Tauba Auerbach

United States 1981

Conceptual Art, Op Art


Tauba Auerbach
Tauba Auerbach
United States
November 7, 2014
Music, Gestalt, .

The precise and formal approach which Tauba Auerbach applies on her art practice provide her with the reputation of a purist. The propensity for purified and minimal forms is present from the very begging of her career, yet it is as time passes by the maturity of her expression becomes apparent. The constant enchantment with science, especially mathematics and physics, leads Auerbach on the path of creating carefully taught exhibitions. Ongoing interest in variations on the theme of perception, in general, suggests focused and concise agenda practically embedded in the artist’s desire to expand the conventional notions of spatial experience and dimensionality.

The artist has shown a number of fold paintings on exhibition in New York gallery in 2009
Tauba-Auerbach – Auerglass Organ, 2009, image courtesy of the artist

Becoming Conceptual Artist

Tauba Auerbach was born in 1981, in San Francisco. Growing up in a family of theater designers directed her from an early age towards arts and naturally, the desire to become art professional was not surprising. In 2003 she graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Visual Art and in parallel with the studies from 2002-2005 was apprenticed and worked as a sign painter at New Bohemia Signs gallery in San Francisco. From that period Auerbach’s activity is pulsating since she realized numerous solo projects and collaborations on the fringes of media and genre and exhibited constantly in museum and gallery context.

The matters of artwork reduction in a favor of experimentation

This peculiar American artist has realized a large number of projects which includes painting since 2011.
Tauba Auerbach – Slice/Wave Fulgurite III, 2013, im1ge courtesy of the artist

Refined and Subtle Aesthetics

At first glance, the projects of Tauba Auberich are of the conceptualist ones. Nevertheless, influences from minimal, op and kinetic art and even Fluxus movement are rather obvious. Despite the fact that minimalist and simplified interventions she produces transfer the artist’s interest in manipulating with systems, modules or formations, it’s the wit that makes them progressive and different. As a matter of fact, the art practice of Auberich functions as a reflection of contemporary visual respectively digital culture and a subverted reply to the quote Less is More by famous modernist architect Mies Van Der Rohe often used to describe reduced forms and concepts.[1]

The hybrid musical objects of Tauba Auerbach are impressive, yet utilitarian

Auerbach’s canvas were part of group selection in the Whitney museum of American art in 2011
Tauba Auerbach – Altar-Engine, 2015, courtesy of the artist

From Book Design To Musical Sculptures and Back

Great role in Auerbach’s artistic career presents Diagonal Press, a publishing unit that has founded in 2013. Throughout this agency, she publishes books, type specimens and promotes other items such as badges and manipulatives, which still is in contact with her art. It appears to be the extension of her previous experiments on with text, fold and grain paintings, etc. Although the artist was mainly focused on restrictions of two-dimensional surfaces, with hybrid musical objects, which are in between traditional sculpture and a musical instrument, she went one step further engaging even participation and performance in her work.[2] Therefore, by activating mind, body and soul at the simultaneously she accentuates the aim of her experiments – reaching into other realm or rather creating an atmosphere of contemplation in the terms of different dimensionality.

Programmatically formed installations have become the artist’s trademark

Besides exhibition activity, her works were being published in books and are present in press from 2012.
Tauba Auerbach – Projective Instrument, 2016, Installation view, image via paulacoopergallery

Peripheral Vision Woven in Art Practice

The art of Tauba Auerbach seems to be constantly sleeping away in regards to a category or genre. Her conceptual grip is similar to a surgical incision, it is meticulous but intended to remove some kind of condition. Therefore, it is not relevant for Auerbach’s work to be classified since it’s constantly stirring from conventional art narratives and transforms over and over again. The last but not the least layer of her exceptional work is the importance of female experience and it’s indivisibility from the crafts. The specter of activities that involve the processing of materials suggest not just mere artistic infatuation, yet those gestures reflect the artist’s independence and vigor which makes it related to feminist strategies in art.

Tauba Auerbach lives and works in New York.


  1. Fisk, C. (2012): Tauba Auerbach’s Peripheral Visions, Art in America Magazine, [December 1,2016]
  2. Alfonso, E.A. (2016): Tauba Auerbach’S Projective Instruments, V Magazine, [December 1,2016]

Featured image: Portrait of the artist in front of her work, photo credits brooketestoni.com
All other images for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014 Tauba Auerbach: The New Ambidextrous Universe Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK Solo
2014 DECORUM: Carpets and tapestries by artists Musee DʼArt Moderne, Paris,France Group
2014Reductive Minimalism University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Group
2014Halftone: Through the Grid Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin, Germany and Paris,France Group
2014PLIAGE-FOLD Gagosian Gallery, Paris, France Group
2014FIFTH DIMENSION Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, IL Group
2014The Illuminated Library San Francisco State University, CA Group
2014Test Pattern Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY Group
2014Surface Tension Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York, NY Group
2014Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo: Have you seen me before?, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK Group
2014Abstract Generation: Now in Print Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY Group
2014Contemporary Galleries: 1980 – Now Museum of Modern Art, New York, NYGroup
2014White Collar Crimes organized by Vito Schnabel, Acquavella Gallery, New York, NY Group
2013Gnomon-Wave, part of the Night (1947 – 2015) sculpture-in-residence program Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, CT Solo
2013 UIA (Unlikely iterations of the abstract), curated by Bill Arning, Contemporary ArtsN Museum, Houston, TX Group
2012 Float Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY Solo
2012 Field Conditions curated by Joseph Becker, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA Group
2012Coquilles Mécaniques, curated by Joanna Fiduccia, Centre Rhénan dʼArt Contemporain, Alsace, France Group
2012Ecstatic Alphabets curated by Laura Hoptman, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY Group
2012The Painting Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA Group
2012Remote Controlcurated by Matt Williams, ICA London, London, UK Group
2012Lifelike Walker Art Center, Minneapolis ;travels to New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA , Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA Group
2011 Tetrachromat Bergen Kunsthall, Norway . Travels to Malmö Konsthall, Sweden ; Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Belgium Solo
2011A Book is Not An XGlenn Horowitz Bookseller, East Hampton, NY Solo
2011 The Indiscipline of Painting curated by Daniel Sturgis, Martin Clark and Sarah Shalgosky, Tate St. Ives, St. Ives, UK . Group
2011One Dozen Paintings The Journal, Brooklyn, NY Group
2011Highways Connect and Divide Foxy Production, New York, NY Group
2011Untitled (Painting) and Tulsa, 1968 A film by Larry Clark Luhring Augustine, New York,Group
2010 The W Axis Standard (Oslo), Oslo, NorwaySolo
2010QuarryWhitney Museum Construction Site Installation, New York, NYSolo
2010New Year Western Bridge, Seattle, WASolo
2010 Exhibition, Exhibition curated by Adam Carr, Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, ItalyGroup
2010Geometry Playground, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MNGroup
2010The More Things Change SFMoMA, San Francisco, CAGroup
2010You and Now curated by Hannes Hetta Galerie BaliceHertling, Paris, France Group
2010Peter Saville: Accessories To An Artwork curated by Peter Saville, Glenn Group
2010UntitledHorowitz Bookseller, East Hampton, NY. Group
2010Picture Industry (Good Bye to All That) Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Group
2010Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection curated by Jeff Koons, New Museum, New York, NY Group
2010Le Faux Miroir, curated by Bob Nickas Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2010Fragments of Machines, curated by Will Bradley Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany Group
2010Greater New York MoMA PS1 Long Island City, NYGroup
2010Seven on Seven organized by Rhizome2010 New Museum, New York, NYGroup
2010The cBiennial, curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
2010Fragments of Machines curated by Will Bradley IMO Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark Group
2010What Where, Curated by Tom Duncan Sutton Lane, London, UK Group
2009 Here and Now-And NowhereDeitch Projects, New York, NYSolo
2009 Punctuation, curated by Chris Fitzpatrick and Kevin Killian Right Window, San Francisco, CA Group
2009Maximal Minimal Art Advisory, Lugano, SwitzerlandGroup
2009Brooklyn Queens curated by Eddie Martinez The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2009New York Minute curated by Kathy Grayson Macro Museo DʼArte, Rome, Italy. Group
2009Fax The Drawing Center, New York, NYGroup
2009Younger than Jesus The New Museum, New York, NYGroup
2009SECA Award Show SFMoMA, San Francisco, CAGroup
2009Almost Always Is Nearly Enough Standard (Oslo), Oslo, NorwayGroup
2009The Word is Mine Gallery Lange and Pult, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2009A Twilight Art Harris Liebermann Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008 Passengers Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CASolo
2008The Uncertainly Principle Standard (Oslo), Oslo, NorwaySolo
2008 Paper, Scissors, Stone, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, SwedenGroup
2008Idiolects Brown Gallery, London, UKGroup
2008Successive Approximation, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008No Information Given, curated by Francesco Bonami, Gladstone Gallery, Brussels, Belgium Group
2008Constraction Deitch Projects, New York, NYGroup
2008Gut of the Quantifier Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2007The Answer-Wasnʼt Here Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2007 Signs and Messages from Modern Life Kate MacGarry Gallery, London, UKGroup
2007Passengers Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CAGroup
2007Paintings, Props and Problems (Still Unresolved) Standard (Oslo), Oslo, NorwayGroup
2007Cabinet of Curosities, curated by Kathy Grayson The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2007Late Liberties, curated by Augusto Arbizo John Connelly Presents, New York, NYGroup
2007Analogous Logic Temporary Storage, Brooklyn, NY Group
2007Warhol And… Kantor Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007Dream and Trauma Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2007Words Canʼt Describe It Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CAGroup
2007Words Fail Me, curated by Matthew HiggsMuseum Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, MI Group
2007For Sale, curated by Jens Hoffman Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal Group
2007Cosmic Dreams, curated by Friederike Nymphius, Kunsthalle Andratx, Mallorca, SpainGroup
2007Beneath the Underdog, curated by Nate Lowman and Adam McEwen Gagosian Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2007Euphorion Pierogi Leipzig, Leipzig, GermanyGroup
2007 Almost Home Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2006Yes and Not Yes Deitch Projects, New York, NYSolo
2006 Panic Room Deste Foundation, Athens, GreeceGroup
2006Mafia or One Unopened Packet of Cigarettes Standard (Oslo), Oslo, NorwayGroup
2006Calli-Graffi Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CAGroup
2006California Print Show Paulson Press, Berkeley, CAGroup
2006New Prints 2006-WinterInternational Print Center, New York, NYGroup
2005 All Time, All the TimESan Francisco Art Commission, San Francisco, CASolo
2005How to Spell the Alphabet New Image Art Gallery Los Angeles, CASolo
2005Writing Letters: Tauba Auerbach, Joe Amrhein, Steve Powers Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2005Signs of the Real and Infinite Tauba Auerbach and Nico Dios, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
20054 Squared Motel, Portland, ORGroup
2005December BenefitJack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2005Dreamland Artistʼs Club Coney Island, New York, NYGroup
2004 The San Francisco Show New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004Hot and Cold #7 Mama Buzz Gallery, Berkeley, CAGroup
2004More Often than Not Needles and Pens, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004In the Street Luggage Store Street Theater Festival, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004The Primary Pleasures of Eating, or Drinking, or Looking, or Sex Adobe Books, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004Whatʼs In a Book? New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CAGroup
2002 No War Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2001 ING: Ben Prince, Will Yackulic, Tauba Auerbach Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup