Life and work
Goshka Macuga was born in Poland. A graduate of Central St. Martins College of Art and Design and Goldsmiths, University of London, she works across mediums from Jacquard woven tapestries to sculptures and robotics. Macuga is known for taking on the role of a curator and archivist within her practice, as her installations often incorporate other artists’ work alongside a variety of disparate objects. Macuga's work is commonly made for the specific institution in which it will be shown, her place-based installations involve many months worth of historical research and have been considered rich storytelling devices.
In 2009 Macuga had an exhibition at the newly re-opened Whitechapel Gallery in London wherein she incorporated a 1955 tapestry version of Picasso’s 1937 antiwar painting Guernica into a year-long installation about the 1930s-era controversy generated by the original painting. After 24 years on display just outside the Security Council at the Headquarters of the United Nations, the tapestry commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller was removed and loaned to Whitechapel for Macuga's installation. Along with the borrowed tapestry, Macuga made a bronze cubist sculpture of Colin Powell, a documentary film, sourced a handwoven Middle Eastern rug, and installed a conference table. As part of the installation, Macuga invited groups to hold meetings in the space free of charge.
While in residence at the Walker Art Center in 2010-11, Macuga produced work for her first solo show in the United States that would investigate the cultural and political context of the Walker Art Center itself. Culminating in the exhibition, It Broke From Within, Macuga investigated the history of the shaping of the Walker Art Center as an institution through its archives. The exhibition explored the political orientation, community theory, lumber, financial history, and serendipity of clerical errors concerning the Walker. Macuga designed enormous woven tapestries of photographs taken in Minnesotas oldest pine forests and used the textile as a backdrop for select pieces from the Walker's permanent collection, including works from Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys.
In 2012 Macuga created a two large photorealistic tapestries for dOCUMENTA (13), one was displayed in Kassel, Germany and its counterpart in Kabul, Afghanistan. The two-part work called Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not is to be exhibited simultaneously but never together in the same place. Part 1 depicts a diverse crowd of Afghans and Westerners in front of Darul Aman Palace outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. Part 2, originally exhibited in Kabul, shows a photoshopped collage of an art-world crowd and protesters gathering outside of the Orangerie in Kassel. Macuga's composition technique of collaging together historical photographs and subsequently having the image woven into a unified textile allows her to 'illuminate the elusive relationship between historic documentation and truth'.
- Untitled, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
- It Broke from Within, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
- Exhibit, A, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
- Kate MacGarry, London
- Untitled, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New YorkShowroom, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich
- dOCUMENTA (13), Fridericianum, Kassel and Queen's Palace, Bagh-e Babur, Kabul
- Non-Consensual Act (in Progress), Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm
- Sexuality of Atoms, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
- Time as Fabric, New Museum, New York
- To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll, Fondazione Prada, Milan
- In Polish her first name would be spelled Gośka, a common diminutive form of Małgorzata, equivalent to the English "Margaret".
- "Four artists up for Turner Prize", BBC, 13 May 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
- "Art Now. Objects in relation: Goshka Macuga", Tate. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
- Eastham, Ben (22 April 2016). "Disobedient Curiosity". frieze.com. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
- Eve M. Kahn (March 11, 2009), Woven ‘Guernica’ Departs U.N. for London New York Times.
- Pam Kent (April 21, 2009), After an Expansion, the Whitechapel Gallery Reopens New York Times.
- Quesne, Lizzy Le. "Divus | Goshka Macuga: The Nature of the Beast. Whitechapel Gallery, London". www.divus.cc. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
- "Goshka Macuga In Conversation with Peter Eeley and Bartholomew Ryan". Walker Art Center. Walker Art Center. Retrieved 2015-12-20.
- "Goshka Macuga: It Broke from Within". walkerart.org. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
- Goshka Macuga: Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not, 2, December 13, 2012 – January 13, 2013 Smart Museum of Art, Chicago.
- Einsohn, Gabriel (May 3, 2013). "New Museum Presents "Goshka Macuga: Time as Fabric"" (PDF). New Museum Press Release. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- Goshka Macuga: Untitled, 3 December 2011 – 19 February 2012, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland.
- Goshka Macuga: It Broke from Within, 14 April – 14 August 2011, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US.
- Goshka Macuga: Exhibit, A, 15 December 2012 – 7 April 2013, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois, US.
- Goshka Macuga, 14 September – 27 October 2012, Kate MacGarry, London, UK.
- Goshka Macuga: Untitled, 13 September - 22 December 2012, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, New York, US.
- Goshka Macuga: Showroom, 29 June – 11 August 2012, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich, Germany.
- dOCUMENTA (13) Archived 2015-03-06 at the Wayback Machine., 9 June – 16 September 2012, Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany and 20 June – 19 July 2012, Queen's Palace, Bagh-e Babur, Kabul, Afghanistan.
- Goshka Macuga: Non-Consensual Act (in Progress), 14 December 2013 – 12 April 2014, Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden.
- Goshka Macuga: Sexuality of Atoms, 12 September - 5 October 2013, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, New York, US.
- Public Address: Goshka Macuga Tapestries, 14 June – 31 August 2014, Lunds konsthall, Lund, Sweden.
- 8th Berlin Biennale, 29 May – 3 August 2014, Dahlem Museums, Berlin, Germany.
- Goshka Macuga: Time as Fabric, 4 May – 26 June 2016, New Museum, New York, New York, US.
- Goshka Macuga: To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll, 4 February – 19 June 2016, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy.