Conceptual Art

Adam McEwen

United Kingdom 1965

Installation, Conceptual Art

Adam McEwen
Adam McEwen
United Kingdom
November 12, 2014
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Adam McEwen is a British artist whose installations and sculptures are manipulating familiar items, re-purposing them in new, unexpected contexts. His interventions are lowering audience’s indifference to the mass media exposure present in the daily life.

Adam McEwen was born in London. In 1987 he attended his BA course in English Literature at the Christ Church in Oxford. In 1991 he moved to the Valencia where he studied art at California Institute of the Arts.

After writing obituaries for the Daily Telegraph in London, he began producing obituaries of living subjects thus highlighting the blurred line between history and fiction. He created morbidly humorous works that often address the celebrity-driven nature of the media and its broad impact on contemporary culture, as in his series of enlarged, wall-mounted mock-obituaries of living celebrities, like Kate Moss or Jeff Koons. As the artist has stated, “I’m interested in that brief second when you aren’t sure whether Bill Clinton is alive or dead. I only need that moment in order to disorient them enough to sneak through to some other part of the brain—to achieve that split second of turning the world upside down.”

This artist is also known for paintings employing wads of chewing gum on canvas that reference the bombing of German cities in the Second World War, and for machined graphite sculptures of such banal objects as a water cooler or an air conditioner.

Although McEwen’s text paintings situate his work in relation to artists such as Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, and Christopher Wool, his conceptual practice links him more closely with Andy Warhol. Like Warhol, McEwen excavates our obsession with a celebrity and tabloid dominated culture. His work resides somewhere between the celebratory and funereal.

For over ten years he has exhibited internationally and domestically. His presence in New York is especially extensive; he has shown at many of the city’s essential galleries and museums, including PS 1 MoMa, New Museum, Whitney Biennale, and the Guggenheim. McEwen’s studio practice also extends into written and curatorial projects.

He lives and works in New York, NY.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Non-Alignment PactGalerie Art: Concept, ParisSolo
2014Factory TintCapitain Petzel, BerlinSolo
2014In NO timeThe Modern Institute, Osborne Street, GlasgowGroup
2014CopiedAndrew Roth Gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Reliable Tension32 Edgewood Gallery, Yale University of Art, New HavenGroup
2014Home Again, Again IIThe Journal Gallery, New YorkGroup
2013Rehabilitating the Steinway Tube DuctsGalerie Rodolphe Janssen, BrusselsSolo
2013Sawney BeanThe Modern Institute, Osborne Street, GlasgowSolo
2013Atomkraft PaintingsNational Exemplar, New YorkSolo
2013Adam McEwenHome Alone I, New YorkSolo
2013The Show is OverGagosian Gallery, LondonGroup
2013WANTED Selected Works from the Mugrabi Collection Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel AvivGroup
2013Transforming the Known: Works from the Bert Kreuk CollectionGemeentemuseum, Den HaagGroup
2013Awaiting ImmanenceIsbrytaren, StockholmGroup
2012GraphiteIndianapolis Museum of Art, IndianapolisGroup
2012Out of the BlueBortolami Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012About Wood Artschwager/Herold/McEwenDavid Nolan Gallery, New YorkGroup
2012Advert, Insert, Cover, HeadlineBischoff/Weiss, LondonGroup
2012Ghosts Before BreakfastWhite Flag Projects, St LouisGroup
2012Second SkinVPL, New YorkGroup
2012ART and PRESSMartin-Gropius Bau, BerlinGroup
2012Sixth SaxHalsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, New YorkGroup
201111.11.11Gagosian Gallery, Los AngelesSolo
2011A Real Slow DragMarianne Boesky Gallery, New YorkSolo
2011The House of Marlon BrandoGalerie Art: Concept, ParisSolo
20112 AC PaintingsNational Exemplar, New YorkSolo
2010I Hate You, Billboard for EdinburghIngleby Gallery, EdinburghSolo
2010Feeling Called LoveGalerie Rodolphe Janssen, BrusselsSolo
2010I Am Curious YellowNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New YorkSolo
2009Switch and BaitNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New YorkSolo
2008Chicken or beefGlenn Horowitz Bookseller, East HamptonSolo
2007Who r u? lost all numbersGalerie Art: Concept, ParisSolo
2007U r the problemGalerie Rodolphe Janssen, BrusselsSolo
20068.00 for 8.30Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New YorkSolo
2006My MistakeJack Hanley Gallery, San FranciscoSolo
2004History is a Perpetual Virgin endlessly and repeatedly Deflowered by successive generations of Fucking LiarsNicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New YorkSolo
2003Adam McEwenAlessandra Bonomo Gallery, RomeSolo
2003Adam McEwenThe Wrong Gallery, New YorkSolo
2003Adam McEwenThe McAllister Institute, New YorkSolo