A feminist-inflected investigation of color and image-driven consumer culture, Glass Life brings together Sara Cwynar’s multilayered portraits and stills from the films Soft Film (2016), Rose Gold (2017), and Red Film (2018).
Cwynar’s research-driven and visually complex images constitute the hallmarks of contemporary post–Pictures Generation work—in which photography is pursued in relation to film, sculpture, digital culture, and the cultural and technological history of image-making. Cwynar’s work revolves around her interest in subjective notions of beauty through images; the fetishization of consumer objects and colors; and the exploration of the informal image archives that have emerged around the industrialization and capitalization of these ideas. As part of her core practice, Cwynar collects, arranges, and archives her eBay purchases and creates studio studies of these consumer objects, exploring how images circulate online and how the lives and purposes of both physical objects and their likenesses change over time. Sara Cwynar: Glass Life is a must-have sourcebook for understanding the multilayered practice of this celebrated, multidisciplinary artist.
About the authors
Sara Cwynar (born in Vancouver, 1985) graduated with a Bachelor of Design Honors degree from York University in Toronto in 2010. After working as a freelance graphic designer for the New York Times, she earned an MFA in photography from Yale University in 2016. Her debut solo US museum exhibition, Sara Cwynar: Image Model Muse, opened at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in September 2018, prior to traveling to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Cwynar’s Red Film (2018) was included in the 2018 São Paulo Biennial, and she completed a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, in summer 2018. In June 2019, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, opened Gilded Age, a solo show of her work. Cwynar has independently published several artist books, including Kitsch Encyclopedia (Blonde Art Books, 2014) and Pictures of Pictures (Printed Matter, 2014). She is represented by Foxy Production, New York; Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto; and The Approach, London. In January 2021, the largest installation of her work to-date will open at the Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada.
Sheila Heti is the acclaimed author of the novel How Should a Person Be?, the story collection The Middle Stories, which was published in Germany, France, The Netherlands, the United States, and Spain, and the novel Ticknor, which was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. Her writing has appeared in various literary anthologies and in several US and Canadian publications, including New York Times Magazine, Esquire, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Brick. Heti is also the creator of the popular Toronto and New York-based lecture series, Trampoline Hall. She studied playwriting at the National Theatre School in Montreal, and philosophy and art history at the University of Toronto. Sheila Heti lives in Toronto.
Rose Bouthillier is curator of exhibitions at Remai Modern in Saskatoon, Canada, where she organized Sara Cwynar’s solo exhibition Sara Cwynar: Source (2021). Her other recent projects include solo exhibitions and commissions with Elaine Cameron-Weir, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Oliver Husain, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), and Zadie Xa. Previously, she was associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and curatorial correspondent for the inaugural FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (2018).
Legacy Russell is a writer and associate curator of exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem. She is recipient of a 2019 Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, and a 2020 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation artist residency. Her first book, Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto, was published in 2020.
- Winner, Kodak Film Prize, IV Moscow International Experimental Film Festival
- Winner, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Ammodo Tiger Short Prize
- Winner, MAST Foundation for Photography Grant on Industry and Work
- Winner, The Baloise Art Prize, Statements, Art Basel 47
- Winner, Printed Matter Emerging Artist Publication Series Grant
- Runner-up, The Camera Club of New York, Darkroom Residency, Runner-up Award
- Winner, Print Magazine, 20 Under 30 New Visual Artist Award Art Director’s Club Young Guns Award