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Steve McQueen - Art Review Summer 2009

Article relating to an individual, 2009
Published by: Art Review
Year published: 2009
Number of pages: 6

image of Steve McQueen - Art Review Summer 2009

Major feature on Steve McQueen in Art Review, Issue 33, Summer 2009. A portrait of McQueen adorned the cover of the issue, which described McQueen as ‘The Most Relevant Artist in Britain’. From the contents page: “Winner of both the Turner Prize and Caméra d’Or, Steve McQueen is representing Britain at this year’s Venice Biennale; Martin Herbert confesses he still has no idea what to expect from the ever fresh and surprising artist, while Mark Rappolt finds out why McQueen is not too keen on interviews.” The feature appears in pages 74 - 79.  The feature itself is introduced as follows: A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, WHILE I WAS TALKING TO STEVE MCQUEEN ABOUT QUEEN AND COUNTRY (2007-), HIS RUN OF STAMPS FEATURING THE FACES OF BRITISH SERVICEMEN KILLED IN THE IRAQ WAR, HE MENTIONED IN PASSING THAT HE WAS WORKING ON A FILM ABOUT BOBBY SANDS. I PICTURED A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE ICONIC IRA HUNGER STRIKER, NOT THE FEATURE FILM THAT WOULD CONSEQUENTLY MAKE MCQUEEN THE ONLY PERSON ON THE PLANET TO HAVE BEEN AWARDED BOTH THE TURNER PRIZE AND THE CAMERA D’OR (FOR BEST FIRST FEATURE AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL.  The text was written by Martin Herbert, and the portraits of McQueen were taken by Juergen Teller. The feature, extensively illustrated, also included a smaller item by Mark Rappolt, Steve McQueen: The reluctant subject.

From Herbert’s text: “… This is the artist, remember, who announced himself with Bear (1993), a film in which he and another naked black man are engaged in some sort of ambiguous combat-cum-mating-ritual. They spar, they smile, they approach each other, they grapple, they spring back…”

The text represents a major, important and considered reflection on McQueen’s practice thus far. Rappolt’s piece is an interview with the artist, which concludes, “I wonder if he feels that what he ‘has to do’ in Venice, the most hyped-up display in the artworld calendar, is different from the contexts of his other exhibitions. It’s an honour, he admits. But “I’m not going to shine my shoes just to go the Venice Biennale”, he says laughing, before adding, with an engaging flourish of nonchalance, “I won’t be wearing a suit and tie… I’ve got my path and I’m going to walk along it.” “

Related people

»  Steve McQueen OBE, CBE

Born, 1969 in London, UK