b. 1964, United Kingdom

Liam Gillick Biography

Liam Gillick is an artist, curator, and theorist whose socially engaged practice is commonly associated with Relational Aesthetics. A 2002 Turner Prize Nominee, Gillick is also a faculty member at the Columbia University's School of Art in New York, a widely published writer, and a musician, actor, and art critic.

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Early Years

Born in Aylesbury, England, Gillick attended Goldsmiths College in London, graduating with a BFA in 1987. In the early 1990s, he, along with Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas, became known in London as the Young British Artists (YBA's).

In 2002, Gillick had his first major solo exhibition, featuring wooden pieces and a life-size maze at Whitechapel Gallery in London.


Gillick's artwork incorporates sculpture, print, architecture, graphic design, film, and music to explore the conditions of production in a post-industrial environment. Labour, the economy, and questions of social organisation are central to his practice.

The Wood Way (2002)

Gillick's first major exhibition, The Wood Way, refers to the evolving urban landscape recreated through a series of propositions about the built world offered as 20 panels made from Plexiglas and aluminium. Together, they formed a labyrinth in the lower gallery space, alluding to the constant negotiation, renovation, and change in our environments and its political ethics.

Named Think Tanks, Platforms and Screens, the structure reconfigured a familiar environment and introduced the opportunity to trigger events and social engagement. At the end of The Wood Way, the title alluding to being lost in the woods, two large cubes greet the viewer, returning them to the solidity and certainty of sculptural forms.

Relational Aesthetics

Gillick's work is commonly associated with Relational Aesthetics thanks to his inclusion in Nicholas Bourriaud's 1996 exhibition Traffic, which first introduced the term. Beyond sculpture and installation, Gillick's social-based practice includes collaborative projects, public commissions, publication, performance, and protest.

In 2010, Gillick composed a score for the film Beijing, made by his ex-wife, Sarah Morris. The same year, he and 27 previous Turner Prize nominees took part in a letter to the British Government protesting cuts to public funding for the arts. Gillick has also starred in 'Exhibition', a drama directed by Johanna Hogg, where he co-starred alongside The Slits guitarist Viv Albertine. He also collaborated with the band New Order in 2017, transforming the Manchester festival stage into an immersive experience.

Industry and Intelligence

In Gillick's practice, publication works in parallel to the artworks. In 1991, with co-publisher of Art Monthly Jack Wendler, Gillick founded G-W Press, a limited editions publishing company. An anthology of Gillick's writings titled Allbooks was published by Book Works in 2009.

In Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820, published in 2016, Gillick tracks the history of contemporary art and offers a comprehensive genealogy with reference to social, political, and technological changes since 1820, and their influence on art-making today.

Public Commissions

Gillick was commissioned by the British government to work on the Home Office building in 2002. The artist also worked on the Lufthansa Headquarters in Frankfurt in 2005. In 2017, Gillick was hired by the London Underground to design a map for the railway system. The artist was commissioned to design a series of posters for the London Underground Platform for Art programme and the Frieze Art Fair in 2018.

Awards and Accolades

Gillick won the Paul Cassirer Award in Berlin, Germany in 1998. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2002, and the Vincent Award at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2008. Today, Gillick's works are held in the collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Modern in London, among others.


The artist's website can be found here.

Elaine YJ Zheng | Ocula | 2021

Liam Gillick Featured Artworks

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Ghost towns should proliferate by Liam Gillick contemporary artwork sculpture
Liam Gillick Ghost towns should proliferate, 2018 Powder-coated aluminium
205 x 198 x 10 cm
Esther Schipper Contact Gallery
Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies by Liam Gillick contemporary artwork mixed media
Liam Gillick Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies, 2021 Matte black vinyl on wall

Kerlin Gallery
Association Channelled by Liam Gillick contemporary artwork sculpture
Liam Gillick Association Channelled, 2020 Powder coated aluminium
16 x 90 x 8 cm
Taro Nasu Contact Gallery
Integrated Fins by Liam Gillick contemporary artwork sculpture
Liam Gillick Integrated Fins, 2020 powder coated aluminium
270 x 406 x 10 cm
Gallery Baton Contact Gallery
Transferred Projection by Liam Gillick contemporary artwork sculpture
Liam Gillick Transferred Projection, 2009 Powder-coated aluminium
200 x 3 x 15 cm
MEYER*KAINER Contact Gallery
Everything Good Goes by Liam Gillick contemporary artwork moving image
Liam Gillick Everything Good Goes, 2008 Red digital video converted to H.264
Maureen Paley
Margin Time 3 by Liam Gillick contemporary artwork moving image
Liam Gillick Margin Time 3, 2018 HD video H.264
Maureen Paley

Liam Gillick Recent Exhibitions

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Liam Gillick Represented By

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Galerie Eva Presenhuber contemporary art gallery in Maag Areal, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
Galerie Eva Presenhuber New York, Vienna, Zurich
Maureen Paley contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom
Maureen Paley Hove, London

Liam Gillick In Ocula Magazine

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In Ocula Advisory

Liam Gillick In Related Press

Pedagogy on the loose: A book of lectures by Liam Gillick Related Press Pedagogy on the loose: A book of lectures by Liam Gillick 23 November 2016, artcritical

In early 2013, Liam Gillick gave a series of four lectures at Columbia University entitled Creative Disruption in the Age of Soft Revolutions, part of the school’s Bampton in America series. These lectures and other writings, released in different publications in the last seven years (including several essays originally published in the...

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Review: Okayama Art Summit 2016 - 'Development' Related Press Review: Okayama Art Summit 2016 - 'Development' 18 October 2016, Art Agenda

It’s a sunny autumn day in the small Japanese city of Okayama, and two British men born in the 1960s are conversing about cameras. Liam Gillick and I both own the retro-looking Fujifilm X-Pro1, which we’ve chosen for its impressive price-to-performance ratio. “I’ve used it a lot in my work,” a ruddy-faced, relaxed, and...

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Interview with Philippe Parreno and Liam Gillick Related Press Interview with Philippe Parreno and Liam Gillick 14 October 2016, Frieze Magazine

The long-term collaborators discuss the London Underground and Parreno's commission for Tate Modern's Turbine Hall Liam Gillick:  We first met in Nice in 1990, didn’t we? I came to look at an exhibition at Air de Paris titled Les Ateliers du paradise. The invitation was intriguing: it was like a credit card, so I asked...

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Reviews / Liam Gillick Related Press Reviews / Liam Gillick 1 October 2010, Frieze

In a lecture he gave in Vancouver in 2009, Liam Gillick suggested that his career as an artist was catalyzed by an inability to trust his own activity in the field of politics – his first career choi

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