Jonathan Borofsky

Year of birth, place
1942, Boston
Role at the ZKM
in the collection
Jonathan Borofsky was born in Boston in 1942. In 1964 he completed a degree in Fine Arts at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg. He then studied at the École de Fontainebleau, before completing an MA in Fine Arts at Yale University in 1966. He lives in Ogur Guit, Maine.

The process of counting is central to Borofsky's work. After completing his studies he withdrew into his studio in New York. Here he started to note down both intellectual concepts and numbers in a continuous sequence. He gave the resulting annotations (and drawings) the title »Counting«. Arranging them into groups and according to themes, he introduced concepts concerning time. He has, in fact, continued this counting process. From the early 1970s Borofsky has also been active as a painter. In some of his pictures Borofsky deliberately adopts a child-like manner of working. He also combines images that he painted during his own childhood with those he has produced as an adult into sequences of objects and images, which he calls »Continuous Paintings«. As in his drawings, numbers and symbols recur in his paintings; other frequent motifs are human heads and figures and images from dreams. Borofsky has also worked with video. In the 1980s Borofsky started to work in sculpture, much of it monumental in scale, often treating motifs already found in his drawings and paintings. It is through large sculptural works in city settings that Borofsky has become known to a wider public during the 1990s.

Individual exhibitions (selection)   

1973 Artist's Space, New York
1975 Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
1981 Institute for Contemporary Arts, London, subsequently Kunsthalle Basle
1982 »Werkers«, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam
1983 »Jonathan Borofsky: Zeichnungen 1960-1983«, öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Kunstmuseum Basle, subsequently Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Kunstverein
Hamburg, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Kunstverein Mannheim, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
1984 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, subsequently Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, University Museum of Berkeley, Berkeley, Walker Art Center,
Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles
1987 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, subsequently at The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga
1988 »Jonathan Borofsky: Zeichnungen und Druckgrafik«, Galerie Albrecht, Munich
1991 »Heart and Mind«, Portikus, Frankfurt/M; »Subject(s): Prints and Multiples by Jonathan Borofsky, 1982-1991«, The Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, subsequently The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Bayly Art Museum of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Tucson, Annapolis, Yonkers, Saskatchewan, Miami, Long Beach, Austin
1995 »Walking Man«, Münchner Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft, Munich
1996 F.R.A.C., Provence-Alpes Maritimes-Côte d'Azur
Group exhibitions (selection)
1970 »557,087«, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, subsequently as »955,000«, Vancouver Art Gallery
1976 »SoHo«, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, subsequently at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek
1981 »Westkunst«, Museums of the City of Cologne
1982 »Zeitgeist«, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; documenta VII, Kassel
1983 Biennal Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
1987 »Avant-Garde in the Eighties«, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
1990 The Biennale of Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1991 »XI Salon de los 16«, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; »Metropolis«, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
1992 »Moving Image - Electronic Art«, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
1993 »Amerikanische Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert«, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, subsequently at Royal Academy of Arts, London; documenta IX, Kassel
1994 »From Minimal to Conceptual Art«, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
1995 The 2nd Fujisankei Biennale, International Exhibition for Contemporary Sculpture, The Utsukushi-ga-hara Open-Air Museum
1996 »Views from Abroad: European Perspectives on American Art 2«, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, subsequently at Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/M

[Frauke Syamken, 1997]