Goshka Macuga Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Goshka Macuga
A Time to Live, A Time to Die


hand tooled leather in tray frame

52 x 146 cm

Taking her sourced images from publications, and reactivating them in tooled leather, Goshka Macuga’s A Time To Live, A Time To Die replicates the authoritative material of book covers. Creating a double entendre ‘cover version’, Macuga’s drawing is a composite of other artists’ work, establishing a new context for image interpretation via juxtaposition of chance selection: the girl taken from Picasso, the book from Max Ernst, and birds from images from the 1905 Russian Revolution. Appropriating and reordering these disparate elements, Macuga constructs her own suggestive narrative based on an eclectic and disjointed history. Indelibly engraved on skin, A Time To Live, A Time To Die literally frames the ingrained fabric of memory as tractile experience.

Goshka Macuga
Library Table


oak table, leather bound books, customised lamps

140 x 206 cm

Incorporating reference to eclectic historical materials, events, and concepts, Goshka Macuga’s installations weave subjective narratives from the fabric of accepted cultural knowledge or ‘fact’. Her works often take the form of faux museum displays that highlight the authority by which the past is framed and revised according to temporal ideas. Library Table was inspired by the architect Frederick Kiesler who, in conjunction with the collector Peggy Guggenheim, developed inventive methods for displaying art. Comprised of an imposing desk and five artists’ monographs, Library Table imprints scholarly assumption with Macuga’s own bias. The books are recovered in tooled leather depicting Macuga’s favourite images by the artists who have most influenced her work: Picabia, Polke, Warhol, Kippenberger, and Duchamp. Underneath the tomes, the table is carved with Kiesler’s drawings; the lamps were fabricated with reference to Kiesler, with one metaphorically branched to allude to the multiplicity of history’s interpretation and use.

Goshka Macuga
Madame Blavatsky


Carved wood, fibreglass, clothes, chairs

114.3 x 190.5 x 73.6 cm

Madame Blavatsky was a 19th-century Russian aristocrat and founder of the Theosophical Society, an institution based in occult practices that still exists today. Blavatsky was closely associated with the Russian avant garde, an art movement which was expunged by the practical ideologies of communism; one of the tenants in her writings was that somnambulism – a trance-like condition between waking and sleep or ‘life’ and ‘death’ – was a creative state. Macuga’s sculpture pictures a floating Madame Blavatsky (levitation was one of her many spiritual powers), hovering between two chairs. The illusionary technique used is taken from a book on Victorian parlour tricks. The hands and face of the figure are made from carved and painted wood, and are similar to religious icons of the time. Garbed in purple, the colour of both magic and mourning, Madame Blavatsky’s effigy emits a transcendental aura, channelling the dark art of inspiration from beyond.

Goshka Macuga
Study for a portrait of Lord Byron (Lord Byron Table)


Wood, paint, ink, pen nibs, scissors, paper and glass

100 x 150 cm

Goshka Macuga's Biography

Goshka Macuga
Born in 1967, Poland
Lives and works in London, UK


Preparatory Notes for a Chicago Comedy, 8th Berlin Biennale, Museen Dahlem, Berlin
Public Address: Goshka Macuga Tapestries, Lunds Konsthall, Sweden
Madness and Ritual, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich

Goshka Macuga: Non-consensual act (in progress), Index, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm
Sexuality of Atoms, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY

Goshka Macuga, Andrew Kreps, New York
Exhibit A, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Goshka Macuga, Kate MacGarry, London
Untitled, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich

Goshka Macuga. Untitled, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
It Broke from Within, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Goshka Macuga, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich

The Bloomberg Commission - Goshka Macuga, Whitechapel Gallery, London, April 2009 – April 2010
Goshka Macuga – I Am Become Death, Kunsthalle Basel
Textile Art and the Social Fabric, MuHKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, September 2009 – January 2010

Goshka Macuga: Gottessegen, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich, May - June

Objects in Relation, Art Now, Tate Britain, London, June – October
What’s In a Name, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, February – March

Mula sem Cabeça (Headless Mule), How to Live Together, 27th São Paulo Biennial, October - December
Sleep of Ulro, The Furnace Commission, A Foundation, Liverpool, September - November

Goshka Macuga, Kate MacGarry, London

Kabinett der Abstrakten, Bloomberg Space, London
Picture Room, Gasworks Gallery, London

Friendship of the Peoples (with Declan Clarke), The Project, Dublin, Ireland
Untitled, Fundacja Galerii Foksal, Warsaw, Poland
Homeless Furniture, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland

Cave, Kunstakuten, Stockholm, Sweden

Cave, Sali Gia, London


Now this, is this the end… the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end? (part 1),Schinkel Pavilion, INDEX Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Time as Fabric, New Museum, NY
To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll, Fondazione Prada, Milan

Report from the Exhibition Goshka Macuga & Eustachy Kossakowski, Kate MacGarry, London

Tagore's Universal Allegories (with Anna Boghiguian), Iniva, London
Busted, The High Line, New York, NY
Revolution from Within, Kaufmann Repetto, Milan, Italy

dOCUMENTA (13), Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany and Queen's Palace, Kabul, Afghanistan

Secret Societies: To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence, CACP, musee d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

Traccia 02 (with Pinot Gallizio), curated by Francesca Comisso, Galleria Martano, Turin
Newspeak: British Art Now pt.1, Saatchi Gallery, London
The Curse of Imagination, The Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery, Krakow, Poland
Tutto e’ connesso: ricerche e approfondimenti nell’arte dell’ultimo decennio attraverso la collezione, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy.
Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession), curated by Adam Szymczyk, Istituto Svizzero, Rome; travelling to Kunsthalle Basel in 2011.
Star City, The Future Under Communism, Nottingham Contemporary
Use & Mention, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London
Eastbound, KAI 10, Raum für Kunst, Düsseldorf

We’re Moving, Royal College of Art
The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art, Tate St.Ives
Textile Art and the Social Fabric, MuHKA Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp
53rd Venice Biennale: Fare Mondi/Making Worlds, Corderie dell’Arsenale, Venice
Modern Ruins, Kate MacGarry

Turner Prize 2008, Tate Britain, September 2008 – January 2009
That beautiful pale face is my fate (For Lord Byron), Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, July - August
The Great Transformation: Art and Tactical Magic, Frankfurter Kunstverein, June – September; travelling to MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, Spain, September 2008 – January 2009
Tales of Disbelief, La Galerie, Noisy-le-Sec, France, May – July
5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Neue Nationalgalerie, April - June
Cohabitation: 13 Artists and Collage, Francesca Kaufmann, Milan, March - April
Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican Art Gallery, March - May
Santhal Family: Positions Around an Indian Sculpture, MuHKA Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, February - May

We’ve Lost Our Heart and Mind, Event Gallery, London, December 2006 - January 2007
Moving in Architecture, (selected by Cyril Lepetit), Camden Arts Centre, London, July, and Curzon Cinema Soho, London, September
The Past is a Foreign Country: They do Things Differently There, Mathilda is Calling, Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany, July – October
3rd Attese Biennale di Ceramica nell' Arte Contemporanea, Museo della Ceramica Manlio Trucco, Albissola Superiore, Italy, July -September
16th Biella Prize for Engraving (curated by Jeremy Lewison), Museo del Territorio Biellese, Biella, Italy, March - June

Communism, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
The British Art Show, Baltic & touring the UK, 2005 - 2006
Go Between, Amt der Landeshauptstadt Kultur, Bregenz, Austria, July – September
Can Buildings Curate? Architectural Association, London, April
Spring/Summer, curated by Simon Moretti, Program, London, May - June

Automn Catalog Leather Fringes, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland
Perfectly Placed, South London Gallery, London
Expo 21: Strategies of Display, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham
Expo 21: Strategies of Display, Mead Gallery, Coventry
Relay, PR04, Puerto Rico
Trackers, PM Gallery, London
Tonight, Studio Voltaire, London

Vis á Vis, Platform, London
Ponce, The Ship, London
Creek, Cell Project, London
The Straight or Crooked Way, Royal College of Art, London
Chockerfuckingblocked, Jeffrey Charles Gallery, London

T.O.F.U, Barts Wells Institute, London
The New Religious Art, Liverpool Biennale
London Underground, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei , Taiwan
Pause, Conception, Gwangju Biennale 2002, Project 1
The House of Horror, Outline Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland
The New Religious Art, Henry Peacock Gallery, London
Woof Woof , Becoming animal , Project , Dublin, Ireland

Zawody Malarskie, Galeria BWA Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Open Plan P 3 The Marathon, Alphadelta Gallery and Artio Gallery, Athens, Greece
Woof Woof, Becoming animal, Austrian Cultural Forum, London
Skuggspel, Tullkammaren, Umea, Sweden
Teeth & Trousers, Cell Project Space, London
Forever Yours, Wooden Heart, London
Free Wahlen/Uptight out of control 3, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden Baden
Avalanche, Hales Gallery, London
Curatorial Mutiny Part 4, Nylon, London
A very nice film club, Vilma Gold, London

Sexy, Houldsworth Fine Art, London

A mountain and a valley, Cubitt , London