Annette Messager (French, b.1943) is known primarily for her installation work, which often incorporates photographs, prints, drawings, and various materials from everyday life. Born in Berck-sur-Mer, she moved to Paris to study at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs before being asked to leave in 1966 because her professors felt she was not engaged in her studies. Her earlier work from the 1970s questioned gender norms and appropriated different personas in oft-controversial works, including close-up photographs of men’s crotches in trousers in The Approaches and a series of misogynistic French proverbs embroidered on cloth in My Collection of Proverbs. In recent years, Messager has explored the whimsical and grotesque fantasies of childhood, frequently incorporating dismembered stuffed animals and limbs into her installations. Her best-known work is her award-winning submission for the Venice Biennale in 2005, Casino, in which a wind machine creates waves and ripples in a large red silk sheet amongst strange creatures and forms. Messager began her successful career with first prize in the Kodak Photography International competition in 1964. Her first major American retrospective was co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1995. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires in 1999, at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2004, and a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. She has exhibited at the Biennale de Paris in 1997; the Documenta VI in 1977 and XI in 2002; the Biennale of Sydney in 1979, 1984, and 1990; the Venice Biennale in 1980, 2003, and 2005; and the Biennale d'Art Contemporain de Lyon in 2000. Messager currently lives and works in Malakoff, France.