The new gallery set up by TATE in Venice Biennale in 2014 created an exhibition of Bard news and problems

Helen Marten /   Helen Elizabeth Marten

United Kingdom 1985

Installation, Sculpture, Video Art

Helen Marten
Helen Elizabeth Marten
United Kingdom
December 6, 2016
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A young yet already well-recognized author, Helen Marten is an English artist based in London who works in the mediums of sculpture, video and installation art, as well as in the combinations of the three. In what is one of the most interesting short analysis we’ve heard in a while, Jörg Heiser had described Helen’s work with the following words: Marten treats physical stuff the digital way: she drags and drops, compresses and unpacks, crashes and reboots. It should be noted that Marten won many awards for her work over the years, crowned by the Turner Prize in 2016[1] which is both her most recent and significant recognition. Helen also won the 2016 Hepworth Prize, the Prix Lafayette in 2011 and the 2012 LUMA Award.

In 2013 and 2014, Coles offered the best news about every britain gallery
Helen Marten – An Instalation View at Kunsthalle Zürich – Image via

A Unique Installation Artist

Helen Elizabeth Marten was born in the year of 1985, in Macclesfield, a town and civil parish in Cheshire, England. In order to achieve such a high understanding of art making practices she possesses today, she attended classes at two different institutions – the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at the University of Oxford and Central Saint Martins. Here, she started developing her unique installation vocabulary which heavily depends on references and abstract constructions. Helen uses sculptures, screen prints and her own writings as tools that give her installation artworks the aforementioned references which range from contemporary to historical commentaries. Some of these messages are mundane while some other are enigmatic, depending on the goals of the particular piece at hand. As for the installation that won her the Turner Prize, Marten used a range of handmade and found objects drawn from daily life such as cotton buds, coins, shoe soles, limes, marbles and eggs. This gathering of objects called Brood and Bitter Pass had a playful intent and it represents a poetic visual puzzle that invites the viewers to a game or a riddle to be solved – a feature which definitely helped Helen win the main prize at the competition.

Helen Marten won the Turner Prize in 2016 thanks to her artwork called Brood and Bitter Pass

In 2013, britain Tate exhibition dealt with problems of Bard paintings and coles sculptures
Helen Marten – Brood and Bitter Pass, 2015 – Image via

Collections and Honors

Over the course of the last few years, the work of Helen Marten had found its way into numerous private and public acquisitions. Her art is included in the prestigious collections of Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torino and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among many others. There’s no reason to believe her artworks will not continue to be included in these and many other collections as Helen seems to be going nowhere but up – especially now after she won both The Hepworth Prize and The Turner Prize in 2016. As a part of a review for Helen’s show called The Plank Salad, Adrian Searle stated an interesting observation which actually provides a valuable insight into how someone analyzing the work of this artist feels: Marten makes you want to look very closely at the things she makes and the traces she leaves. Her way of thinking, with its word salads and trap-door metaphors, is dangerously infectious. I hate the idea of artists as rising stars because they all too often turn into next year’s burned-out asteroids. But imagine what Marten might do with an asteroid. Rarely have I been so struck.

Every gallery and museum of New York and London are interested in Venice Biennale exhibitions
Helen Marten – Peanuts, 2012 – Image via

What Separates Helen Marten

Helen Marten’s playful and inventive way of art making is a genuine refreshment to the European scene, so it comes as no surprise that many prestigious awards found a way to her in the recent past. Ultimately, what differents Marten from the rest of her colleagues (and the rest of us, to be honest) is that she thinks differently from everyone else. [2] Where we see ordinary and mundane objects or even rubbish, she sees artistic materials and all the potential hidden within them. This allows her to make works that are incredibly extraordinary and innovative to a point we can’t wait to see what Helen has in store for us next.

Helen Elizabreth Marten lives and works in London, United Kingdom.


  1. Nick Glass, Turner Prize 2016 awarded to Helen Marten, CNN Style, December 6, 2016
  2. Adrian Searle, Helen Marten: an artist who thinks differently from the rest of us, The Guardian, December 5, 2016

Featured image: Helen Marten – Photo of the artist, 2015 – Image via
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MusumSolo/Group
2017No Man's Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family CollectionNational Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC Group
2017Turner Prize 2016Tate Britain, London Group
2017OverPopYuz Museum Shanghai, Shanghai Group
2016Helen Marten: Eucalyptus: Let Us InGreene Naftali, New York City, NY Solo
2016Invisible Adversaries : Marieluise Hessel CollectionHessel Museum of Art & Center for Curatorial Studies Galleries at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY Group
2016Welt Am DrahtJulia Stoschek Collection Berlin, Berlin Group
201620th Biennale of SydneyBiennale of Sydney, Sydney, NSW Group
2016The New Human. Knock, Knock, Is Anyone Home?Moderna Museet Malmö, Malmö Group
2016Life ItselfModerna Museet, Stockholm Group
2016Artists' ClothesCarlos-Ishikawa, London Group
2015The World is Made of StoriesAstrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo Group
2015The Ultimate VesselKoppe Astner, Glasgow, Scotland Group
2015Screen Play: Life In An Animated WorldAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY Group
2015This SentenceChina Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA Group
2015This SentencePublic Fiction, Los Angeles, CA Group
2015Drawings from the Ringier Collection Chapter IVilla Flora Winterthur, Sammlung Hahnloser, Winterthur Group
2015Biennale di Venezia: 56th International Art ExhibitionLa Biennale di Venezia Settore Arte, Venice Group
2015Works from the Astrup Fearnley CollectionAstrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo Group
2015Turn On: Time-Based Art from the Julia Stoschek CollectionTel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv Group
2015Things: A Century of Works Purchased with the Contemporary Art SocietyGrundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, Lancashire Group
2015Hans-Purrmann-Preise 2015Ausstellung der Bewerber, Kulturhof Flachsgasse , Speyer Group
2014Helen Marten: Orchids, or a hemispherical bottomJohann König, Berlin Solo
2014Helen Marten: Parrot ProblemsKunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel Solo
2014The go-betweenMuseo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples Group
2014Mirrorcity: London Artists On Fiction And RealityHayward Gallery, London Group
2014On the Devolution of CultureRob Tufnell, London Group
2014Europe, EuropeAstrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo Group
2014QuizGALERIE POIREL, Nancy Group
2014unendlicher spassSchirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Main Group
2014Nouvelle GénérationNord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque Group
2014High Performance. Die Julia Stoschek Collection Zu Gast Im Zkm. Zeitbasierte Medienkunst Seit 1996Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe Group
2014Superficial HygieneDe Hallen, Haarlem Group
2013Helen Marten: No Borders In A Wok That Can’T Be CrossedHessel Museum of Art & Center for Curatorial Studies Galleries at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY Solo
2013Entropy of a CityJulia Stoschek Collection, Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest Group
201312th Biennale de Lyon 2013biennale d'art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon Group
2013Biennale di Venezia55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice Group
2012Helen MartenChisenhale Gallery, London Solo
2012Evian DiseasePalais de Tokyo, Paris Solo
2012Helen MartenKunsthalle Zürich, Zurich Solo
2012New Pictures of Common ObjectsMoMA PS1, New York City, NY Group
2012The New PublicMuseum für moderne und zeitgenössische Kunst , Bolzano Group
2012Inside The BananaAlgus Greenspon, New York City, NY Group
2012GlazeGalerie Chez Valentin, Paris Group
2012Struggle(s)Maison Particulière Art Center, Brussels Group
2012MarchSadie Coles HQ, London Group
2011Helen Marten: Take a stick and make it sharpJohann König, Berlin Solo
2011Painting…expandedEspacio 1414, Santurce Group
2011Beyond GestaltungBielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld Group
2011Hasta MananaThe Greene Naftali Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2011Mirages, Fountains & Dissociative Composition Julien Bismuth, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Geert Goiris, Ed Johnson, Helen MarteGalerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels Group
2010Helen Marten: I Like My Heroes Marble ChestedCarl Kostyál, London Solo
2010Helen Martenwicked patterns, T293, Naples Solo
2010Helen MartenT293, Rome, Rome Solo
2010ZündkerzeMatthew Bown Gallery, Berlin, Berlin Group
2010WuffCOCO (Contemporary Concerns), Vienna Group
2010Tatton Park Biennial 2010Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire Group
2010Inaugrual ShowGallery Vela, London Group
2010Mexican BlanketMuseum 52, London, London Group
2008GrottoMuseum 52, London, London Group
2008Riddle meDanielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London Group