United Kingdom



Tacita Dean is a British European artist born in 1965 in Canterbury. She lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles, where she was the Artist in Residence at the Getty Research Institute in 2014-2015.

Dean’s work is carried by a sense of history, time, and place, light quality, and the essence of film itself.
The focus of her subtle but ambitious work is the truth of the moment, the film as a medium, and the
sensibilities of the individual.

Dean has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the Kurt Schwitters Prize in 2009, the Hugo Boss Prize at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 2006, and the Sixth Benesse Prize
at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005.

Solo exhibitions were recently held in 2022 at MUDAM, Luxembourg, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; in 2021 at Kunstmuseum Basel; in 2020 at EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo; in 2019 at the NY Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen and at the Serralves Museum, Porto; in 2018 at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, as well as The Royal Academy of Arts, London, as part of a trilogy of exhibitions held in conjunction with the city’s National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.

Dean also designed the sets and costumes for The Dante Project a collaborative production with the Royal Ballet’s resident choreographer Wayne McGregor and conductor-composer Thomas Adés. This new ballet based on Dante’s Divine Comedy premiered in October 2021 at the Royal Opera House in London.

Her 2006 “Kodak” and 2011 “Film” works have each received glowing reviews from critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Some critics interpret her calling as a protest against the passing of celluloid in the present age of digital memory.

About the artworks

Tacita Dean's art is centered around an exploration of the intangible and ephemeral aspects of life, urging viewers to engage with the world around them in a more introspective and reflective manner. Drawing from her background in filmmaking, Dean is adept at creating visual narratives that capture the essence of her subjects while emphasizing the evanescent nature of time, memory, and place. Her works frequently feature seemingly mundane subjects, such as landscapes, lighthouses, or architectural spaces, but the artist's keen eye for detail and her unique ability to evoke emotions through her chosen media transform these subjects into profound meditations on the human experience.

In order to imbue her artworks with a deeply contemplative quality, Dean employs a wide range of techniques and materials, from traditional film and photography to drawing and found objects. She often experiments with the processes and materiality of her chosen media, manipulating them in unconventional ways to create unexpected visual effects and challenging viewers' preconceived notions of what art should be. For example, her large-scale chalk drawings on blackboards, such as "The Roaring Forties: Seven Boards in Seven Days" (1997), reveal a meticulous attention to detail and an intimate understanding of the medium's inherent properties. By pushing the boundaries of her materials and methods, Dean encourages audiences to reconsider their own relationship to the world around them and invites them to participate in a dialogue that transcends the limitations of conventional artistic expression.

The artworks

Collection of contemporary art