Sara Cwynar (b. 1985, Vancouver, Canada) is interested in the way that images accumulate, endure, and change in value over time. Her conceptual photographs and films involve constant archiving and re-presentation of collected visual materials, layering diverse imagery with references to art theory. The works intricately recall advertisements, retail catalogues, and old art history textbooks. Her visual assemblages meditate on how vernacular images shape collective world views, and how those ideals can change through time and contextual manipulation.

Cwynar received her Bachelor of Design from York University, Toronto, Canada in 2010 and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven, USA in 2016. She has exhibited at international museums including the Museum of Modern Art (2019), the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (2019), Milwaukee Art Museum (2019), Oakville Galleries (2018), Minneapolis Institute of Art (2018), Museum für Moderne Kunst (2017), and the Fondazione Prada (2016), and international galleries including Foxy Production, Andrea Rosen, M+B Gallery, Cooper Cole, and Eleven Rivington. In 2014, Cwynar was awarded the Printed Matter Emerging Artists Publication Series and published her first monograph, entitled Kitsch Encyclopedia, with Blonde Art Books. Her work is in the permanent collections museums including the Guggenheim Museum (New York), SFMoMA (San Francisco), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas), Minneapolis Insitute of Art (Minneapolis), Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee), and the Museum of Modern Art (New York). Cwynar currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


Born 1985, Vancouver, Canada
Lives and works in New York, USA


MFA Yale University, New Haven, USA
BDES Honors Graphic Design, York University, Toronto, Canada
English Literature, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Solo Exhibitions

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA (Forthcoming)
Image Model Muse, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA

Image Model Muse, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, USA
Rose Gold, The approach, London, United Kingdom
Tracy, Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Canada

Tracy, Car Kostyal Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Soft Film, MMK Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Sara Cwynar, Foxy Production, New York

Three Hands, COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada
Soft Film, Art Basel Statements with Foxy Production. Basel, Switzerland

Presidential Index, Retrospective, Hudson, USA

FLAT DEATH, Foxy Production, New York, USA
FLAT DEATH, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA

Everything in the Studio (Destroyed), Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Accidental Archives, COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada

Group Exhibitions

Glenn O’Brien: Center Stage, Off Paradise, New York, USA (forthcoming)
Last Night I Wore a Costume, curated by Lisa Dooley, LX Arts, New York, USA (forthcoming)

Re: Art show 21, curated by Efrem Zelony-Mindell, Phizer Building, Brooklyn, USA
You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred, curated by Paul Luckraft, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, Russia
Mademoiselle, curated by Tara Londi , Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain d’Occitane, Sète, France
Roesler Hotel #28: Screenscapes, curated by Vik Muniz, Barney Kulok and Lucas Blalock, The Roesler Hotel, São Paulo, Brazil
La Complainte du progrès, curated by Sandra Patron, Musée régional d’art contemporain Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée, Sérignan, France
Fulhame’s Map, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo, Canada
MAST Foundation for Photography Grant on Industry and Work, curated by Urs Stahel, Mast Foundation, Bologna, Italy

Strange Attractors: The Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Art: Vol. 1 Life on Earth, organized by Bob Nickas, Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA
Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto, Canada
Culture Industry, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA, USA
Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie – Farewell Photography, Mannheim, Germany
Through the Lens – Platform for Photography, Deweer Gallery, Otegem, Belgium
Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, curated by Ami Barak, Montreal, Canada
My curiosities are not your curios, Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Hard to Picture: A Tribute to Ad Reinhardt, curated by Diana Baldon and Marie-Noëlle Farcy, Mudam, Luxembourg
Subjektiv, curated by the editorial board of OBJEKTIV – consisting of Lucas Blalock, Ida Kierulf, Brian Sholis, Susanne Ø. Sæther and editor Nina Strand. Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
Screen Memory, Simon Lee Gallery, London, United Kingdom
AS IF FROM WERE SOME PITCHER, Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, USA
You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred, curated by Paul Luckraft, Zabludowicz Collection, London, United Kingdom
99 Cents or Less, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, USA
In Some Far Place, curated by Mirielle Eagan, The Rooms, St John, Netherlands
I am the Organizer of My Own Objects, curated by cheyanne turions, Dazibao, Montréal, Canada
Looking Back / The 11th White Columns Annual, selected by Anne Doran, White Columns, New York, USA

Tell Me What I Mean, To____Bridges____, Bronx, NY
L’Image Volee, curated by Thomas Demand, The Prada Foundation, Milan, Italy
For Pete’s Sake, Carl Kostyál, Stockholm, Sweden
We are the Center for Curatorial Studies, CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Hudson, NY
Arles 2016: Les Rencontres de la Photographie. Arles, France

Greater New York, MoMA PS1, New York, USA
Continuous Surfaces, Andrea Rosen, New York, USA
If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?, Hunter East Harlem Gallery, New York, USA
The Secret Life, Murray Guy, New York, USA
Under Construction: New Positions in American Photography, Foam Photography Museum at Pioneer Works, New York, USA
The Actual, Eleven Rivington, New York, USA
Surface (New Life), curated by Sara Dolfi Agostini, Fluxia Gallery, Milan, Italy

Soft Target, organized by Phil Chang and Matthew Porter, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Never Enough: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA
The New Beauty of Our Modern Life, curated by Kate Steciw, Higher Pictures, New York, USA


Mode, Foxy Production, New York, USA
Aperture Benefit Auction, Aperture Foundation, New York, USA
MAD Library with Limited Time Only, ICI, New York, USA
What You Want, The Camera Club of New York, New York, USA
The Scenery Changes Three Times, Schema Projects, Brooklyn, USA

Small Works, Humble Arts Foundation with Magenta Flash Forward Festival, Boston, USA
Great Point, Real Fine Arts, New York, USA
Pink Installation, Ed Varie, New York, USA

New York Art Book Fair with Printed Matter, PS1, New York, USA
Talk to Me, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
This Place in Time, Show & Tell Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Neubacher Shor Contemporary, Toronto, Canada
Hunter & Cook Auction, Diaz Contemporary, Toronto, Canada
I’m Not Here, CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto, Canada
Made in US, with Tibi Tibi Neuspiel, Creatures of Comfort Project Space, New York, USA
Open Books, Royal College of Art, London, UK
Made in US, with Tibi Tibi Neuspiel, 107 Shaw Gallery, Toronto, Canada

The Fine Line, Openhouse Gallery, New York, USA
Where is Here: Canadian Exhibition, Magenta Flash Forward Festival, Toronto, Canada
Parts of a Hole, Xpace, Toronto, Canada
Stacked, Paul Petro Special Projects, Toronto, Canada
Search Prone, Butcher Gallery, Toronto, Canada

No Theme Group Show, Canteen Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
Wayfaring, Gallery 1313, Toronto, Canada


Seven on Seven conference, organized by Rhizome, New Museum, New York, USA
Artist talk, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Selected Press

Murray Whyte, “In our hyper-consumer landscape, Sara Cwynar exposes the rift between image and object”, The Star
Rachel Wine Brad Wheeler, “Layered meaning”, The Globe and Mail
Gail Bichler, “What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn”, The New York Times

Hannah Stamler, “Sara Cwynar”, Artforum
Leigh Anne Miller, “Sara Cwynar”, Art in America
Evan Moffitt, “Critic’s Guide: New York”, Frieze
Andrea K. Scott, “An Artist’s Meditation on Color Reveals a Secret History of Film”, The New Yorker
Dan Piepenbring, The Paris Review
Robert Everett-Green, “Montreal’s Momenta focuses on fact and illusion on photography”, The Globe and Mail

Ariela Gittlen, “Sara Cwynar: Between Photography and Design”, BlouinArtinfo (UK)
Blake Gopnik, “In ‘Greater New York’ at PS1, Sara Cwynar Touches the Art”, Artnet

“The Top 15 Emerging Artists of 2015”,
“10 Highlights at PS1’s ‘Greater New York’”, BlouinArtinfo

Roberta Smith “Sara Cwynar: Flat Death”, The New York Times
Will Heinrich, “Sara Cwynar: ‘Flat Death’ at Foxy Production,” Gallerist NY
“Recoding Images: A Roundtable Interview curated by Lauren Cornell with Michele Abeles, Sara Cwynar, Jon Rafman and Travess Smalley”, Mousse
Nick Brown “Sara Cwynar”, Cura Magazine

Britt Gallpen, “Bringing Flat Death to Life”, Canadian Art

“Looking for Cancon at Miami Art Basel?” Mclean’s Magazine, Canada
“Talents to Be Seen”, Foam Magazine, The Netherlands
“Living the Dream” – Surreal Artists Portfolio, Bullett Magazine, New York, USA
The Water Issue, Capricious Magazine, New York, USA

“Sara Cwynar” Behind the Zines: Self Publishing Culture, Gestalten
“Sara Cwynar: 20 Under 30 New Visual Artists”, Print Magazine

Selected Publications

“Pictures of Pictures” Published by Printed Matter (recipient of Emerging Artist Publication Grant), New York, USA
“Kitsch Encyclopedia” Published by Blonde Art Books, New York, USA

“Lost & Found” Published by The Camera Club of New York, New York, USA


Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
Fondazione Prada, Milan
Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, USA; Paris, France
Dallas Art Museum Collection, Dallas, USA
MoMA Library Collection, New York, USA
Foam Photography Museum Collection, Amsterdam, Netherlands


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