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Petah Coyne

Born 1953, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Lives and works in New York
Exhibition catalgue for 'Everything That Rises Must Converge, 2010.
Petah Coyne, referred to as “the queen of mixed media” by Artforum, is a contemporary sculptor and photographer working in innovative and disparate materials. Best known for her hanging sculptures and floor installations, Coyne’s practice of repurposing materials continually fuels her work, breathing new life into each object. Ranging from the organic to the ephemeral, her works incorporate dead fish, mud, sticks, hay, black sand, specially-formulated and patented wax, satin ribbons, velvet, silk flowers, and more recently, taxidermy and cast wax statues.
Themes of loss, darkness and hidden beauty are recurring in her work, what Director Joseph C. Thompson of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art stated in 2010 on the occasion of Coynes solo show Everything That Rises Must Converge, as “a world of dense, enfolding forces, a world in which rising from the surface takes one inwards to some dark, ultimate center.” Throughout her oeuvre she derives her inspiration from equally diverse sources of literature and film, from Eastern literary figures, Dante’s Divine Comedy and Greek and Roman mythology, to world culture, the natural environment and the artists own personal biography. The title of Coyne’s most recent solo show in 2016 at Nunu Fine Art, Taipei, A Free Life, originates from a novel of the same name by noted Chinese-American author Ha Jin. The show featured ten photographic works by the artist, alongside the debut of two wax sculptures from her latest series focusing on the work of an Eastern writer and film maker.
Her work is in numerous permanent museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland, among others.
Select awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award, The Rockefeller Foundation Award, three National Endowment for the Arts Awards, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, Asian Cultural Center Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Award, Anonymous Was A Woman Award, Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial Foundation Award, Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities Awards, and the Art Matters Award.
She has been reviewed by Aesthetica Magazine, Aperture Magazine, Art in America, Artdaily, Artforum, Artnet, ARTnews Magazine, Artspace, Blouin Artinfo, BOMB Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, ELLE Italia ELLE Taiwan, Frieze, Hyperallergic, Interior Design, Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, Newsday, Sculpture Magazine, Tema Celeste, The Boston Globe, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The San Francisco Examiner, The Times (London), The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Village Voice, Vogue Magazine, and Washington Post.
Born in Oklahoma City in 1953, Coyne currently lives in New York and is represented by Galerie Lelong, New York and Nunu Fine Art, Taiwan.
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