The Sensuous Dirty Old Man, 2006. Wood, metal, books, framed photographs, and cement. 65 x 44 x 10 in.

The Romance of Objects: A Conversation with Carol Bove

Carol Bove’s first installations, beginning around 2003, were hailed as resonant exhumations of the culture of the 1960s, filled with objects evocative of that era—books that helped define the zeitgeist, fragile drawings of pop icons like Twiggy and Mia Farrow, and artifacts that showed a preference for cottage-industry crafts over mass-produced goods. More recently, as in her contribution to the 2008 Whitney Biennial, she has introduced sculpture reminiscent of late Modernism—John McCracken, Carl Andre, and Richard Lippold—without specifically appropriating the work. She asks viewers to connect the dots among different shapes and references, reconstructing the era through their own memories and Bove’s allusions. As one curator has noted, her work is suffused with “sensuousness, human warmth, and subtle psychological undercurrents.”
Bove was born in Geneva in 1971 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, the daughter of quietly countercultural parents. She was interested in art from an early age but didn’t pursue any formal schooling until she arrived at New York University at the age of 24. She quickly made up for lost time and began showing almost immediately after graduation (she still teaches in the graduate program at NYU). Bove now exhibits her work in New York at Maccarone Gallery and in Düsseldorf with Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, in addition to creating installations for other venues. She works and lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with her husband, the painter Gordon Terry, and their two-year-old daughter, Thea.