Carol Bove has become known for her large-scale steel sculptures that combine found and made elements and incorporate a variety of techniques and processes. Her works are characterized by distinctive, smooth surfaces or intricate folds that belie their material construction. Ranging from multiple welded pieces to single units, Bove’s multifaceted sculptures advance and explore steel’s formal and poetic possibilities. As the artist notes, “One of the things I experience with steel is that it’s very expressive, but it’s not emotional. There are all these kinds of feelings that it can express without necessarily being about emotions like angst or happiness or joy; I think they’re about the urgency of survival, or the power of illusion.”1
Born in 1971 in Geneva to American parents, Carol Bove was raised in Berkeley, California, and studied at New York University. Between 2009 and 2013, Bove was a clinical associate professor of studio art in Steinhardt’s Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU. She joined David Zwirner in 2011. In 2015, The Plastic Unit marked her first solo exhibition at the gallery’s London location, which was followed in 2016 by Polka Dots, her first solo show with the gallery in New York; a catalogue accompanied the exhibition and included an essay by Johanna Burton. The artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery was presented in London in 2018.
The artist was recently selected to participate in the 58th Venice Biennale entitled May You Live In Interesting Times. Curated by Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery in London, the exhibition is on view through November 24, 2019.
Bove’s large-scale sculptures are often exhibited outdoors and in public spaces. From June 14-17, 2018, Bove debuted her largest sculpture to date at the 2018 edition of Unlimited at Art Basel. In 2017, the artist’s sculptures were installed in the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria, The Contemporary Austin. That same year, her work was on view in Women of Venice at the Swiss Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, where she was invited to respond to the legacy of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. The artist’s steel-beam sculpture Lingam (2015) was installed in City Hall Park in New York as part of the 2016 summer group exhibition The Language of Things, organized by Public Art Fund, and in 2013, she created a series of sculptures specifically for the High Line at the Rail Yards in New York.
In 2014, the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, in collaboration with Museion, Bolzano, Italy, and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium, organized a two-person exhibition with Carol Bove and Carlo Scarpa. Her work has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions that include The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); The Common Guild, Glasgow (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010); Horticultural Society of New York (2009); Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin (2006); Kunsthalle Zürich (2004); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2004); and Kunstverein Hamburg (2003). Major group exhibitions include documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); 54th Venice Biennale (2011); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008).
Work by the artist is represented in permanent collections worldwide, including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Fonds régional d’art contemporain (FRAC) Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkirk, France; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
1 Carol Bove quoted in “Q & A: Carol Bove on showing in the Swiss Pavilion.” Apollo (April 2017), p. 28.