Cyprien Gaillard

Biography of Cyprien Gaillard

Adept at painting, etching, photography, video, performance, and public interventions, Cyprien Gaillard's rise in the art world has been nothing short of meteoric. Intrigued by the possibilities of destruction in art, Gaillard is keen to emphasize the beautiful components that exist during and after disassembly and demolition.


Cyprien Gaillard has been the focus of numerous high-profile exhibitions and made a name for himself with his often controversial shows. Focusing on monuments and landscapes that have been transformed by social and cultural influences, Gaillard investigates the meaning of ruins and artifacts, many of which are outside the public gaze. His 72,000 bottle pyramid of beer, The Recovery of Discovery, 2011—held at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin—was designed to be consumed and destroyed by visitors. Soon dilapidated with a floor covered with broken bottles and sticky beer, the work alluded to the barbaric way architectural elements are removed from foreign lands and the impact of tourist colonialism.


Born in Paris in 1980, Cyprien Gaillard divides his time between Berlin and New York. He has featured in numerous group shows including the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and MoMA, New York. He has also had several solo shows such as at the the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, and at MoMA P.S.1, New York. Gaillard has been honored with a number of awards including the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst in 2011 and the Prix Marcel Duchamp from the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 2011. He was also the artist in residence at the DAAD in Berlin in 2011. His limited edition aluminum sculpture An Urgent Message About the Great Organ, 2014, is a startling and enigmatic work available now in an edition of just 35.

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