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Yale University School of Art
1156 Chapel Street, POB 208339
New Haven, Connecticut, 06520-8339
(203) 432-2600


photograph by Patricia DeChiara 2014

Martin Kersels

Mr. Kersels was born in Los Angeles and attended UCLA for both his undergraduate and graduate educations, receiving a BA in art in 1984 and an MFA in 1995. His body of work ranges from the collaborative performances with the group SHRIMPS (1984-1993) to large-scale sculptures such as Tumble Room (2001). His interest in machines, entropy, sound, and dissolution has produced work that examines the dynamic tension between failure and success, the individual and the group, and the thin line between humor and misfortune. Since 1994, Mr. Kersels’ objects and projects have been exhibited at museums both nationally and internationally, including the 1997 Whitney Biennial, the Pompidou Center, MOCA Los Angeles, the Tinguely Museum, Kunsthalle Bern, and the Getty Museum. A survey of his work, entitled “Heavyweight Champion,” was organized and exhibited by the Tang Museum in 2007 and the Santa Monica Museum in 2008. His room-sized sculpture, 5 Songs, and an accompanying performance series, Live on 5 Songs, was on view in the 2010 Whitney Biennial of American Art. Before joining the faculty at Yale he was a faculty member and Co-Director of the Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts. Mr. Kersels was appointed Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at Yale in 2012.

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