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Biography

In sculpture, drawings, and installations Jonathan Borofsky (b. 1942, Boston, Massachusetts) explores what it means to be a person, often using stylized descriptions of male and female figures to suggest the commonalities shared across humanity. In a period dominated by the detached ethos of Minimalism, Conceptualism, and Pop Art, the artist developed a highly personal style that emphasized the emotive and fantastical recesses of consciousness. The artist has had major one-person exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford (1976); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1978); Halle für Neue Kunst, Zurich (1979); Whitney Museum of American Art (1981); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (1981); Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1981); Museum Boymans-Von Beuningen, Rotterdam (1982); Kunstmuseum Basel (1983); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1984); Whitney Museum of American Art (1983); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1986); Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (1987); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2001); and the Carnegie-Museum, Pittsburgh (2006). Borofsky taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 1969-1977 and at California Institute for the Arts from 1977-1980. Since 1995, the artist has focused primarily on creating large public sculptures in cities around the world, including Seoul, Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Kassel, and Strasbourg. In 2008, he created the 64-foot-tall People Tower for the Beijing Olympics.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Jonathan Borofsky Truth (binary computer code), 1995 steel wire with orange enamel powder coat / 40 units 64 x 82 x 5 in. (162.56 x 208.28 x 12.7 cm) overall

Jonathan Borofsky
Truth (binary computer code), 1995
steel wire with orange enamel powder coat / 40 units
64 x 82 x 5 in. (162.56 x 208.28 x 12.7 cm) overall

Jonathan Borofsky Self-Portrait (b/w bust) at 2,182,473, 1972 oil on canvas board 24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm) frame: 25 1/4 x 21 1/4 in. (64.1 x 54 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Self-Portrait (b/w bust) at 2,182,473, 1972
oil on canvas board
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm) frame: 25 1/4 x 21 1/4 in. (64.1 x 54 cm)

Projects: Jonathan Borofsky, Installation view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, August 17 – October 29, 1978

Projects: Jonathan Borofsky, Installation view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, August 17 – October 29, 1978

Jonathan Borofsky Shell Painting with Clock at 2,226,732, 1973 oil on canvas, 44 x 36 inches (111.8 x 91.4 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Shell Painting with Clock at 2,226,732, 1973
oil on canvas, 44 x 36 inches (111.8 x 91.4 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky The Light of Consciousness #3, 1990, acrylic, lacquer, gesso on canvas ​73 3/4 x 108 in. (187.3 x 274.3 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
The Light of Consciousness #3, 1990,
acrylic, lacquer, gesso on canvas
73 3/4 x 108 in. (187.3 x 274.3 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky Dream #1 (Supermarket) at 1,944,821, 1972 oil on canvas board 6 panels, each panel: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) overall: 16 x 120 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) frame: 18 x 121 1/2 in. (45.7 x 308.6 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Dream #1 (Supermarket) at 1,944,821, 1972
oil on canvas board
6 panels, each panel: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) overall: 16 x 120 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) frame: 18 x 121 1/2 in. (45.7 x 308.6 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky Paul inflicted his need to be perfect on me...at 2,156,753, n.d., 1975 oil on canvas board 14 x 18 in. (35.6 x 45.7 cm); frame: 15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (38.7 x 48.9 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Paul inflicted his need to be perfect on me...at 2,156,753, n.d., 1975
oil on canvas board
14 x 18 in. (35.6 x 45.7 cm); frame: 15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (38.7 x 48.9 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky You are Alone Slow Down There is No One to Please but Yourself, 1975-76 acrylic on canvas ​54 x 144 in. (137.2 x 365.8 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
You are Alone Slow Down There is No One to Please but Yourself, 1975-76
acrylic on canvas
54 x 144 in. (137.2 x 365.8 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky Truth (binary computer code), 1995 steel wire with orange enamel powder coat / 40 units 64 x 82 x 5 in. (162.56 x 208.28 x 12.7 cm) overall

Jonathan Borofsky
Truth (binary computer code), 1995
steel wire with orange enamel powder coat / 40 units
64 x 82 x 5 in. (162.56 x 208.28 x 12.7 cm) overall

Jonathan Borofsky Self-Portrait (b/w bust) at 2,182,473, 1972 oil on canvas board 24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm) frame: 25 1/4 x 21 1/4 in. (64.1 x 54 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Self-Portrait (b/w bust) at 2,182,473, 1972
oil on canvas board
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm) frame: 25 1/4 x 21 1/4 in. (64.1 x 54 cm)

Projects: Jonathan Borofsky, Installation view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, August 17 – October 29, 1978

Projects: Jonathan Borofsky, Installation view, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, August 17 – October 29, 1978

Jonathan Borofsky Shell Painting with Clock at 2,226,732, 1973 oil on canvas, 44 x 36 inches (111.8 x 91.4 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Shell Painting with Clock at 2,226,732, 1973
oil on canvas, 44 x 36 inches (111.8 x 91.4 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky The Light of Consciousness #3, 1990, acrylic, lacquer, gesso on canvas ​73 3/4 x 108 in. (187.3 x 274.3 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
The Light of Consciousness #3, 1990,
acrylic, lacquer, gesso on canvas
73 3/4 x 108 in. (187.3 x 274.3 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky Dream #1 (Supermarket) at 1,944,821, 1972 oil on canvas board 6 panels, each panel: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) overall: 16 x 120 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) frame: 18 x 121 1/2 in. (45.7 x 308.6 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Dream #1 (Supermarket) at 1,944,821, 1972
oil on canvas board
6 panels, each panel: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) overall: 16 x 120 in. (40.6 x 304.8 cm) frame: 18 x 121 1/2 in. (45.7 x 308.6 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky Paul inflicted his need to be perfect on me...at 2,156,753, n.d., 1975 oil on canvas board 14 x 18 in. (35.6 x 45.7 cm); frame: 15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (38.7 x 48.9 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
Paul inflicted his need to be perfect on me...at 2,156,753, n.d., 1975
oil on canvas board
14 x 18 in. (35.6 x 45.7 cm); frame: 15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (38.7 x 48.9 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky You are Alone Slow Down There is No One to Please but Yourself, 1975-76 acrylic on canvas ​54 x 144 in. (137.2 x 365.8 cm)

Jonathan Borofsky
You are Alone Slow Down There is No One to Please but Yourself, 1975-76
acrylic on canvas
54 x 144 in. (137.2 x 365.8 cm)