Adam McEwen, Michael III, 2014, inkjet print on cellulose sponge,32 3/4 × 129 1/4 inches (83.2 × 328.3 cm)
Adam McEwen was born in 1965 in London. He graduated from Christ Church, Oxford, in 1987, and then received his B.F.A. at California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, in 1991. McEwen’s work resides somewhere between the celebratory and funereal. After writing obituaries for the Daily Telegraph in London, he began producing obituaries of living subjects such as Bill Clinton and Jeff Koons, thus highlighting the blurred line between history and fiction. He is known for paintings employing wads of chewing gum on canvas that reference the bombing of German cities in the Second World War, and for machined graphite sculptures of such banal objects as a water cooler or an air conditioner. His repurposing of the over-familiar creates momentary ruptures, which in the words of one writer “jolt us temporarily out of our indifference, owing to over-exposure, toward the signs that dominate our daily lives.”
McEwen’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo exhibitions include, The McAllister Institute, New York (2003); and The Goss Michael Foundation, Dallas (2012); The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2013); and Museo Civico Diocesano di Santa Maria dei Servi, Città della Piene (2015). McEwen’s work has been included in several group shows including, “Into Me/Out of Me,” PS1 / MOMA, New York (2006); “The Reach of Realism,” MoCA Miami (2009); “Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010; traveled to Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain); “The Last Newspaper,” The New Museum, New York (2010); and “America is Hard to See,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015). McEwen’s works are in the public collections of the Julia Stoschek Collection, Germany; The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich; Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, United Kingdom; Jumex Collection, Mexico City; De la Cruz Collection, Miami; and Arts Council Collection, United Kingdom.
McEwen has curated various projects and exhibitions including, “Power, Corruption and Lies”, (with Neville Wakefield; Roth Horowitz, New York, 2004); "Interstate" (Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, 2005); and “Beneath the Underdog” (with Nate Lowman; Gagosian Gallery, 2007). In 2010 he curated “Fresh Hell” at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, as the third installment of their Carte Blanche series.
McEwen currently lives and works in New York City.