Tony Tasset (B. 1960 CINCINNATI, OHIO LIVES AND WORKS IN CHICAGO) has become renowned for creating work that satirizes our culture of exhibition and display. His work engages with the principle that the formation and understanding of our history is crucially affected by the manner in which our most esteemed objects are displayed and how our most cherished narratives are told—an approach that harkens McLuhan’s axiom “the medium is the message”. Works like Tasset’s “Hot Dog Man” (2011), “Bear” (2012), or “Rainbow” (2012) have come to epitomize Tasset’s work. Referencing the fiberglass advertisements common in America’s Midwest or on eastern seaboard boardwalks, these sculptures tap into a tradition of amusement and advertising culture considered unique to the States. In these pieces, dime novelties and highway side attractions are presented within the context of fine art, a synthesis which equates dichotomous ends of the traditional cultural evaluative spectrum. Tasset’s work was featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial of American Art and is included in the permanent collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and several other important institutions. Tasset has received the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Award and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award, among others. His large-scale sculptures dot the landscape of dozens of America’s beloved public spaces, including the Art Trail at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the lot of Sony Pictures Studios in California, and public plazas in Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and many other cities. Tasset is an emeritus professor at University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Tony Fitzpatrick
- Julia Lima