Martine Syms

On view at Sprüth Magers is Loser Back Home in Los Angeles. The show debuts both Martine Syms’s representation and exhibition with the gallery.

The exhibition includes Syms’s latest works in video, sculpture, painting and photography surrounding themes of loss, belonging, destruction, power, and more. Her textile paintings consist of garments stretched over metal frames, while her large wall-based photocollage and laser-cut sculptures qua boxes are reminiscent of commercial packaging and origami. Both series of works draw on Syms’s own ephemera and photo library.

Martine Syms (*1988, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. Syms obtained an MFA from Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York (2017) and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). Selected solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Philadelphia Museum of Art (both 2022), Fridericianum, Kassel (2021), Secession, Vienna (2019) and Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017). Group exhibitions include Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2022), MUDAM, Luxembourg (2021), MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2020), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2019) and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018). Syms’ work has been recognized through multiple awards, including Herb Alpert Award (2022), Creative Capital Award (2021), United States Artists Fellowship and Future Fields Art Prize (both 2020). Syms is a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow.

Syms has written and directed three feature films, The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto, Incense Sweaters & Ice and The African Desperate (Mubi), which was the closing night film of New Directors/New Films 2022 and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2023.

The Fool  •  2021

The Fool

Laser-cut cardboard, Orafol vinyl with permanent adhesive and tape; digital video, color, with sound, 4:11 mins, looped
30 1/2 × 49 1/2 × 6 inches
© Martine Syms
Courtesy Sprüth Magers
Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

2021  •  © Martine Syms Courtesy Sprüth Magers Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

My treat It's here  •  2023

My treat It's here

Cotton and aluminum
65 × 42 inches
© Martine Syms
Courtesy Sprüth Magers Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

2023  •  © Martine Syms Courtesy Sprüth Magers Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

Poet with heart of glass  •  2023

Poet with heart of glass

Laser-cut paper, Orafol vinyl with permanent adhesive and tape
28 1/2 × 13 7/8 × 12 1/4 inches
© Martine Syms
Courtesy Sprüth Magers
Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

2023  •  © Martine Syms Courtesy Sprüth Magers Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

Rien Ne Bouge  •  2023

Rien Ne Bouge

Archival pigment print and five cassette tapes
28 × 22 inches
28 3/4 × 22 3/4 × 1 1/2 inches (framed)
© Martine Syms
Courtesy Sprüth Magers
Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

2023  •  © Martine Syms Courtesy Sprüth Magers Photo: Robert Wedemeyer