Martha Rosler was born in 1943 in New York, where she lives and works. She studied at Brooklyn College, New York, and the University of California, San Diego. A lecturer at Rutgers University, New Jersey, and an artist for almost fifty years, hers is a critical voice on the Western way of life. Through videos, photographs, installations, performances and theoretical texts, Rosler examines the way in which political decisions and the media discourse affect everyday gestures and, in particular, women’s lives and bodies. Focusing on concepts such as urban gentrification, war and national security, and the symbiosis between the public and the private sphere, her work reveals one of the most critical minds of the last decades.
Interested in involving the public in her artistic practice, Rosler has worked with different collectives on some of her projects, such as the one produced for the Dia Art Foundation, New York, in 1989, with the participation of activists, street artists and homeless people. Appropriating images and the language of the media, she combines war images with scenes of typical Western bourgeois homes, investigates the apparent neutrality of assisted reproductive technology and constructs a new critical semiotics of the everyday. With a mixture of humour and narrative strategies aimed at the public at large, Rosler’s visual creations explore the intersection between gender, subjectivity and capitalism.
Since the 1970s, Rosler’s work has been exhibited in major institutions such as the Seattle Museum of Art (2016); MoMA, New York (2012); Centro José Guerrero, Granada (2009–10); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2007); Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1990); and Dia Art Foundation, New York (1989), among many others. It has also been included in major group shows at the Brooklyn Museum (2015) and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2013); LA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2008); and MACBA, Barcelona (1999–2000). She has contributed essays to prestigious publications such as Artforum, e-flux journal and Texte zur Kunst. Her work is included in the collections of numerous museums such as the Whitney Museum and Guggenheim Museum, New York; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Tate Modern, London; and MACBA, Barcelona, among others.