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Steve McQueen

Opening September 20, 2024, Dia Chelsea

Overview

For more than 30 years, artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen has continually investigated the possibilities inherent in film—as a material, a documentary tool, and a storytelling medium—resulting in work that is formally inventive and politically pointed. Using projected light and sound, much like a sculptor or a painter, McQueen situates his films and videos within installations that resonate on multiple levels, extending beyond the conventional frame of cinema.

At Dia Chelsea, McQueen will present a new work alongside a recent two-channel video, Sunshine State (2022), in the adjacent gallery. Sunshine State is displayed on both sides of two large screens, encouraging visitors to move through the space and view it from either vantage point. Opening with footage of a burning sun, the work unfurls clips from the musical drama The Jazz Singer (1927), the first “talkie” in the history of cinema, starring the famous singer Al Jolson. In a voiceover, McQueen recounts a poignant story that his late father relayed on his deathbed about a personal experience of violent racism in Florida, giving the work its title. Originally commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Sunshine State, through it’s Dia presentation, debuts on the East Coast of the United States, throwing its eponymous connection to Florida into sharp relief.

Steve McQueen at Dia Chelsea is complemented by a concurrent exhibition at Dia Beacon, a new installation co-commissioned with Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager Basel, on view from May 12, 2024, through April 14, 2025. Taken together, the exhibitions reveal the breadth of McQueen’s practice and the through lines that run between his pictorial and more abstract works.

Steve McQueen is curated by Donna De Salvo, senior adjunct curator, special projects, with Emily Markert, curatorial assistant.

All exhibitions at Dia are made possible through the Economou Exhibition Fund.

Dia’s two-part presentation of Steve McQueen is made possible by major support from the Ford Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and Brenda R. Potter. Significant support is provided by the Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston; Marguerite Hoffman; and Michelle and Bill Pohlad. Generous support is provided by Dia’s Director’s Council, and additional support by Ivor Braka Limited, London; Dorothy Lichtenstein; Sotheby’s; Visiolite; and those who wish to remain anonymous.   

Steve McQueen was born in London in 1969. Surveys of his work have been held at the Art Institute of Chicago and Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager Basel (2012–13); Tate Modern, London (2020); and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2022). Recent solo presentations include those at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); the Art Institute of Chicago (2017); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2017); Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2017); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2017–18); Tate Britain, London (2019–21); and Serpentine Gallery, London (2023). McQueen has participated in Documenta X (1997) and XI (2002), as well as the Venice Biennale (2003, 2007, 2013, and 2015), representing Great Britain in 2009. He isthe recipient of numerous awards, including the Turner Prize (1999); W. E. B. DuBois Medal, Harvard University (2014); and Johannes Vermeer Award (2016). He was declared Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2002, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2011, and Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order in 2020.

McQueen directed the feature films Hunger (2008), Shame (2011), 12 Years a Slave (2014), and Widows (2018); as well as the series Small Axe (2020), an anthology of five films shown on the BBC and Amazon; and Uprising (2021), a three-part documentary series for the BBC. His documentary Occupied City (2023) is based on the book Atlas van een bezette stad: Amsterdam 1940-1945 (Atlas of an Occupied City: Amsterdam 1940–1945, 2019) by Bianca Stigter. McQueen won the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Hunger in 2008 and an Oscar for Best Motion Picture for 12 Years a Slave in 2014.

McQueen lives in Amsterdam and London.

Artist

Steve McQueen

(1969)

Steve McQueen was born in 1969 in London. He currently lives in London and Amsterdam.

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