Sophie Calle

Nationality : American

Birth Year : 1954

Place of Birth : Paris, France

Specialities : Contemporary Art

Biography

Occupation: Conceptual Artist; Photographer; Writer; Installation Artist
Movement: Contemporary Art; Oulipo
Famous Artworks
“The Sleepers,” 1979
“Los Angeles,” 1984
“La Fille du Docteur, Talon Aiguille,” 1985
“Father, Mother, Son,” 1990
“Last Seen,” 1991
“Gotham Handbook,” 2000
“Twenty Years Later,” 2001
Sophie Calle is a French visual artist, photographer, writer and filmmaker, best known for her intimate portrayals of human vulnerability and identity. Her work is characterized by her ability to capture the interior lives of her subjects without artifice and sensationalism. 
Early Life
Sophie Calle was born in Paris in the autumn of 1953, the daughter of oncologist and prominent art collector Robert Calle. Raised in a cultured environment that fostered an interest in high art, she became interested in photography as a result of her exposure to the work of her father’s friends, such as Christian Boltanski and Martial Raysse. Robert Calle was also the former director of the Institut Curie and the collector behind the Carre d’Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Nimes. 
Career
After completing her secondary education, Calle set off on a seven-year expedition around the world, during which time she developed a strong sense of political justice, identifying herself as a Maoist, feminist and member of the proletarian Left. Upon her return to Paris, the artist found herself in an alien city, without a clear direction, without friends, without employment. As a result, she took to the streets, following strangers on the road like a detective, recovering her hometown through the paths of others. The project eventually led her to follow one such stranger to Venice while surreptitiously taking photographs of his journey. 
In 1979, Calle invited strangers and friends to spend a few hours each on a single bed so that it was occupied continuously for eight days straight. She took photographs and conducted short interviews with each individual, one of whom was the actor Fabrice Luchini, and noted the important details of these brief meetings in a notebook: the topics they discussed, the positions of the sleepers, their movements in bed, a description of their breakfasts. “The Sleepers” caught the attention of art critic Bernard Lamarche-Vadel, husband of one of the subjects, who invited Calle to exhibit at the Paris Biennale in 1980. 
Her work seeks to create a bridge between art and life through installations, photographs, text and video and borrows the style of reportage and inventory. She once demonstrated the interchangeability between voyeur and exhibitionist by showcasing a series of candid photographs of herself taken by a private investigator. In 1996, she co-produced “No Sex Last Night,” a film documenting her road trip through America with photographer Gregory Shephard. Rather than follow the conventions of a Hollywood romance, the project design focused on the relationship between two people who are unfamiliar with each other within the framework of intimacy. She later collaborated with screenwriter and author Paul Auster on “The Gotham Handbook.” 
Recent Activity
Since the turn of the century, Calle has showcased her conceptual art at several major galleries and festivals including the Hermitage Museum, Venice Biennale, the Whitechapel Gallery in London and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. In 2005, she accepted a faculty position at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee. She lives and works in Paris. 
Timeline
1953  -  Born in Paris
1972  -  Embarks on lengthy period of travel
1979  -  Returns to Paris and begins work on a series of projects to reacquaint herself with her hometown
1996  -  Travels across the United States with Gregory Shepherd
2002  -  Receives the Spectrum Award - Internationaler Preis fur Fotografie der Stiftung Niedersachsen
Major Exhibitions
1980  -  Fashion Moda, New York
1981  -  Galerie Canon, Geneva
1988  -  Galerie Montenegro, Madrid
1989  -  Fred Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles
1991  -  Pat Hearn Gallery, New York
1993  -  Sala Mendoza, Caracas
1993  -  Museo d’Arte, Maracay
1995  -  Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art
1996  -  Museum of Modern Art, Tel Aviv
1997  -  White Cube, London
1999  -  Hara Museum of Art, Tokyo
2001  -  Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
2001  -  The Jewish Museum, San Francisco
2006  -  Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami
2009  -  Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
2010  -  Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice
2012  -  Shanghai Biennale
Museums / Collections
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Tate Gallery, London
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Books / Publications
“The Address Book” by Sophie Calle
“Take Care of Yourself” by Sophie Calle
“Double Game” by Sophie Calle and Paul Auster
“Sophie Calle: Did You See Me?” by Christine Macel and Yve-Alain Bois
“True Stories” by Sophie Calle
NEWS

Dealer's Notebook: Q&A with Gallerist Matthias Arndt

By Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop | April 19, 2015

       Name: Matthias ArndtHailing from: FrankfurtPresides over: ARNDT Berlin and SingaporeGallery’s specialty: International Contemporary ArtArtists...

Tackling the Giant: Hamburg Show Explores Artistic Takes on Pablo Picasso

By Lisa Contag | April 3, 2015

If there is a giant in 20th century art, it’s Pablo Picasso. No other artist seems as widely known and remains as omnipresent as the Catalan painter who died in Mougin in 1973 at the age of 91....

Tackling Blindness, the Elusive Sophie Calle Takes a Turn Towards Raw Emotion

By Céline Piettre,ARTINFO France | September 25, 2012

As always with Sophie Calle, the idea is as simple as can be — expressed in just a few lines. For “Dernière Image” (“Last Image”) (2010), which combined text and photography, she went to Istanbul...

Top Ten Awesome 2012 Melbourne Art Fair Finds

By Nicholas Forrest | August 4, 2012

To see a slideshow of the Top Ten Awesome 2012 Melbourne Art Fair Finds click the slideshowArtworks in top ten:1. ARNDT Gallery BerlinSophie Calle"The Birthday Ceremony: 1986, 1980 - 93"showcase...

How Matthias Arndt Plans to Conquer the Asia-Pacific Art Market Part 2

By Nicholas Forrest | April 16, 2012

Nic Forrest, Executive Editor of Artinfo Australia, recently caught up with Matthias Arndt to find out more about his foray into the Australian art market and the Asia-Pacific region.  In...