Banks Violette (American, b.1973) is a painter and sculptor known for his often dark-mixed media works. Violette was born in Ithaca, NY, and earned his BFA at New York's School of the Visual Arts in 1998. He began showcasing in group exhibitions in New York in the late 1990s, while he was in college, and went on to earn an MFA from Columbia University in 2000. Violette works primarily in installation art and mixed media. Inspired by other Minimalist and Conceptual artists such as Jack Goldstein (Canadian, 1945–2003), Violette’s style has been referred to as New Gothic Art; this categorization results from his use of stark, experimental materials and focus on black, white, and metallic colors. Since the beginning of his career, Violette has drawn on the themes of violence, youth culture, death, iconography, and the blurring of fantasy and reality. Heavy metal and hardcore punk rock imagery also often appear in his work, inspired by his fascination with the music and the fear of its associated subcultures in society.
Violette's work appears in several prominent galleries around the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, CA, and the Musee d'Arte Moderne et Contemporain in Geneva, Switzerland. One of his best-known pieces is often considered to be his untitled Minimalist installation of a hollowed church made entirely out of salt, inspired by incidences of arson and murder in the Norwegian metal community. Violette often collaborates with musicians in his preferred genres, notably Stephen O'Malley (American, b.1974) of the band Sunn O, to create soundtracks for his exhibitions. He partnered with O'Malley to produce Untitled in 2007 at the Saatchi Gallery, which casted Sunn O's stage equipment in salt, creating an eerie atmosphere of an abandoned concert. Violette continues to live and work in New York, where he is represented by Team Gallery. He is also represented by Maureen Paley Gallery in London.

Timeline

1973
Born in Ithaca, New York, USA
1994–1995
Tompkins Cortland Community College
1998
School of the Visual Arts, New York, B.F.A
2000
Columbia University, New York, M.F.A
Currently lives and works in New York, USA
Curatorial Projects
2006 MY MIRRORS Are PAINTED BLACK For You, Bortolami Dayan, New York, USA
2003 Trans-national Monster League, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, USA
2001 Dear Dead Person, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, USA
1999 ZERO Neiman Center for Print Sudies, Columbia University, New York, USA
1998 Fearless Vampire Killer, ABC No Rio, New York, USA
Awards and Grants
2000 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant
Public Collections
Frank Cohen MOCA Manchester, Manchester, UK
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland
Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
OverHolland Collection, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Saatchi Collection, London, UK
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, USA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

Exhibitions

2009
La Conservera, New Contemporary Art Centre, Murcia, Spain
2008
Sack of Bones, Asia Song Society, New York, USA
2008
Extra-Light, Point Ephemere, Paris, France
2008
Maureen Paley, London, UK (solo)
2008
Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
2008
Focus: Banks Violette, Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas, USA (solo)
2007
Gladstone Gallery and Team Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2007
Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (solo)
2007
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria (solo)
2007
Collection Show, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland
2007
Disorder in the House, Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium
2007
The Eclectic Eye, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, USA
2007
When We Build Let Us Think That We Build Forever, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, UK
2007
My Sweet Sixteen Party, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium
2007
The Shapes of Space, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
2007
U.S.A. Today, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
2007
Bastard Creature, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
2007
LAST ATTRACTION NEXT EXIT, Max Wigram Temporary Exhibition Space, London, UK
2006
Cosmic Wonder, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, USA (curated by Betty Nguyen)
2006
Trial Balloons, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Leon
2006
Spain (curated by Agustin Pérez Rubio, Octavio Zaya, Yuko Hasegawa)
2006
gallery.sora, Tokyo, Japan (with Gardar Eide Einarsson)
2006
Standard, Oslo, Norway (solo)
2006
Maureen Paley, London, UK (solo)
2006
Youth of Today, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
2006
DARK, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2006
I Love My Scene: Scene One, Mary Boone, New York, USA
2006
The Image Is Gone, Galerie Lisa Ruyter, Vienna, Austria
2006
The Monty Hall Problem, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, USA
2006
While Interwoven Echoes Drip into a Hybrid Body, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland
2006
U.S.A. Today, Royal Academy, London, UK
2005
Thank You for the Music, Sprüth Magers Projekte, Münich, Germany
2005
Blankness is Not a Void, Standard, Oslo, Norway
2005
on black wings / six-channel bleed, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
2005
Untitled, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (solo)
2005
Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, USA (with Walter Redinger)
2005
Bridge Freezes Before Road, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA
2005
La Beauté de l’Enfer: works on paper, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium
2005
Greater New York, P.S.1, New York, USA
2005
Suburbia, Galerie Lisa Ruyter, Vienna, Austria
2004
MW Projects, London, UK (with Nigel Shafran)
2004
Penteholocaust / The Sixty-Sided Stone of the Androgyne, Peres Projects, Los Angeles, USA (with Matt Greene)
2004
The Black Album, Maureen Paley, London, UK
2004
The Ice Age, Team Gallery, New York, USA
2004
Beginning Here: 101 Ways, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, USA
2004
Art and Illusion: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, USA
2004
Power, Corruption and Lies, Roth Horowitz, New York, USA
2004
Noctambule, alternative space, Paris, France (under the auspices of D’Amelio Terras Gallery, New York)
2004
The Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
2004
Scream, touring exhibition: Anton Kern Gallery, New York & Moore Space, Miami, USA
2003
Kult 48 Klubhouse, Deitch Projects, Brooklyn, USA
2003
Enquiry into those Kinds of Distress which excite agreeable Sensations (1773): Slater Bradley & Banks Violette, Team Gallery, New York, USA
2003
Flesh and Blood, Michael Steinberg, New York, USA
2003
A Matter of Facts, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, USA (curated by Clarissa Dalrymple)
2003
Back in Black, Cohan Leslie and Browne, New York, USA
2003
Melvins, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, USA
2003
The Return of the Creature (The Continuing Saga of Elementalism, … Conceptual Practice and Romanticism After Robert Smithson, … New Quasi-Cinemas, … and Post-Punk Existentialism), Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis Gartnerhaus, Bregenz, Austria
2002
Arroyo Grande, 7.22.95, Team Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2001
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta, USA
2001
Ghost Stories, Sandroni-Rey Gallery, Venice, Los Angeles, USA
2001
Learned America , P.P.O.W., New York, USA
2001
Diversity Plus: Emerging Artists in a Rapid World Visual Arts Museum, New York, USA
2000
Summer with Friends, Team, New York, USA
2000
Team Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2000
Two Friends and So On, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, USA
2000
Columbia University M.F.A. Exhibition, alternative space, Brooklyn, USA
1999
Rachel Lowther and Banks Violette, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, USA
1998
Group Show, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, USA
1997
Group Show Visual Arts Gallery, New York, USA
1997
MX Group Show, Lower East Side Community Center, New York, USA

Literature

2008
Sherwin, Skye, New Trends in Art: Black on Black, Art Review, January 2008, pp.63-69
2008
The new destination, Harper’s Bazaar, November 2008, p.197
2008
Westcott, James, Banks Violette, artreview.com, 15th September 2008
2008
Banks Violette, Pluk, October 2008, p.30
2008
Behrman, Pryle, Banks Violette, Galleries, October 2008, p.16
2008
Bollen, Christopher, 15 For 09: Banks Violette, Interview Magazine, December 2008, p.160
2008
Brealey, Louise, Second Coming, Wonderland, October 2008, p.64
2008
Critic’s choice: Galleries, Time Out, 11 September 2008, p.61
2008
Falconer, Morgan, Banks Violette, Art World, October 2008, pp.76-79
2008
Gavin, Francesca, The Art of Fear, Dazed and Confused, October 2008, pp. 154-161
2008
Lau, Charlene K., Banks Violette, www.akimbo.biz, 9 October 2008
2008
Potts, Rachel, Art and music now, Garageland, issue 7, 2008
2007
Bell, Natalie, Banks Violette, Art Papers, November 2007, p.72
2007
Bryant, Eric, Banks Violette, Artnews, October 2007, p.215
2007
Fox, Dan, USA Today, Frieze, March 2007, p.183
2007
Koh, Terence and Violette, Banks, Two of a Kind, Flash Art, May 2007, pp.112- 116
2007
Kunitz, Daniel, The Man in Black, The Village Voice, 18 July 2007, p.50
2007
Morris, Jane, Maureen Paley: Gallery Profile, Art World, December 2007, pp.52- 55
2007
Pollack, Barbara, Banks Violette, Time Out New York, p.64
2007
Yablonsky, Linda, Scene and Herd: Banks Holiday, artforum.com, 06 July 2007
2007
Rosenburg, Karen, Renouncing the Dark Arts, New York, 2 July 2007
2007
Saltz, Jerry, Theory of the Market, Flash Art, March 2007, pp.90-93
2007
Stern, Steven. Banks Violette, Frieze, September 2007, p.184
2007
Vogel, Carol, Néo-Factory, Vogue Hommes, Autumn 2007, pp.232-235
2007
Wilson, Michael, Banks Violette, Artforum, September 2007, p.466
2006
Abbott, Jeremy, blackened is the end winter it will send, i-D, June - July 2006, p128-133
2006
Bernays, Ueli, Nostalgische Anklange - ironische Untertone, Neue Züricher Zeitung, 04 February 2006
2006
Corris, Michael, America Rising, Art Monthly, November 2006, pp.1-3
2006
Davies, Lillian, Manifest Destiny, Untitled, No. 38, June 2006, p38-41
2006
Ellis, Patricia, Catching up with Charles (Saatchi), Flash Art, October 2006, pp.64-67
2006
Ellis, Patricia, Banks Violette, USA Today, Saatchi Gallery, p.370-377
2006
Ellis, Patricia, Catching up with Charles (Saatchi), Flash Art, October 2006, p.64.67
2006
Gronlund, Melissa, David Altmejd: Art Star, ID, May 2006, p62
2006
Homes, A.M., The Way They Work, Vanity Fair, December 2006, p.354-357
2006
Kuni, Verena, While Interwoven Echoes Drip into Hybrid Body - An Exhibition about sound, performance and sculpture..., Kunstbulletin, March 2006
2006
Kopsa, Maxine, Elegant Bareness: Bank Violette’s Death Metal, Metropolis M, October / November 2006, p101&102
2006
Needham, Alex, Art: Banks Violette, i-D, June - July 2006, p170-171
2006
Needham, Alex, kill to get the money, i-D, September 2006, p188-191
2006
Nunez-Fernandez, Lupe, Banks Violette at Maureen Paley, Saatchi Gallery.com, 03 June 2006
2006
Octavia, Zaya, Banks Violette, Trial Balloons, MUSAC, May 2006, p53
2006
Pouncey, Edwin, Banks Violette/Sunn O))), Wire, August 2006, p.73
2006
Rinderknecht, Martin, Sie verfechten das Verflechten, Züritipp, January 2006
2006
Searle, Adrian, Schlock and awe, The Guardian, October 5, 2006
2006
Smith, Maggie, (editor), the new art, Rachmaninoff’s, 2006, p 13
2006
Spiegler, Marc, Market Trends: American Renaissance, The Art Newspaper, International Edition, 14 June 2006
2006
Stewart, Christabel, Blog: transmissions: Droning on, www.showstudio.com, 3 August 2006
2006
Sumpter, Helen, Banks Violette, Time Out London, 05 July 2006, p39
2006
Turner, Luke, Arts: Salt of the Sunn, Stool Pigeon, No. 007, June 2006, p36&37
2006
Umar, Saheer, Banks, Violette, Tokion, June 2006, p122
2006
W, M, Kunst fur alle Sinne, Migros Magazin, January 2006
2006
Wilson, Michael, Subculture Capital, artforum.com, 06 June 2006
2006
Banks Violette, Studio, August 2006, p 52-53
2006
Banks Violette: Maureen Paley, Kultureflash, 14 June 2006
2006
Books, Wallpaper, April 2006
2006
Exhibitions: Pick of the Week, The Guardian Guide, 24-30 June 2006, p37
2006
Heady Metal, New York Times Magazine, 28 May 2006, p30-35
2006
Migros Museum, Tema Celeste, March 2006
2006
News, Rock-A-Rolla, Issue 4, July/August 2006, p5
2006
Studio: Israeli Art magazine, Issue 166, August – September 2006, p52&53
2006
Top 100 Artists, Flash Art, October 2006, pp.68-69
2005
Art: Banks Violette, Kultureflash, July 2005
2005
Barliant, Claire, Banks Violette: Whitney Museum of American Art, Artforum, October 2005, p 273
2005
Momin, Shamin M., Banks Violette, Whitney Museum of Modern Art
2005
Castro, Jan Garden, Conversations with Ghosts: Banks Violette, Sculpture, December 2005, p 18-9
2005
Cohen, Michael, Whitney Museum of American Art - Banks Violette, Flash Art, October 2005, p 76
2005
Cohen, Michael J., Banks Violette: Cryptologist, Spike, Issue 5, 2005, p cover, 36-45
2005
Colman, David, A Southern Gothic Memento Mori, The New York Times, 7 August 2005, p 8
2005
Cotter, Holland, Fanciful to Figurative to Wryly Inscrutable, The New York Times, 2005, p E29, 31
2005
Cotter, Holland, Walter Redinger, Banks Violette, The New York Times, 2005, E36
2005
Davis, Ben, Ultra Violette, artnet.com, 4 August 2005
2005
Dexter, Emma, Vitamin D – New Perspectives in Drawing, Phaidon, 2005
2005
Egan, Maura, School of Goul, The New York Times Men’s Style Magazine, Fall 2005, p 76
2005
Ekroth, Power, Blankness Is Not a Void, artforum.com, 7 December
2005
Gural, Natasha, Whitney Museum commissions first solo museum exhibition…, newsday.com, 3 June 2005
2005
Jones, Jonathan, The Black Album, The Guardian, 10 January 2005
2005
Jones, Kristin M., Bridge Freezes Before Road, Frieze, October, p 217-8
2005
Kennedy, Randy, Master of the Dark Arts, The New York Times, 15 May 2005, p 1, 30
2005
Kimmelman, Michael, Youth and the Market: Love at First Sight, The New York Times, 18 March 2005, p 99.E37, 39
2005
Kley, Elisabeth, Burnt Churches and Salt Pillars, New York Press, 7 June 2005, p 26
2005
Lafuente, Pablo, Display - Recent installation photographs from London galleries and venues, Rachmaninoff’s , 2005, p18
2005
O'Reilly, Sally, The Black Album, Time Out London, 12-19 January 2005
2005
Rimanelli, David, Greater New York 2005, ArtForum, May 2005, p 239-240
2005
Saltz, Jerry, Lesser New York, Village Voice, 28 March 2005, p 77
2005
Smith, Roberta, Banks Violette, The New York Times, 1 July 2005, p 8
2005
Smith, Roberta, Spotting an Aesthetic Dispute and Embracing All Sides, The New York Times, 17 December 2005
2005
Sonnernborn, Katie Stone, Displaced Histories: The Art of Banks Violette, The Brooklyn Rail, September 2005, p 10
2005
T, R, Vitamin D, State of Art, September 2005
2005
Thornton, Sarah, The Power 100, Art Review, November 2005, p101
2005
Violette, Banks, Glisten Up, The New York Times Style Magazine, Fall 2005, p 74, 211
2004
Bankowsky, Jack, Many Happy Returns: This is Today, Artforum, May 2004, p 160-171, 233
2004
Caniglia, Julie, American Splendor, Travel + Leisure, March 2004, p60
2004
Corread, Stephane, Noctambule Spectral et Decale, Beaux Arts, June 2004, p 35-36
2004
DeBeer, Sue, Artists on artists: Banks Violette, Bomb, Summer 2004, p 52-53
2004
Dunn, Melissa, Whitney Biennial 2004: A Good-Looking Corpse, Flash Art, May-June 2004, p 63, 80
2004
Garrett, Craig, Noctambule, Flash Art, October 2004, p 60
2004
Heartney, Eleanor, The well-tempered Biennial, Art in America, June-July, p 71-77
2004
Johnson, Ken, Art in Review: ‘Scream’, The New York Times, 13 February 2004, p 36
2004
Kimmelman, Michael, Touching All Bases At The Biennial, The New York Times, 12 March 2004, p E27, 38
2004
Lee, Chris, Death Becomes Them, Blackbook, Fall 2004, p 190-192
2004
Placek, Matthu, Death becomes him, Art Review, 2004
2004
Rawsthorn, Alice, A Gothic Romance, Pop, Issue 9, p 222-229
2004
Rosenberg, Karen, Biennial Favorites, New York, 1 March 2004, p37-41
2004
Rothkopf, Scott, Many Happy Returns: Subject Matters, Artforum, May 2004, p 176-177, 233
2004
Saltz, Jerry, Modern Gothic, Village Voice, 4-10 February 2004, p 86
2004
Slimane, Hedi, Ritual, Dazed & Confused, August 2004, p 91, 96
2004
Slimane, Hedi, Interview with Banks Violette, Doingbird, Issue 8, 2004, p 80-83
2004
Tumlir, Jan, My Pop: Banks Violette, Artforum, October 2004, p 86
2004
Violette, Banks, Whitney Bound, V Magazine, Spring 2004
2004
Violette, Banks, Top Ten, Artforum, January 2004, p 48
2003
Cohen, Michael, The New Gothic, Flash Art International, July 2003, p 108-110
2003
Harris, Jane, Review of ‘An Enquiry…’, Time Out New York, October 2003, p 63
2003
Iles, Chrissie, Best of 2003, Artforum, December 2003, p 122-123
2003
Pearson, Jesse, I do this, I do that, The personality artist and heavy metal Dandyism, Parkett, 2003
2003
Schwendener, Martha, Review of ‘Back in Black’, Time Out New York, 31 July 2003, p 53
2003
Wysong, Brennen, Fiend Club, Flyer, June 2003
2003
Fiend Club, 2003
2003
Unicorns are dead, Vice, 2003
2002
Honigman, Ana Finel. Review, Time Out New York, 25 July 2002, p54
2002
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2002
Jones, Jonathan, Stop Spreading the News, The Guardian, 28 August 2002
2002
Levin, Kim. Voice Choice, The Village Voice, 30 July 2002, p 96
2002
MacKenzie, Michael A. Banks Violette: Investigations into Alienation, Visual Arts Journal, Summer 2002, p 10-11
2002
Worth, Alexi. Art Choice, The New Yorker, 19 August 2002, p 38