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A queer cult figure in the Amsterdam art scene for nearly two decades, Dutch-American artist Sands Murray-Wassink (b. 1974, Topeka, Kansas) is a painter, body artist, writer and perfume collector. Indebted to various forms and permutations of intersectional feminist and queer art, his life and practice has been heavily touched by artists like Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke and Adrian Piper. As Murray-Wassink has moved in and out of institutional visibility over the years, his production of art and non-art objects has continued growing, creating a constellation of different series and approaches that now conform a solid oeuvre.

The the city of Paris is perfectly fitting to present Sands work as it carries personal and artistic value for the artist. When Sands Murray-Wassink came to Europe from the United States in 1994 he first landed in Paris, where he started working at the Fondation Claude Monet. During these exciting years he was touched by the way he felt art and artist’s could be involved in the social context of the city, which in his perspective was filled with sensuality, good food and rich human connections. Paris for Sands is full of allusions to the senses, the body and sexuality, which are very present in is practice. The French context sparked Sands’s interest in perfumes, a fundamental element of his process.

The works exhibited in Paris can be divided into three different series, emerging from different  approaches, and one very recent collage. The first is called Heart Drawings, a series of works  made between 2000 – 2001. As the artist himself would put it, these pieces are “Searching, desperate, and philosophical”. These works are fundamental to understand Sand’s practice and interests.

Hanging in the space are The Fabric Paintings, made between 2010 and 2012. These pieces generate a strong visual interaction with the viewer, who is compelled to find personal meaning in the work, making the pieces as personal as they are relatable. The words written in the fabric play an important role in this, as the choice made by Sands is never vague, alluding a vast spectrum of human conditions and emotions.

Back on the walls we find the Working 2010’s, a series of paintings made in that decade, resembling political banners where the aesthetic comes second to the message. This contrast often results in works that look rough and unfinished, which highlights the directness of the work and places them in the artist’s canon, whose oeuvre is characterised by works with prevalent and relevant messages within a personal contextualisation. It is important to be aware that these works were made at a time where Sands was having the minimum support from the art world, and he felt he needed to scream to be heard.

Lastly, the stand-alone piece exhibited in Paris is the 2020’s Anal Collage (Pride and Joy). This is a photographic collage, composed of 103 photos of the artist’s anus photographed during different parts of the day, in the span of multiple months. This work was realised at a difficult time globally, and it investigates the concept of desire, specifically unfulfilled sexual desire. According to Sands Murray-Wassink, this work is “one of the most significant pieces I have ever made”.

18th of October - 23th of October

Paris Internatioanle

A solo booth by Sands Murray-Wassink

Whitney Independent Study Program, 2014

Acrylic on embroidered silk

98 x 68 cm
38.5 x 26.7 in

The Ditz: Beauty Is As Beauty Does, 2011

Acrylic on pre-printed cotton

70 x 48 cm
27.5 x 18.9 in  

Anal Collage (Pride and Joy), 2020

C-print photos on canvas and fabric

200 x 100 cm
78.7 x 39.3 in 

My God, 2002

Pen and marker on paper framed by the artist with museum glass

59 x 42 cm (66 x 48,5 cm framed)
23.23 x 16.54 in ( 25.98 x 19.09 in framed)
Gay Structure, 2001

Pen and marker on paper framed by the artist with museum glass

59 x 42 cm (66 x 48,5 cm framed)
23.23 x 16.54 in ( 25.98 x 19.09 in framed)

You Are Your Own Institution , 2014

Acrylic on paper

63 x 52 cm
24.8 x 20.4 in
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