The French conceptual artist Sophie Calle is now considered as one of the most important artists of our time. Since the late 1970’s she has been active as a photographer, combining text, image and conceptual installations. Her work amounts to a systematic laying bare of reality, whether it be her own or other people's, with a limited portion left to chance. Absence of others is a central theme in her work. However Calle’s own existence plays an important role in her works. The documentary manner in which she presents her work suggests a high degree of factualness.
Calle grapples with modes of perception and identification by portraying life in all its diversity, handing over all the problems and questions to the viewer – and thereby, closing the loop, back to life itself – to find the answers. Her works are distinguished by the directness of her formal approach, her narrative skill, the conceptual enrichment they undergo over the course of their creation, and their power to draw in the observer with all his or her abilities and experiences. The uncertainty expressed in her works is what makes them so compelling.
“She uses photography in unique ways – no one else works with photography / text in this outstandingly original way – and she is a constant source of inspiration to younger generations of conceptually working artists.” - Hasselblad Foundation, 2011
Sophie Calle has gained international reputation through participating extensively for close to thirty years in major solo and group exhibitions and Biennials. She was invited to be the official representative of France at the 2007 Venice Biennial. Her project for Venice Prenez soin de vous was later exhibited again at the Bibliothèque National de France, Richelieu, Paris (2008), at the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia, Salvador and SESC Pompeia, São Paulo, both Brazil (2009). Further solo exhibitions in 2009 were staged at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles, the Whitechapel Gallery, London (travelling to De Pont–Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, The Netherland and Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2010).
A mid-career survey exhibition was showcased at Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany (2005), the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (both 2004), and the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2003). In 2010 she received the Hasselblad Award.
Calle's work is represented in major collections around the world, including: Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Guggenheim; Tate Gallery, London, UK; Los Angeles County Museum, L.A., USA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA, and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection.