Inaugurating the Contemporary Art Society’s new initiative VNXXCAS, which aims to re-dress gender balances in museum collections, LA-based artist Martine Syms’ (b.1988) work has been acquired for Leeds Art Gallery to form a centrepiece for a major collection display when the newly refurbished gallery opens in October 2017. Prior to it going to Leeds the film work A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere, 2015, will be presented at Camden Arts Centre, having its first showcase in a UK public institution.
Syms’ work looks at the construction of identity midst a lived reality. Montaging found imagery from films, television and the internet alongside her own filmed footage, she probes the linguistic and visual representations of gender and African Americans in the mass media.
Read an interview with the Principal Keeper of Leeds Art Gallery regarding the acquistion.
Martine Syms (b.1988) is an artist based in Los Angeles, having graduated from BFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Recent exhibitions include The Easy Demands at CONDO: Bridget Donahue hosted by Sadie Coles HQ (2017); Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Martine Syms: Fact & Trouble at the ICA, London (2016); as well as presentations at Manifesta 11, Karma International, Bridget Donahue Gallery, the New Museum, Kunsthalle Bern, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Index Stockholm, MOCA Los Angeles and MCA Chicago. Syms has lectured at Yale University, SXSW, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University and MoMA PS1, among other venues.
VNXXCAS is a joint initiative of philanthropist Valeria Napoleone and the Contemporary Art Society to purchase and donate a significant work by a living female artist to a UK museum each year.