Cornelia Parker


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ISBN: 9780500093733 Category:

Iwona Blazwick


Cornelia Parker (b. 1956) is one of the most original and inventive artists working in Britain today. Her wide-ranging practice, chiefly in sculpture and installation, touches on the fragility of human experience and is rich with visual and literary allusions. This book is the first full survey to trace the development of Parker’s career from the late 1970s to the present day, and includes work never previously published as well as extensive illuminating commentaries by the artist herself. Parker transforms everyday, ordinary objects into compelling works of art, often through acts of violence. She investigates the nature of matter, testing physical properties and playing on private and public meaning and value. Projects – which have included blowing up a shed, steamrolling musical instruments and sending meteorites back into space – have captured the public imagination since she first came to prominence in the 1990s. In this comprehensively illustrated book the artist takes the reader on a personal tour through her works. Beginning with the small-scale sculptures she made as a student, it charts works made in an array of materials from burnt cocaine and snake venom to silver dollars and gold teeth, alongside drawings, photographs, video pieces and installations. Parker’s engaging commentaries describe her adventures with the unlikely institutions that have helped create her works, from the British Army to Colt Firearms, as well as her wide-ranging travels, from the funeral parlours of São Paulo to the crown-of-thorn workshops of Bethlehem. Organised chronologically, the book features five thematic essays by curator Iwona Blazwick, contextualizing the artist’s work and pointing to her key influences and interests, from abstraction and performance to archaeology and psychoanalysis. The book features a foreword by renowned artist and activist Yoko Ono and an introduction by curator Bruce Ferguson focusing on Parker’s fascination with matter. Supplemented by an up-to-date biography, bibliography and exhibition history, this is the definitive book on one of the most popular artists of our time.

Additional information

Weight 1754 g
Dimensions 25 x 28.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 May 2013
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Dimensions 25 x 28.7 cm
Weight 1754 g


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Iwona Blazwick has been Director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London since 2003.