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b. 1975, Denmark

Nina Beier Biography

Nina Beier's multimedia installations, performative sculptures, and static assemblages incorporate everyday objects into theatrical still lifes that examine the cultural symbolism embedded in them.

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Beier often manipulates her subject's materiality by exposing its fragility or durability. China (2016), for example, comprises a porcelain vase and porcelain dog with large, jagged holes cut into them; for the installation Ruin (2018), the artist moulded soap into bricks and laid them across the floor among bugs and dirt.

Beier also pairs valuable and disposable items to spark conversations between them. In the sculpture Real Estate #01 (2013), an office chair headrest is inserted into a tall, white granite plinth, while in the installation FOOD CHAIN CAFE (2018), French baguettes are draped over marble lion statues and stuffed through imitation watches and bracelets. Commonplace articles appear together in unexpected ways, such as the hand-rolled cigars that replace drainpipes of ceramic sinks in Plug (2018), or the human hair wigs laid flat on picture frames in Feathered chocolate jagged glam (2014) or Layered Side-Swept Ombre (2015).

The bizarre arrangement of objects in Beier's work often warrants a double-take. In Allegory of charity (2015), for instance, a ceramic cup floats impossibly in the air—seemingly defying gravity—held up only by the stream of coffee beans that are being poured from the receptacle. For Anti-ageing—a performance piece at Swiss Institute, New York, produced for Performa 15 in 2015—Beier used a trained dog to lie still in a luxury suite display. Only the subtle movement of the dog's chest betrayed the illusion that it was not real. She also hired performers to complete various time-dependent domestic activities in the suite, such as smoking a packet of cigarettes, drying a facial mud mask, and waiting for vegetables to ripen. Further blurring the line between life and its image, Beier placed webcams, monitors, and green screens in the gallery to allow visitors to digitally transpose themselves into 'living still lifes'.

For the performance The Complete Works, staged at London's Tate Modern in 2012, Beier invited three retired dancers to enact every piece of choreography they had ever learnt in the chronological order. Following the performers' individual lives and the history of choreography through their moves, Beier drew attention to the fact that daily life, whether involving a banal activity or poetic movement, cannot exist outside the rigid regime of time.

Beier graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2004, and has held solo exhibitions internationally, notably at The Downer, Berlin (2018); Metro Pictures, New York (2015); Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (2015); David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2014); and Glasgow Sculpture Studios (2013). She has also participated in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2013); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013), among others. Beier's work has been included in the Lyon Biennale (2015) and the Biennale of Sydney (2016).

Beier lives and works in Berlin.

Genista Jurgens | Ocula | 2018

Nina Beier Featured Artworks

China by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierChina, 2016Ceramic vase and ceramic dog
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Peanuts by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierPeanuts, 2015Down jacket, human hair wig, 1 Hermes tie, synthetic insulation, nylon
61 3/4 x 48 3/4 inches
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Curtain Bang Crop by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierCurtain Bang Crop, 2014Human hair wig, painted frame
25 5/8 x 16 5/8 inches
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Facing Figures by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierFacing Figures, 2014Bronze
53.5 x 23.5 x 25.5 cm
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
China by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierChina, 2016ceramic vase and ceramic dog
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Allegory of Charity by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierAllegory of Charity, 2015Ceramic cups, coffe beans, resin, wood, metal
33 x 50 cm
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Demonstrator by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierDemonstrator, 2015Vinyl print on frame
113 x 82.6 cm
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Animals & Centauers & Vegetables by Nina Beier contemporary artwork
Nina BeierAnimals & Centauers & Vegetables, 2015down sleeping bag, 6 Hermes ties, synthetic insulation, nylon, wooden frame
177.8 x 121.9 cm
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery

Nina Beier Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Dog Days at Metro Pictures, New York
Closed
1 May–1 August 2020 Group Exhibition Dog Days Metro PicturesOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Nina Beier, Baby at Metro Pictures, New York
Closed
26 October–21 December 2018 Nina Beier Baby Metro PicturesNew York

Nina Beier Represented By

Metro Pictures contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Metro Pictures New York

Nina Beier In Related Press

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At Chelsea Galleries, Three Artists Subvert Aesthetics Related Press At Chelsea Galleries, Three Artists Subvert Aesthetics 30 November 2018, L'OFFICIEL

With the impending winter melancholy yet awaiting behind glitter-laden holiday vitrines and a few illusively warm afternoons, art galleries contribute to the season's festivities with ambitious solo exhibitions, showcasing the newest by art world key players and emerging talents. Bookended by the fall's back-to-school shows and Art Basel Miami...

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Made in _______ Related Press Made in _______ 6 November 2018, office

Tell me about the installation at Metro Pictures. This show is very much a sculpture show. It's a culmination of an interest in materials and objects that travel. I have been looking at how a material is extracted from wherever it's from, how it's traded, how it's taking shape, and the intentions that go into the making of objects as opposed...

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20th Biennale of Sydney Related Press 20th Biennale of Sydney 28 October 2015, e-flux

The 20th Biennale of Sydney, inspired by a quote from author William Gibson, is titled The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed. This edition will be presented at venues conceived by Stephanie Rosenthal as “embassies of thought.” An embassy traditionally functions as a state within a state: a host country...

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Nina Beier at Kunstverein in Hamburg Related Press Nina Beier at Kunstverein in Hamburg 6 August 2015, Frieze

Danish artist Nina Beier's first institutional exhibition in Germany, Cash for Gold, is framed by a specific exchange: the turning of one's possessions, such as unwanted jewelry, into fast money. If you've ever had to pawn something, you know firsthand the lopsidedness of such deals.

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Nina Beier In Video & Audio

/Dialogues: Visibility | Invisibility — Sculpture in Everyday Space Related Video & Audio /Dialogues: Visibility | Invisibility — Sculpture in Everyday Space 14 September 2017, EXPO CHICAGO

Nina Beier (Artist, STANDARD (OSLO), joségarcía, mx), Tom Burr (Artist, Bortolami Gallery). Moderated by Stephanie Cristello, Director of Programming, EXPO CHICAGO and Editor-in-Chief, THE SEEN What is the responsibility of formalism in the twenty-first century? This panel will trace the work of contemporary artists whose diverse sculptural...

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