Fall 2015 Talks: Fiona Banner

About the Talk

Through sculpture, drawing, film, performance, and installation, British artist Fiona Banner explores the visual limitations of language. Banner has presented many works in the public realm and has often found sculpture to be a useful tool in articulating her chosen subject matter. She is well known for her text-based “portraits” of films or objects that are represented in a variety of media, including text, sculpture, and the artist’s own film work. Most recently, Banner’s exploration of historic military aircraft was the subject of a site-specific public installation at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Through an overview of her practice, Banner’s talk will explore the relationships between her work, the public, history, myth, and the inherent connections that bind them.

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

This program is made possible in part by Con Edison and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.



The New School

The 66 West 12th Street Auditorium

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Media Gallery

About the Artist

Fiona Banner (b. 1966, Merseyside, UK) lives and works in London. Notable recent solo exhibitions include Wp Wp Wp, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, United Kingdom (2014); The Vanity Press, Summerhall, Edinburgh (2013); and Peace on Earth at Tate Britain, London (2007). Forthcoming exhibitions of her work will be presented at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2015) and Kunsthalle Nuremberg (2016). Banner’s work is included in numerous international public collections, including the Tate Gallery, London, the Van Abbemuseum, Netherlands, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Her work was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the British Pavilion for the 46th Venice Biennale (1995), and she was a nominee for the 2002 Turner Prize. She received her BA in Fine Art from Kingston Polytechnic, London and her MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London. Banner is represented by Frith Street Gallery, London, and 1301PE, Los Angeles.

About the Series: Public Context, Private Meaning

The public realm offers unique possibilities to consider how personal experiences with artworks intersect with their broader social and cultural contexts. The Fall 2015 Public Art Fund Talks at The New School series brings together three artists who address this relationship in different ways. Jeppe Hein’s interactive and experiential public sculptures invite audiences to actively engage with the work. Intimate bench sculptures become private spaces where a pair of friends might perch, while large labyrinths of mirrors and water sculptures encourage the public to participate as a group. Hank Willis Thomas mines popular culture to expose dominant power structures and reveal the subjective nature of how we see and understand the world around us. His investigation of the nature of truth across cultures connects the personal with our broader public experience. Fiona Banner’s works often present a dual experience, using recognizable forms as representations of a more private narrative based on a particular subject of research. While the nature of looking at all art is inherently subjective, public space provides a unique context for examining the personal experience of art in connection with the broader cultural landscape.