Artist biography

French painter, photographer and sculptor. She studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (1962–6). Her first one-woman exhibition was at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich (1973). During the 1970s her work drew upon everyday life, taking such subjects as toys and needlework. She usually used a range of closely related found-objects (e.g. Pensioners, 1972; Paris, Pompidou), as well as creating performance pieces. In her work she questioned accepted perceptions of women. Messager stood out because of the refined cruelty with which she dealt with memories (including those drawn from childhood), obsessions and even minor incursions into the domain of the occult. In conjunction with her exhibitions she produced several artist's books.

Bibliography
Annette Messager Künstlerin, Annette Messager Sammlerin (exh. cat. by A. Zweite, Munich, Lenbachhaus, 1973)
Annette Messager (exh. cat. by S. Pagé, Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris, 1984)
Annette Messager: Comédie tragédie, 1971–1989 (exh. cat., ed. S. Lemoine; Grenoble, Mus. Grenoble; and elsewhere; 1989–90)

VANINA COSTA

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