b. 1974, San Francisco
Trisha Donnelly was born in 1974 in San Francisco. She received a BFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1995 and an MFA from Yale University in 2000. The artist first attracted attention for an untitled video (1998–99), in which she moves in and out of the frame, bouncing on an unseen trampoline, at the apex of each leap gesturing in the mode of a different, unidentified rock star. In other projects, she has used photography and video to present fragments of “lost” performances or collaborations; in Blind Friends (2000), for example, a photograph of a group of people at a beach is all that remains of a project in which blind people were taken to a beach and asked to follow the direction of the wind. For her first solo show in New York, at Casey Kaplan Gallery in 2002, Donnelly staged a “demonstration” on the opening night in which she rode into the crowded gallery on a horse and voiced a cryptic declaration of defeat. The show also featured the video work Canadian Rain, the photograph The Black Wave, and the sound installation Howl, a looped recording of a wolf’s howl (all 2002). Her body of work continues to employ such varied means as drawing, sculpture, photography, painting, text, and video. With a very sparse and incisive gesture, her recent work capitalizes on the power of suggestion to evoke the elusive subjects of time, sensation, and perception.
Donnelly has had solo exhibitions at Air de Paris (2002 and 2006); Casey Kaplan Gallery (2004 and 2007); Kunsthalle Zürich (2005); Modern Art Oxford (2007); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2008); Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, Japan (2010); and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2013). She has participated in group shows such as Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2002 and 2003), Venice Biennale (2003, 2011, 2013), Carnegie International (2004), Whitney Biennial (2006), Documenta, Kassel, Germany (2012), and Print/Out at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012). The artist was awarded the Central Insurance Prize in Cologne in 2004. Donnelly lives and works in San Francisco.