAFTEN, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
    • La Beauté de l’Enfer, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brüssel
    • Greater New York 2005, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City
    • Girls on Film, Zwirner & Wirth, New York
    • Icestorm, Kunstverein Münich, Munich
  • 2004
    • Formalismus - Moderne Kunst, heute, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg
    • "Black Friday. Exercises in Hermetics", Galerie Kamm, Berlin
    • Moment 1 / Carol Bove, ICA Boston, Boston, MA
    • Carol Bove, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich
    • Carol Bove, A Pattern Language: Intimacy Gradient, Hotel, London
    • Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York
    • Formalismus. Moderne Kunst, heute, Kunstverein Hamburg
    • Playlist, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
  • 2003
    • Carol Bove - The Science of Being and the Art of Living, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg
    • Influence, Anxiety, and Gratitude, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
  • 2002
    • XEROS - Projet mobile et reproductible sur les sexualites et l'espace, Le Magasin - Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France


Work by the artist is represented in permanent collections worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC) Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France; Colección Jumex, Mexico City; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art,[16] New York; the Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.[4]


  1. ^ "Carol Bove". Pro Helvetia. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  2. ^ Karen Rosenberg (July 25, 2013), At Home in Two Places - Carol Bove Sculpture Shows at the High Line and MoMA The New York Times.
  3. ^ Randy Kennedy (April 28, 2013), Once Upon a Landscape The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c d Carol Bove biography, David Zwirner Gallery, New York/London.
  5. ^ Sholis, Brian (May 2012). "Carol Bove: In the Studio with Brian Sholis". Art in America.
  6. ^ a b Chaffee, Cathleen (2012). "Carol Bove, "Setting for A. Pomodoro"". Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin. JSTOR 23344760.
  7. ^ Johanna Burton, "Rebounding," in Carol Bove: Polka Dots. Exh. cat. (New York: David Zwirner Books, 2016), p. 62.
  8. ^ Eckardt, Stephanie. "In the Studio with Carol Bove, the Sculptor Who Bends Steel As If It Were Plastic". W Magazine. Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  9. ^ Martha Schwendener (October 12, 2007), Carol Bove - The Middle Pillar The New York Times.
  10. ^ Chaffee, "Carol Bove, "Setting for A. Pomodoro.""
  11. ^ Randy Kennedy (November 4, 2016), Sculpture’s Woman of Steel, Carol Bove The New York Times.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Stephanie Eckardt (November 4, 2016), In the Studio with Carol Bove, the Sculptor Who Bends Steels As If It Were Plastic W.
  14. ^ Rosenberg, Karen (2013-07-25). "Carol Bove Sculpture Shows at the High Line and MoMA". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  15. ^ "CV - Carol Bove, David Zwirner" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  16. ^ [

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