Cathy Wilkes, Untitled, 2012. Photo by Pablo Enriquez.

Cathy Wilkes to Represent the UK at Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale

The British Council announced today that Cathy Wilkes—an Irish artist who is best known for creating sculptural installations, featuring found and altered objects, that evoke domestic interiors and daily rituals—will represent the UK at the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale, which will run from May 11, 2019 to November 24, 2019. Zoe Whitley, a curator of international art at Tate Modern, will curate the pavilion.

Wilkes’s first monographic exhibition was recently staged at MoMA PS1 in New York. In a review of the major survey, published in the January issue of Artforum, Laura McLean-Ferris wrote: “Incorporating found objects from the Glasgow area (where the artist is based) into assemblage, painting, and sculpture, Wilkes’s work elicits a deep form of attention that defies the tyranny of forgetting, overlooking, not noticing.” The show was organized in conjunction with Wilkes’s winning of the inaugural Maria Lassnig Prize.

Born in Belfast in 1966, Wilkes attended the Glasgow School of Art. She represented Scotland at the 2005 Venice Biennale and participated in the biennial’s international exhibition in 2013. She was also nominated for the Turner Prize in 2008. Her work has been showcased in solo exhibitions at institutions such as Tate Liverpool, the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, among others.

Commenting on Wilkes’s practice, Hugh Mulholland, senior curator at the Mac in Belfast and a member of the pavilion selection committee, said: “Cathy Wilkes is a deeply thoughtful artist; central to her practice is a desire to give voice to an inner world, to understand the human condition and to address an emotional deficit at the core of society, a preoccupation which could not be more apt for the current world order. Her presence at the Biennale Arte 2019 is a fitting acknowledgement of her considerable achievements to date.”