Selected works by Goshka Macuga

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

Other Resources
Additional Information on Goshka Macuga
Modern and contemporary artists and art; Goshka Macuga
Goshka Macuga: Picture Room
Goshka Macuga's work encompasses sculpture and installation and explores the boundaries that define exhibition structures. Her practices seeks to put the categories of curator and gallery into a new relationship with each other by providing sculptural environments for the exhibition of other people's work.
Goshka Macuga creates installations that question the role of the curator, the artist, and the collector. As an artist who often hosts the work of other artists within her own environments, Macuga probes the conventional methods of displaying art, the boundaries of authorship, the protocols of lending, networks of personal relationships and the demands of ownership.
Goshka Macuga and Nick Evans at Transmission
Homeless Furniture is a site-specific installation by the Polish-born artist Goshka Macuga. Specificity is key to Macuga's practice, not only in engaging the space itself but also the wider artistic community, each becoming an integral part of the creative process. For Transmission Gallery, Macuga has selected works by local artists which she has displayed in assorted cabinets and curio-boxes, provoking interesting questions on the making, viewing and ownership of work.
Goshka Macuga, Transmission Gallery
For Transmission Gallery, Goshka Macuga is showing new work which shows a shift in focus towards the history of collecting art and the origins of displaying artefacts.
Goshka Macuga
Goshka Macuga, Arkhitectony - after K Malevich
Goshka Macuga's practice explores traditions of archiving, museum display and public spectacle in ways that disorientate and delight. In previous exhibitions she has provided a total unifying environment for the exhibition of other artists' work, collections of books or curiosities. Once displayed together all these parts then amass into a whole that is part choreography, part collaboration.