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Cady Noland

Artist Factory


was born in Washington, D.C., USA, in 1956.

Associated modules

Cady Noland is an American artist. In her sculptures and installations she explores themes such as media and violence in American society.

The only photo of Cady that can be found online or in print was taken in 1992, during her participation in documenta IX. documenta is a world-famous exhibition of contemporary art that takes place every five years in Kassel. In the picture, Cady hides her face from the photographic gaze.

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Where does the interest in learning about artists and their private lives, or knowing what they look like, come from? 

In her works, she often brings together different things from everyday life and arranges them in very unusual ways: for example, beer cans, a barbecue grill and burger buns are combined with meta bars, weapons, handcuffs, baseball bats and a crutch. Many of these objects are associated with violence and exude an aggressive mood.


How much precision does a random-looking installation require? 

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Artwork Factory

Artwork Cady Noland, Deep Social Space, 1989

Numerous objects are arranged around three metal scaffolding poles: kettle grill, beer cans, burger buns, American flag, chips and a Marlboro garbage can, plus some insignia of rural America, such as horse saddles and blankets. But the scaffolding poles that frame everything create an unsettling, even aggressive mood and seem to prevent any free movement.

In the 1990, Cady was very successful with her art: critics praised her work, and collectors were very keen to buy her pieces. Nevertheless, Cady withdrew from the art world and has since tried—as best she can—to avoid it. She does not want to make a commercial spectacle of herself, her work, or her resistance.

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Artwork Factory

Artwork Cady Noland, Tanya as a Bandit, 1989

Almost life-size, the artist Cady Noland transfers a photo of a young woman onto an aluminum display by means of silkscreen. Holding a machine gun in her hands, the figure stands in our way. The photo comes from a newspaper, the caption becomes a pedestal.

Being famous in the age of mass media is an important theme in Cady’s work. She is interested in why people treat others like objects in certain circumstances, such as in the gossip newspapers.


Is there still a difference in our perception between the advertisement for a consumer product and the sensational news about a famous person?