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Photo by Timothy Schenck

Nina Beier

Women & Children

May 2022 - April 2023

On the High Line at Little West 12th Street

Nina Beier creates still lives in the form of performative sculptures and static assemblages. Her works tease apart a wide variety of cultural references to offer a window into the strange ways our worlds are put together. For example, Beier installed her work Men (2018), a collection of bronze statues of male war heroes, jockeys, and polo players on horses, in the breaking surf along the coast of Nieuwpoort, Belgium. In another work titled Housebroken (2016), Beier exhibited five massive marble guardian lion sculptures in the bathrooms, hallways, and courtyard garden at Kunsthal Ghent, Belgium.

For the High Line, Beier realizes Women & Children, a fountain composed of found bronze sculptures of women and children. The statues range in style from classical to contemporary, and all depict women and children in the nude, as has been Western art-historical convention. Water streams from the eyes of the sculptures, creating cartoonish tears that point to the fragility projected onto women and children as subjects. The artist’s crying statues reference the materialized gaze of the Fountain of Vision at the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Portugal as well as pop culture icons, such as cartoons dramatically expelling tears or even the crying emoji. The work’s title echoes the phrase “women and children first,” a Victorian-era maritime code of conduct wherein women and children, assumed to be the weakest aboard, should be the first saved in a perilous situation. Women & Children is installed on the High Line at Little West 12th Street where it can be viewed in the ground.

Organized by Cecilia Alemani, Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, with Melanie Kress, Curator of High Line Art.

Artist bio

Nina Beier (b. 1975, Aarhus, Denmark) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark and Berlin, Germany. Beier has presented solo exhibitions at Rønnebæksholm, Denmark (2020); Spike Island, Bristol, England (2018); Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany (2015); Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania (2015); and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California (2010). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California (2022); the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (2019); YUZ Museum, Shanghai, China (2018); Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland (2018 and 2009); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2016); KW Institute For Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2015); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2014 and 2013); and Tate Modern, London, England (2012 and 2007). Her work has been featured in major international exhibitions including the São Paulo Bienal, Brazil (2021); Glasgow International, Scotland (2021); the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Latvia (2020); 20th Sydney Biennale, Australia (2016); 13th Biennale de Lyon, France (2015); and 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2015).


Nina Beier, Women & Children, is made possible, in part, by New Carlsberg Foundation.