Martha Friedman is a New York-based sculptor who works with solid and plastic materials to form, deform and test the boundaries of the physical world. Often building towering sculptures out of unstable materials, interjected with malleable elements, the works are infused with a sense of subverted ambition, precariousness, irony, and humor. Friedman’s recent works have included collaborations with choreographers and dancers Susan Marshall and Silas Riener, extending her work into a visceral and flexible dimension, exploring material sculpture, the human body, and the relationships that can exist between the two.
Friedman began teaching at Princeton in 2009, and was appointed full time Lecturer in 2011. Friedman served as Acting Director of the Visual Arts Program 2013-14, and was appointed Director of the Program in July 2017. She teaches introductory and advanced sculpture courses, and the program seminars for majors, providing foundation for their thesis projects. With Susan Marshall, Friedman has twice co-taught “Body as Object”, an innovative course on the intersection of sculpture and dance. Friedman has previously taught at institutions including Cooper Union, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Wesleyan University, and Yale University.
Friedman’s awards include a NEA grant for her collaboration with Susan Marshall. Friedman’s work has been reviewed in publications including Art in America, Art Forum, The New Yorker, Modern Painters, The Miami Herald and Hyperallergic. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2017); Institute of Fine Arts New York University, New York (2016-17); Locust Projects, Miami (2015-16); Wallspace, New York (2012, 2009, 2007); the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI (2010); DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (2010); and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL (2010). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Select examples include Frieze New York Sculpture Park, curated by Tom Eccles, New York (2013); Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel (2013); Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome (2009) and The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2011). A solo exhibition of Friedman’s work is forthcoming at the Henry Museum, Seattle in 2018.
Born in Detroit, Friedman earned her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998 and her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2003. Friedman lives and works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.