A brush with... Sarah Sze

An in-depth interview on the artist's big influences, from Hokusai to Vermeer

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Sarah Sze. Photo: Deborah Feingold. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

Sarah Sze. Photo: Deborah Feingold. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

A brush with...

In this podcast, based on The Art Newspaper's regular interview series, our host Ben Luke talks to artists in-depth. He asks the questions you've always wanted to: who are the artists, historical and contemporary, they most admire? Which are the museums they return to? What are the books, music and other media that most inspire them? And what is art for, anyway?

In this episode of A brush with..., Sarah Sze talks to Ben Luke about ​​the art, literature, music and film that have influenced her and continue to inspire her today, and the cultural experiences that have shaped her life and work.

Sarah Sze's Imprint (2021) © Sarah Sze. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro.

Sze, who was born in 1969 in Boston and studied at Yale University and the School of Visual Arts, New York, takes objects and images and gathers them into intricate, uncanny assemblages which often envelop and overwhelm the viewer.

Sarah Sze's Fallen Sky (2020–21). Courtesy the artist. Photography: Nicholas Knight

Her works are often categorised as sculptural installations but exist on the boundary between many different disciplines, with painting, printmaking, drawing and video alongside found and made sculptural elements. A first encounter with Sze’s work is never forgotten: she has an extraordinary knack of making her works directly embody a gallery space, seeming to grow from it and extend into it in surprising, even magical ways.

Sarah Sze's Twice Twilight, exhibition Night into Day, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris (2020). Photo © Luc Boegly

In the podcast she talks about the remarkable sense of scale, light and space in Vermeer, about the prints of Hokusai, Emily Dickinson’s preoccupation with death, the profound effect of seeing Chris Marker’s La Jetée and her transformative experiences of historic Indian architecture. And, of course, she answers our regular questions about what images she has around her in the studio, the rituals of her working life, and what, ultimately, art is for.

Sarah Sze, Triple Point (Gleaner) (2013). (Photo by Tom Powel Imaging/© Sarah Sze, courtesy the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, and Victoria Miro Gallery, London)

Sarah Sze, Victoria Miro, London, 12 October–6 November

Sarah Sze: New Works, Gagosian Basel from 20 September-13 November 2021

Sarah Sze: Fallen Sky, a permanent, site-specific sculpture and exhibition featuring the panoramic work Fifth Season at Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York

Shorter than the Day (2020),a permanent sculpture commissioned by LaGuardia Gateway Partners in partnership with Public Art Fund at Arrivals and Departures Hall of LaGuardia Airport Terminal B

A brush with… series 6 runs from 15 September - 6 October 2021, with episodes released on Wednesdays. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here. This episode is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.