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Photograph of Gillian Wearing Self Portrait at 17 Years Old, 2003, to cover of exhibition catalogue, by Ridinghouse.

Gillian Wearing

Text by Daniel F Herrmann
Text by Doris Krystof
Text by Bernhart Schwenk
Text by David Deamer


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  • This book accompanied the major international touring exhibition Gillian Wearing at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 28 March–17 June 2012; K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 8 September 2012–6 January 2013; and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 1 March–9 June 2013
  • Gillian Wearing (b.1963) is one of Britain's leading Conceptual artists. One of the YBAs (Young British Artists), she won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1997. She was awarded a CBE in 2019 for services to art
  • Wearing works primarily in photography, time-based media and sculpture – though during lockdown she returned to painting. Her work examines the human condition, at times documenting aspects of everyday life, exploring public versus private lives, questioning reality versus fiction, and looking at what constitutes an individual's identity
  • Her most famous work is Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say of 1992–93, a major series in which she photographed strangers holding up a piece of paper on which they had written their innermost thoughts
  • Wearing's bronze sculpture of the suffragist Millicent Fawcett was erected in 2018 in London's Parliament Square – the first sculpture of a woman in this important public space
  • This monograph is the catalogue for a major career survey that featured new films and sculptures, along with never-before-published archival material
Full Description

This monograph provides an overview of the work of Gillian Wearing, one of the UK’s most significant Conceptual artists, from the iconic Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992–93) – a series of photographic portraits of people holding up signs with written personal confessions or thoughts – to her 2010 video Bully, in which the roles of victims and perpetrators, actors and directors, are blurred.

Also included are new photographic works, two portraits from her ongoing series of iconic photographers, and still lifes of flowers that are inspired by the rich symbolism of seventeenth-century Dutch painting.

The publication accompanied a major international survey of the artist’s work at Whitechapel Gallery, London; K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, in 2012–13. It features 100 full-colour illustrations and never-before-published archival material, accompanied by new texts by the exhibition’s curators Daniel F. Herrmann, Doris Krystof and Bernhart Schwenk.

About the Author

Daniel F. Herrmann is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Projects at the National Gallery in London. He was previously the Eisler Curator and Head of Curatorial Studies at Whitechapel Gallery.

Doris Krystof is an art historian and author, and a Curator at K20/K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. She was previously curator for modern and contemporary art at Kunsthalle Vienna.

Bernhart Schwenk is the Chief Curator of Contemporary Art at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

David Deamer is a film theorist, independent scholar and the author of Deleuze’s Cinema Books: Three Introductions to the Taxonomy of Images (2016) and Deleuze, Japanese Cinema and the Atom Bomb: The Spectre of Impossibility (2014). Deamer was lecturer in film theory at Manchester Metropolitan University (1999–2017) and currently heads engagement and events for the British Society for Phenomenology.

21st Jul 2022
Paperback / softback
World excluding USA & Canada
320 mm x 231 mm
232 Pages
120 color
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