Petah Coyne

Photograph: Kathy Grove

Interview by Danielle Durchslag.

The artist Petah Coyne is best known for her large scale sculptures, made, in part, from the unconventional materials she obsessively gathers.  These materials include wax, wire, silk flowers, taxidermy animals, Venetian velvet, and human hair.

Major art institutions across the world, including the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Modern Art, own her work.

She is currently preparing for a large solo exhibition at Galerie Lelong for the fall of 2018.

Installation View of Petah Coyne: Recent Sculpture, 1994 Photograph: J. Kotter
Untitled #945 (Chinese Landscape) 2001 Photograph: D. James Dee
Untitled #1394 (Clarice Lispector) 2013-14 Photograph: Christopher Burke Studio
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  1. […] Petah Coyne‘s work can be found in the Whitney Museum, Guggenheim, and MoMA among others. For her work, Coyne obsessively gathers. She views materials as a form of language. There is a relationship between artist and material in which Coyne must determine what it was that drew her to a particular object and how she can inflict her own ideas on it in an honest way. Coyne’s work holds change. Her evolutionary work process can sometimes stretch across decades. Because of this nature of her work, the question of how particular pieces will hold up archivally has often sat on Coyne’s consciousness. At a very young age, Coyne knew she would be an artist. Growing up in a military family, she moved all over the world changing schools every year. By middle school, with her parents’ permission, Coyne began advocating for herself with each school in order to test out of academic courses and attend art classes at area universities. Coyne delights in taking up space with her work but does not create large work out of any sort of rebellion. Rather, she feels the space of a room and from there feels the size that a piece should be. Coyne’s relationship to objects is all consuming. Objects compel her and inform her work completely. […]