Rita McBride (Des Moines, United States, 1960) studied at Bard Collage and the California Institute of the Arts. She lives between New York, Rome and Düsseldorf, where she teaches at the Kunstakademie. McBride’s work ranges from architectural sculptures to off-beat publishing projects, and her work is influenced by industrial design, modernist sculpture and minimalist sculpture. Since the mid-eighties, McBride’s work has focused on inconspicuous and seemingly unimportant elements in the contemporary urban landscape which she takes out of context by playing with their scale, their materials and their connections with their surroundings.
She has reinterpreted parking lot structures, grandstands, conduits, HVAC units, water towers and awnings and given them a metaphoric character. McBride uses materials ranging from rattan to Murano glass, Carrara marble, bronze and canvas, in an effort to illustrate the contradictions between mass production and craftsmanship, between high and low culture. Some of her pieces are large-scale works that are critical of the social uses of public space, and she often accompanies her sculptural architectural works with performances. McBride also works with publications and actively participates in the production of her exhibition catalogues so that they go far beyond simply illustrating her works and take on an artistic life of their own.
Her work can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, New York Public Library, Queens Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Witte de With in Rotterdam and MACBA, among others.