Sarah Sze’s site-specific work explores a basic challenge of sculpture: how to breathe life into inanimate objects. Using humble materials, Sze creates work that seems to function as an independent organism, with a fragile internal life support system. The pieces often teeter on the brink of existence, built just at the edge of their ability to sustain themselves structurally. This seeming ephemerality conveys a sense of the fleeting existence of objects, situations, and places.
During her fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute, Sze will create a series of sculptures titled “The Art of Losing.” This series will explore structures that are losing mass, describing processes of entropy, dissolution, and erosion. The sculptures will be cut, sectioned in half, or stripped down and worn away, revealing the skeletal structures, building-like foundations, or underlying support mechanisms that lie beneath.
Sze has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1996. Recent solo exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work has been included in group show venues such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the Venice Biennale. She is a 2003 MacArthur Fellow and was granted a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Competition Award in 1999. Sze received her bachelor’s from Yale College in 1991 and her master of fine arts from the School of Visual Arts in 1997. She is currently an officer at the School of Arts at Columbia University.