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Tauba Auerbach
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
San Francisco
American artist Tauba Auerbach challenges viewers’ perceptions in her works using a variety of media, including painting, prints, sculpture, textiles, photography and artist books. Her early works explored typography and lettering, later works appeared to create three-dimensional spaces in paintings which were in fact flat, and her 2016 exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York City featured acrylic paintings and sculptures assembled from components made on a computer-driven printer. Born in San Francisco in 1981, her parents are consultants in theater design. Her high school friends included graffiti artists, and she worked in a sign painting shop while attending Stanford University (from which she received a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art in 2003) and for three years afterwards. Auerbach’s work appeared in group shows at The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco in 2001, 2002 and 2005 and in several other gallery shows in 2004 and 2005 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Portland and Los Angeles. Her first solo show, “How to Spell the Alphabet,” appeared in the New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles, in 2005, followed by an exhibition in the San Francisco Arts Commission’s gallery later that year. Auerbach began creating prints at the Paulson Bott Press in Berkeley in 2005; her most recent prints created there are from 2012. The New York dealer Jeffrey Deitch began representing Auerbach in 2005 and mounted solo shows for her at his Deitch Projects gallery in Manhattan in 2006 and 2009. The Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco held a solo show of her works in 2007. In 2008 the Standard gallery in Oslo, Norway, mounted a solo show of her works and began representing her, mounting additional solo exhibitions in 2010 and 2013. Auerbach and three other contemporary artists won the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Award in 2008, the year she moved to New York City. The following year Auerbach and her friend Cameron Mesirow (b. 1983, a musician whose stage name is Glasser) designed a pump organ that can only be played by two persons; they performed on this organ 33 times in connection with Auerbach’s 2009 exhibition at Deitch Projects. After Deitch closed his gallery in 2010, Auerbach chose New York gallerist Paula Cooper to represent her; Auerbach’s first solo exhibition at Cooper’s gallery was in 2012 followed by another in 2016. In 2011 Auerbach received an Artist Research Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution to research color vision. Her work has appeared in museum exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2009), the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2010 Biennial and 2013 new acquisitions exhibition, the New York Museum of Modern Art (2010, 2012), the Bergen, Norway, Kunsthall (2011, an exhibition that traveled to museums in Malmo, Sweden and Brussels), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2012)the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (2013) and the London Institute of Contemporary Art (2014). She founded Diagonal Press in 2013 to publish her works in open editions, to be affordable to her friends and collectors. Her eclectic career has included designing mathematical symbols in 2009 with Dr. Byron Cook, a professor of computer science at University College, London and senior principal at Amazon, working on advertising in 2014 for the fashion house Comme des Garçons and designing the sets and costumes for London’s Royal Ballet 2014 production of “Tetractys—The Art of Fugue,” set to the J. S. Bach’s (1685-1750) composition. Auerbach lives and works in New York City. (TNB 3/2016) Selected bibliography: Roux, Caroline. “Tauba Auerbach,” in The Gentlewoman, no. 6, Autumn and Winter 2012.