B. 1943 in Brooklyn, NY, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY
Martha Rosler works in video, photography, text, installation, and performance. Her work focuses on the public sphere, exploring issues from everyday life and the media to architecture and the built environment, especially as they affect women. Rosler has for many years produced works on war and the national security climate, connecting life at home with the conduct of war abroad, in which her photomontage series played a critical part. She has also published several books of photographs, texts, and commentary on public space, ranging from airports and roads to housing and gentrification. Her work Semiotics of the Kitchen has become an icon of early feminist video art. In this parodic work, an unsmiling woman demonstrates an array of mundane tools of food preparation. Like an anti-Julia Child on a mock cooking show, she replaces the domesticated meaning of kitchen utensils with an alphabetic lexicon of rage and frustration. As she progresses through the alphabet, she redefines the securely understood signs of household industry as vehicles of violence or instruments of mad music— slashing letters into the air with a knife and fork, performing rebel gestures.
Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975
Video, black & white, sound
House beautiful, Bringing the War Home, New Series,
76,6 x 134,6 cm
Solo exhibitions of Rosler's work have been organized by the Seattle Museum of Art, Seattle (2016), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012), Centro José Guerrero, Granada, Spain (2009-10), Portikus, Frankfurt (2008), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2007), ICA London ( 2006 ), Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany (2005), The New Museum in collaboration with the International Center of Photography in New York, (1998–2000), Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1990), Dia Art Foundation, New York (1989), ICA, Boston (1987), and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1977). She has been included in numerous group exhibitions at institutions such as The Brooklyn Museum, New York (2015); The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2013); the LA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2011), and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY (2008). Her work has part of art festivals such as Skulptur Projekte Muenster, Germany (2007), Taipei Biennial (2004), Liverpool Biennial (2004), Venice Biennale (2003), Havana Biennale (1986), documenta 7 and 12 (1982 and 2007), and the Whitney Biennial (1979, 1983, 1987, and 1990).
Rosler has lectured and taught extensively and her writing has been widely published in books and magazines like Artforum and Afterimage. Her work has been recognized with numerous prizes including Fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts (1975, 1976, 1980, 1983, and 1994), Spectrum International Prize in Photography (2005), and Oskar Kokoschka Prize (2006).