Avery Singer (b. 1987) was born and raised in New York. Her parents, the artists Janet Kusmierski and Greg Singer, named her after Milton Avery. Growing up in a creative community, Singer experimented with photography, film, and drawing, but in those years never considered working with paint. In 2008, Singer studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, and in 2010, she received her B.F.A. from Cooper Union, New York. During her studies, Singer engaged in performance art, video making, as well as sculpture utilizing carpentry, metal casting, and welding. After graduation, she discovered her chosen art form from an unanticipated experiment with SketchUp, a program used by her peers to design exhibition spaces, and airbrushed a black-and-white painting based on a digital illustration. Since then, Singer has employed the binary language of computer programs and industrial materials in order to remove the trace of the artist’s hand while engaging the tradition of painting and the legacy of Modernism.
Singer’s earliest works dramatize her subject matter and parodies the life of an artist. In her first solo exhibition at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin in 2013, aptly titled ‘The Artists,’ Singer explored stereotypes of how artists live, work, and socialize. From a fake press release staged in the exhibition as a part of a larger series entitled ‘Press Release Me,’ Singer mocks the production of sanctioned artistic language, as well as the artist as a social being. Focusing on tired tropes surrounding the myths of artistic bravado, inebriation, and narcissism, the text ‘Cologne Painter’ satirically commemorates the fantasy of a non-existent art scene.
The paintings in the show depict other typified art-world scenarios, including a meeting with collectors in ‘Jewish Artist and Patron’ (2012), the ritual of a studio visit in ‘The Studio Visit’ (2012), and nostalgic moments from the 1960s avant-garde in ‘Happening’ (2014). In these works, Singer’s subjects place the distance between fantasies of the artistic life and the realities of it, at the forefront of her expression. Her formal practice incorporates figures depicted in constructivist-like forms, which convey their expressions through exaggerated poses and dramatically tousled hair. Rendered in grisaille and full of symbolic imagery, Singer’s paintings nod to past art historical movements such as Constructivism, Futurism, and Cubism.
In ‘Sad Woman Projecting Libidinal Thoughts’ (2014), a reclining female nude is constructed from flat planes of geometric data. Idealized throughout the canon as sensual and utopic, the fantasizing woman here is despondent: she sits in the shadows, her hair falls in front of her face, and her legs are akimbo, drawing attention to her sexual anatomy. This female figure is reworked in the painting, ‘Untitled (Monday)’ (2017), where more abstract shapes and shadows further push Singer’s ‘sitter’ away from realism, toward the expression of computer programming software. The blue and green cubes act as polygonal mesh, giving shape and contour to the character on display. In a commission for Museum Ludwig in 2019, Singer created the seven-panel painting, ‘Untitled’ (2019), that evokes the feeling of a three-dimensional Cartesian world on a two-dimensional canvas.
Through the use of new technologies to depict past art historical references, Singer pushes past the limitations of painting. Her first self-portrait, ‘Self Portrait (Summer 2018)’ (2018), exhibited at the 2019 Venice Biennale, incorporated a new process with liquid rubber, spray bottles, and watered-down white paint to achieve the reproduction of foggy glass. The resulting image is a self-portrait in the shower, a subject similar to the classical genre of Venus or bathers, complicated by the light that passes through air, water, and glass. Singer is successful in her experiments to redevelop the future of painting, employing virtual fictional characters and symbols taken out of art history or the current art world, to turn the expected on its head. Often reimagining the subject of painting and image-making as the subject itself, by disengaging with romanticized views, Singer creates her own way of seeing.
The Cooper Union, New York NY, 2005 – 2010
Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 2008
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan ME, 2013
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Stedelijk Museum, ‘Scenes’, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Art Basel Statements, ‘Avery Singer’, Basel, Switzerland
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, ‘Pictures Punish Words’, Turin, Italy
Frieze Frame, New York NY
Selected Group Exhibitions
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, 'Stretching the Body’, Turin, Italy
Walker Art Center, 'The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance', Minneapolis MN
LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 'View From Here: Recent Acquisitions', Los Angeles CA
Jahn und Jahn, ‘Computer und Papier (Various Others)’, Munich, Germany
58th Venice Biennale, ‘May You Live In Interesting Times’, Venice, Italy
Sprengel Museum, permanent exhibition, Hanover, Germany
Minneapolis Institute of Art, ‘Speculative Bodies’, Minneapolis MN
Hammer Museum, ‘Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection’, Los Angeles CA
Miguel Abreu, ‘Bubble Revision’, New York NY
Agency, ‘Destruction Of Pleasure’, New York NY
Aïshti Foundation, ‘Trance’, Beirut, Lebanon
Fondazione Maxxi, ‘Low Form’, Rome, Italy
Centre Pompidou-Metz, ‘Painting the Night’, Metz, France
Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, ‘Call Out Tools’, Berlin, Germany
Galerie Neu, ‘The Vitalist Economy of Painting’, Berlin, Germany
Schinkel Pavillon, ‘Proof of Work’, Berlin, Germany
ICA Boston, ‘Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today’, Boston MA
Palais de Tokyo, ‘CARTE BLANCHE / Camille Henrot: Days Are Dogs’, Paris, France
Kamel Mennour Gallery, ‘Commodification of Love’, Paris, France
Les Abattoirs, ‘Suspended Animation’, Toulouse, France
Bredin Prat Foundation, Exhibition of the Jean-François Prat Prize, Paris, France
The Wexner Center for the Arts, ‘Gray Matters: Art En Grisaille’, Columbus OH
Boros Collection, ‘Bunker #3’, Berlin, Germany
Gavin Brown’s enterprise, ‘Tomorrow Will Still Be Ours’, New York NY
S.M.A.K, ‘These Strangers ... Painting and People’, Ghent, Belgium
Museum Ludwig, ‘We Call It Ludwig – The Museum Ludwig Is Turning 40!’, Cologne, Germany
Vilma Gold, ‘Being There’, London, UK
The Whitney Museum of American Art, ‘Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection’, New York NY
Le Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, ‘13e Biennale de Lyon. La vie moderne’, Lyon, France
Hessel Museum of Art, CCS Bard, ‘Romancing the Fragment’, Annandale-on-Hudson NY
Kunstverein Hannover, ‘Digital Conditions’, Hannover, Germany
New Museum, ‘2015 Triennial: Surround Audience’, New York NY
Arizona State University Art Museum, ‘Unfixed: New Paintings’, Tempe AZ
Gavin Brown's enterprise, ‘Call and Response’, New York NY
Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts, Glasgow, UK
Greene Naftali, ‘Freak Out’, New York NY
Know More Games, ‘Hexis’, New York NY
John Bianchi Studio, ‘Woodpile’, New York NY
‘The Hand Presents: Public Sculpture’, New York NY
Cooper Union, ‘Thriller’, New York NY
‘The Hand Presents: Public Sculpture’, New York NY
Awards and fellowships
Phaidon Editors, 'Prime: Art's Next Generation', London: Phaidon, 2022, ill.
Pigeat, Anaël, Godfrey, Mark, Brière, Frédéric (et al.), 'The Effervescence of Painting in Contemporary Art. Jean-François Prat Prize', Paris: Flammarion, 2021, pp. 34, 70-75, 250-251, cover, ill.
Deitch, Jeffrey, Gingeras, Alison + [et al.], ‘Unrealism. New Figurative Painting’, New York: Rizzoli Electa, 2019
Schwabsky, Barry, ‘Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting’, New York: Phaidon, 2016
Hoste, Ann, ‘These Strangers… Painting and People’, Amsterdam/NL: Roma Publications, 2016
Goldstein, Caroline, 'In Pictures: Millennial Art Star Avery Singer Conjures Dazzling Paintings Out of Digital Chaos in Her Debut Show at Hauser & Wirth', on: news.artnet.com, 16 September 2021, ill.
Westall, Mark, '10 Exhibitions To Visit In New York During The Armory Show', on: fadmagazine.com, 8 September 2021, ill.
Frieze (eds.), 'Avery Singer Offers Advice to Aliens Visiting Earth' [interview], on: frieze.com, 8 September 2021, ill.
Rosenfeld, Jason, 'Avery Singer with Jason Rosenfeld' [interview], in: Brooklyn Rail, New York, September 2021, pp. 26-31, cover, ill.
Mitter, Siddhartha, 'Best in Show', in: W Magazine, New York, pp. 64-71, ill.
___, ‘The 100 Covers of Vogue Italia of September’, in: Vogue Italia, Milan, 28 August 2020
Salibian, Sandra, ‘Vogue Italia Taps 100 Personalities for September Issue’, on: wwd.com August 27, 2020
Shaw, Anny, ‘How artists are adapting their work to virtual fairs and online viewing rooms’, on: theartnewspaper.com, New York, 17 June 2020, ill.
Freeman, Nate,‘‘There Have to Be Some Silver Linings to Virtual Art Fairs’: Galleries Try to Look on the Bright Side as They Adapt to an Online-Only Art Basel’, on: news.artnet.com, New York, 16 June 2020, ill.
___, ‘Price Check! Here’s What Sold—and for How Much—at the Frieze Art Fair’s Inaugural Online Viewing Room’, on: news.artnet.com, New York, 13 May 2020
Barrilà, Silvia Anna, ‘Vendite vivaci a Frieze online nella fascia alta’, on: ilsole24ore.com, Milan, 9 May 2020
___, ‘Frieze New York (online)’ in: The Canvas, 8 May 2020
Belcove, Julie, ‘Art Therapy’, in: Robb Report, Los Angeles, May 2020, ill.
Klingelfuss, Jessica, ‘Designed by Annabelle Selldorf, Hauser & Wirth’s new Chelsea gallery is big, clever and inclusive’, in: Wallpaper*, London, 16 April 2020
Belcove, Julie, ‘16 Contemporary Artists Respond to the Covid-19 Crisis With Poignant New Works’, on: artnews.com, 15 April 2020, ill.
Melendez, Franklin, ‘COMPOSITIONAL MACHINES Seeking an endgame or a new beginning, Avery Singer explores what it means to dream of painting without the hand’, in: Flash Art, Milan, April 2020, ill.
Belcove, Julie, ‘16 Contemporary Artists Respond to the Covid-19 Crisis With Poignant New Works’, on: robbreport.com, Los Angeles, 10 April 2020, ill.
___, ‘L’artiste du mois Avery Singer’, in: ‘Numero’, Paris, March 2020, ill.
Reed, Patrick J., ‘Same Sh**, Different Day’, in: Canvas, March 2020, p.162-165, ill.
___, ‘Avery Singer’, in: Galerie, New York, Spring 2020, p. 48, ill.
Gerlis, Melanie, ‘Art Basel fairs go online and Marron collection is split up’, in: The Financial Times, London, 21 February 2020
___, ‘Frieze LA 2020: What The Dealers Said’, on: www.artlyst.com, London, 17 February 2020
Sutton, Benjamin, ‘What Sold at Frieze Los Angeles’, on: www.artsy.com, New York, 17 February 2020, ill.
Herriman, Kat, ‘Highlights from Frieze Los Angeles’, in: Cultured, Miami, 14 February 2020, ill.
Douglas, Sarah, ‘Kendall Jenner, Ari Emanuel Scoop Up Artworks at Energetic Frieze Los Angeles’, in: ARTnews, New York, 14 February 2020
Freeman, Nate, ‘Frieze Los Angeles Opens With Big Sales to Mega-Celebrities and Hollywood Muscle Alike–and It’s All Live-Streaming on Instagram’, on: www.news.artnet.com, New York, 14 February 2020, ill.
Carrigan, Margaret, ‘Sun and sales on the best coast: LA’s second edition of Frieze firms up the city’s art market potential’, in: The Art Newspaper, London, 14 February 2020
Gerlis, Melanie, ‘Avery Singer: the artist breathing fresh life into painting’, in: The Financial Times, London, 7 February 2020, ill.
Vankin, Deborah, ‘Frieze Week L.A. 2020: Your guide to talks, screenings, performances and parties’, on: www.latimes.com, Los Angeles, 6 February 2020
___, ‘Five Artists to Watch at Frieze Los Angeles 2020’, on: www.frieze.com, Los Angeles, 27 January 2020
___, ‘Artforum. News. Hauser & Wirth has announced its representation of Avery Singer’, on: www.artforum.com, 13 December 2019
Keener, Katherine, ‘Hauser & Wirth to represent Avery Singer’, on: www.art-critique.com, Paris, 12 December 2019, ill.
Kinsella, Eileen, ‘Painter Avery Singer, the 32-Year-Old Sought-After Phenom, Is Now the Youngest Artist Represented by Hauser & Wirth’, on: www.news.artnet.com, New York, 12 December 2019, ill.
‘Hauser & Wirth Announces Representation of Avery Singer’, on: www.fadmagazine.com, London, 12 December 2019, ill.
Bacon, Alex, ‘Avery Singer: The American Painter’, in: Kaleidoscope, Issue 35, Milan, Fall/Winter 2020
Denny, Simon, ‘Interview by Simon Denny’, in: Kaleidoscope, Issue 35, Milan, Fall/Winter 2020
Noble, Kathy, ‘Drunk Artists and Steamy Shower Rooms: Avery Singer’, in: Mousse Magazine, Milan, Fall 2019
Farago, Jason, ‘The Venice Biennale: The Artistic Equivalent of Top of the Pops’, in: The Independent, May 2019
Dafoe, Taylor, ‘At 31, The Painter Avery Singer is a Bona Fide Art Star. She's Trying Very Hard Not to Let That Get in Her Way’, on: www.news.artnet.com, New York, May 2019
Herriman, Kat, ‘What to See at the Venice Biennale’, in: The New York Times, New York, May 2019
Davis, Ben, ‘Can't Make It to the Venice Biennale? See Work by Every Artist in the Arsenale Section of the Sprawling Exhibition’, on: www.news.artnet.com, New York, May 2019
___, ‘10 Artists at the Venice Biennale We Know and Love’, in: Cultured, May 2019
___, '2019 Venice Biennale Art in 'Interesting Times'’, in: L'Officiel Art, Spring 2019
ElGenaidi, Deena, ‘Dallas Museum of Art Acquires Latin American Works, and Library of Congress Acquires Georgia O’ Keefe’s Letters’, in: Hyperallergic, New York, March 2019
Schneider, Tim, 'Contemporary Artist' Means Everyone From Andy Warhol to Avery Singer. Here's a New Category for the Art of Our Time’, on: www.news.artnet.com, New York, March 2019
Nechvatal, Joseph, ‘How Painting Survives in the Digital Era’, in: Hyperallergic, New York, March 2019
Russeth, Andrew, ‘Here's the 2019 Venice Biennale Artist List’, on: www.news.artnet.com, New York, March 2019
___, ‘The Artists Who Will be Featured in the Central Exhibitions at the 2019 Venice Biennale Were Revealed’, in: Artsy, New York, March 2019
Johnson, Robert, ‘Submit To The Presence Of The Blockchain God’, in: CryptoDaily, June 2018
___, ‘Blockchain Believers Now Have Their Own Church’, ThirtyK, June 2018
Anatol Abtonovici, ‘Augur Ex-CEO Initiates New Religion on Blockchain’, in: Cryptovest, June 2018
Bernard, Zoë, ‘There is now a blockchain-based religion. No, this is not a joke.’, in: Buisness Insider Deutschland, Berlin, June 2018
Cullinan, David, ‘Former Augur CEO Creates First Ever Ethereum-based Religion’, in: Crypto Disrupt, June 2018
Houser, Kristin, ‘There’s Now A New Religion Based On the Blockchain. Yes, Really’, in: Futurism, June 2018
Houser, Kristin, ‘There’s Now a Religion Built on The Blockchain, And We’re Not Even Kidding’, in: Science Alert, June 2018
Greenberger, Alex, ‘Matthew Marks and Greene Naftali Galleries to Organize Four-Venue, 46-Artist Painting Survey’, in: ARTnews, New York, June 2018
Dan, Ana, ‘Dear Lord, Someone Built a Religion Around Blockchain’, on: TeachTheLead, June 2018
Herriman, Kat, ‘Avery Singer: Young Artists 2018’, in: Cultured Magazine, May 2018
Schneider, Tim, ‘The Artists With the Top-Performing Auction Debuts Last Week Had One Thing in Common: They Weren’t White Men’, in: Artnet News, New York, May 2018
del Castillo, Michael, ‘Blockchain Prophet or Snake-Oil Salesman? Embattled Founder Launches First Ethereum Religion’, in: Forbes, New York, May 2018
___, ‘Seven on Seven 2018’, in: Surface Magazine, New York NY, May 2018
Greenberger, Alex, ‘Petra Cortright, Mika Tajima, Sean Raspet Tapped for Rhizome’s 2018 Seven on Seven Conference’, in: ARTnews, New York, April 2018
Singer, Avery, ‘UNTITLED Avery Singer on Laura Owens at the Whitney Museum of American Art’, in: Texte Zur Kunst, Berlin, Issue No. 109, March 2018
Greenberger, Alex, ‘Petition Calls for Reinstatement of Beatrix Ruf as Director of Stedelijk Museum’, in: ArtNews, New York, February 2018
Herriman, Kat, Lynne + [et al.], ’30 Young Artists to Watch in 2018’, in: Cultured Magazine, November 2017 – January 2018
Greenberg, Alex, ‘Avery Singer Wins $22,000 Prix Jean-Francois Prat’, in: Artnews, New York, June 2017
___, ‘Avery Singer remporte le Prix Jean-François Prat’, in: Le Quotidien de l’Art, Paris, France, June 2017
Van Houten Maldonado, Devon, ‘Paintings that Become More Dynamic When Viewed Through a Screen’, in: Hyperallergic, May 2017
Gascho, Audrey, ‘7 Unmissable Shows at Vienna Art Week 2016’, in: Artnet News, New York, November 2016
Spencer, Samuel, ‘40 Years of Portrait Paintings at S.M.A.K.’, in: Blouin Artinfo, New York, October 2016
___, ‘Avery Singer at Stedelijk Museum’, in: Contemporary Art Daily, October 2016
Bacon, Alex, ‘Surface, Image, Reception: Painting in a Digital Age’, on: www.rhizome.org, May 2016
Koerner Von Gustorf, Oliver, ‘Avery Singer: Zwischen Lego und Labor’, in: BLAU, Hamburg, Issue No. 6, 2015
Cornell, Lauren, ‘Hyperreal, If You Like’, Interview with Avery Singer and Sascha Braunig, in: Flash Art, Milan, Volume 48, Summer/Fall 2015
Bright, Joshua, ‘Surround Audience’, in: The New York Times, New York, February 2015
Kennedy, Randy, ‘Where Virtual Equals Real’, on: www.nytimes.com, New York, February 2015
Reichert, Kolja, ‘Live aus dem Studio’, in: Welt am Sonntag, Berlin, January 2015
___, ‘Interview: Avery Singer, ‘Pictures Punish Words’’, on: www.leapleapleap.com, The International Art Portal of Contemporary China, December 2014
Sawyer, Drew, ‘Avery Singer’s Computer World’, on: www.documentjournal.com, No.110, November 2014
‘Digital Reflex: Avery Singer and Ed Atkins Respond to Texte Zur Kunst’, in: Texte Zur Kunst, Berlin, Issue No. 95, September 2014
Hinrichsen, Jens, ‘Avery Singer’, in: Monopol, Germany, Issue No. 8, August 2014
Russeth, Andrew, ‘Brush Up: Avery Singer on Her Shows at Frieze New York and Kunsthalle Zürich’, on: www.observer.com, July 2014
Loeffler, Frances, ‘Focus: Avery Singer’, in: Cura Magazine, Rome, Issue No. 17, Summer 2014
Redzisz, Kasia, ‘In Focus: Aver Singer. Painting as sculpture as performance’, in: Frieze, Features, No.164, May 2014
Larios, Pablo, ‘Speculations On Anonymous Materials’, in: Frieze, Reviews, Issue No. 13, March – April 2014
Hashemi, Franchesca, ‘Avery Singer @ McLellan Galleries’, on: theskinny.co.uk, 2014
Graw, Isabelle, ‘Openings: Avery Singer’, in: Artforum, New York, November 2014
Stakemeier, Kerstin, ‘Prosthetic Productions. The Art of Digital Bodies / Prothetische Produktionen. Die Kunst Digitaler Körper’, in: Texte zur Kunst, Berlin, No. 93, 2014
Leifheit, Matthew, ‘Four Gems from Berlin’s Sprawling Gallery Weekend’, in: ArtFCity, May 2013
Cornell, Lauren, ‘Unrealized, or the Realm of Thought’, in: Mousse Magazine, Milan, No. 39, 2013
Perlson, Hili, ‘The Artists / How Avery Singer is Deconstructing the Myth of the Individual Genius’, in: Sleek Mag, Issue No. 38, Summer 2013
Kuhn, Thomas W., ‘In grauen Räumen’, Review, on: www.artmagazine.cc, April 2013
Artist’s Books & Writings
Museum ExhibitionsView all
Join Avery Singer, a pioneering contemporary voice whose work explores the possibilities in the convergence of painting and technology, and Hammer Museum curator Aram Moshayedi for a discussion on the occasion of Singer’s solo presentation of new paintings at Frieze LA and first project with Hauser…