Paul Pfeiffer (artist)

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Paul Pfeiffer (born Honolulu, Hawaii, 1966) is an American sculptor, photographer and video artist. Often described[by whom?] as a clever manipulator of popular media, images and video technology, Pfeiffer is reviewed by peer artist Gregory Volk as an artist 'who excels at recasting well-known athletic and entertainment events with surprising open-ended nuances.'[1][2][3]


Pfeiffer was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1966. At the age of ten, he moved to Philippines with his parents who were classically trained musicians. He later moved out of the country at the age of fifteen. Pfeiffer earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking from San Francisco Art Institute in 1987 and later earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College, New York in 1994. Pfeiffer has lived and worked in New York City since 1990. Between the year of 1997 and 1998, Pfeiffer had also participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art independent Program.

Exhibition history[edit]

Pfeiffer has had museum solo shows and projects at Duke University Museum of Art, Raleigh-Durham, NC (2000), the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2001), UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2001), the Barbican Arts Centre, London, United Kingdom (2001), Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland (2001), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2003), The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI (2003), K 21 Kunstsammlung, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (2004), Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, VT (2005), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2005), University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA (2007), Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany (2009), Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany (2011), Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX (2012), Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Malate Manila, Philippines (2015).


Pfeiffer's works are in public collections of national and international institutions including Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Artpace San Antonio, TX, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Santa Monica, CA, Daskalopoulos Collection, Athens, Greece, Ellipse Foundation, Alcoitão, Portugal, Fine Art Fund Group, London, UK, Goetz Collection, Munich, Germany, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin, Germany, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, Inhotim Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Inhotim, Brazil, K21/ Valeria Lieberman, Düsseldorf, Germany, Kunst Werke Berlin, Berlin, Germany, LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, MUDAM, Luxembourg, LU, MUSAC, Leon, Spain, Museo dʼArte Contemporanea Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy, Pinault Collection, Paris, France, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC, New York Public Library, New York, NY, Public Art Fund, New York, NY, RISD Museum of Art, Providence, RI, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM, Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, Zabludowizc Collection, London, UK and Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ.

Pfeiffer is currently represented by Paula Cooper Gallery in New York City; carlier | gebauer in Berlin, Germany and Thomas Dane Gallery in London, UK.

Awards and scholarships[edit]

In 1993, Pfeiffer was awarded as a Travel Grant Pilot by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts International. In 1994, he was given the Project Grant by the Art Matters foundation. In 1994, Pfeiffer won a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to the Philippines where he spent one year. in 1999, Pfeiffer participated in the World Trade Center Residency, and was awarded the Public Art Fund. Pfeiffer participated in the Whitney Biennial in 2000 and was awarded the inaugural $100,000 Bucksbaum Award. In 2001 he participated in the 49th Venice Biennale. In the same year, Pfeiffer participated in the MIT List Visual Arts Center Residency, which was jointly organized by the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.[4] Pfeiffer then participated in the Artspace Residency in San Antonio, TX in 2003. Pfeiffer was awarded The Alpert Award in the Arts, Visual Arts in 2009. In Fall 2011, Pfeiffer was a Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.[5]

Selected works[edit]

Pfeiffer's work is time-consuming and meticulous. "Pfeiffer makes a show of removing his subjectivity while investing himself intensely in his work: It can take him four months to produce a scant two minutes of video."[6]

  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (2000 - ): a series of photographic images of basketball games, from which all players except one have been edited out.
  • The Long Count (The Rumble in the Jungle) (2001): a video of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fighting, from which the fighters have been digitally removed.
  • Live From Neverland (2007) a video installation, divided into two separate videos, depicting Michael Jackson's 2003 press conference, in which the icon addresses child-molestation allegations, but with the sound removed and replaced on a separate screen by 80 children reciting the King of Pop's words in the manner of a Greek chorus. Pfeiffer's deft editing alternately speeds up and slows down Jackson's tape to sync perfectly with the children's recitation.[7]


  1. ^ Volk, Gregory. "Paul Pfeiffer," Art in America, January 2010, pg. 129; illus.
  2. ^ Cotter, Holland. “Paul Pfeiffer at the Whitney Museum of American Art,” The New York Times, January 18, 2002; illus.
  3. ^ Miller, Michael H. "Back on Home Court: Paul Pfeiffer Rebounds in New York with a Show Inspired By Basketball's Most Prodigious Lothario, Welcome to the 'Playroom'," The New York Observer, September 17, 2012, pp. B1 and B7; illus.
  4. ^ "MIT List Paul Pfeiffer". MIT List Visual Arts Center. Feb 2003. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  5. ^, retrieved June 3, 2009.
  6. ^ Katy Siegel, Artforum, Summer, 2000.
  7. ^ The Project: Past and future exhibitions

External links[edit]