Vito Acconci (American, b.1940) is a sculptor, video artist, performance artist, and architect born in the Bronx, NY. He earned a BA from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and, from 1962 until 1964, he was enrolled in the University of Iowa’s MFA writing program. In 1969, Acconci began producing visual art, after originally focusing on writing and poetry. From 1970 until 1974, Acconci performed a series of activities, including Broad Jump ‘71, staged at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, which was a jumping competition for male contestants vying for a woman as the winning prize. Acconci’s works and performances frequently contained incendiary social commentary. Seedbed (1971), a performance piece which is perhaps Acconci’s most notable and infamous work, positioned the artist beneath a wooden ramp at the Sonnabend Gallery, where he masturbated, for eight hours a day over a three-week period, and broadcast his fantasies through a loudspeaker while viewers walked overhead.

In the 1980s, Acconci turned to sculptural works and installation pieces. These included furniture made from disparate materials, such as his Garbage Seating (1986), made from trash cans, soil, and tree branches. More recently, Acconci and his Brooklyn-based studio were commissioned by New York’s Metro Transit Authority to create installations within subway stations. Wall-Slide (2002), installed in the 161st Street Yankee Stadium station, and made from stone, tile, and fiberglass, gives viewers the impression that they are seeing the stone and steel skeleton of the subway system beneath its glossy tiles.

Acconci Studio was formed in 1988 by Acconci and a group of architects, who together design public buildings and structures. Acconci’s work has been exhibited in a variety of venues, including the Barbara Gladstone Gallery and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has taught at multiple institutions, such as the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University, and the Parsons School of Design. Acconci currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Timeline

1940
Born in Bronx, NY
1962
BA Holy Cross College Worcester, Worcester, MA
1964
MFA University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Instructor at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA; The Cooper Union, New York, NY; School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Yale University, New Haven, CT; and Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Exhibitions

2012
Vito Acconci:Vito Acconci - Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL
2011
Vito Acconi - Galleria Fumagalli, Bergamo
2010
AAA Talk Vito Acconci + Ai Weiwei: Artist in Conversation, Agnès b. Cinema, Wanchai, Hong Kong
2009
Vito Acconci: Language Works- Video, Audio and poetry, Argos, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
2008
Vigilancia y control, Centro de Arte La regenta, las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain (solo)
Vito Acconci : Power Fields, Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
2006
Medium Fotografie, Stampa Galerie, Basel, Switzerland (solo)
Dark Places, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
2005
Mapping Space, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL (solo)
Looking at Words, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Self/City/Sound, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool, UK
Vito Hannibal Acconci Studio, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, Gran Canary Island, Spain (solo)
Vito Hannibal Acconci Studio, Stedelijk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
No Time in No-Land, Kenny Schachter Rove, London, UK (solo)
2004
Diary of a Body, Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Vito Hannibal Acconci, Musee d'Art Contemporain, Nantes, France; MACBA, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
Video Screening 1 - Vito Acconci, Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu, Kitakyushu, Japan (solo)
2003
Rehearsals for Architecture, Kenny Schachter Rove, Perry St., New York, NY (solo)
Acconci Studio - Slipping into the 21st Century, Pratt-Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Selected Videos by Vito Acconci, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY (solo)
2002
Vito Acconci: Acts of Architecture, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI (solo)
Vito Acconci: Acts of Architecture, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (solo)
2001
Vito Acconci, 11 Duke Street, London, UK (solo)
Vito Acconci / Acconci Studio, Architectural Models, The Institute for the Cooperation of Art and Research, New York, NY and Paris, France (solo)
Para-Cities : Models for Public Spaces, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK
Playing Amongst the Ruins, Royal College of Art, London, UK
VITO ACCONCI : Performance Documentation & Photoworks, 1969–1973, Ubu Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2000
Vito Acconci: Skatepark, Inst. Francais d’Architecture, Paris, France (solo)
Video Time, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1997
Acconci, Old, Refreshed and Re-viewed, Stroom, The Hague, The Netherlands (solo)
Vito Acconci, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1996
Vito Acconci, CGAC, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (solo)
1994
Vito Acconci : House of streets, Parks and Plazas, Le Consortium, Dijon, France (solo)
1993
Vito Acconci: Models and projects for streets, squares and parks, Stroom, The Hague, The Netherlands (solo)
1992
Vito Acconci, Centro per l´Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy (solo)
1988
Vito Acconci: Domestic Trappings, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (solo)
Vito Acconci : Part 2, Sculpture, Installations and Video 1972-1987, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
Vito Acconci, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
Vito Acconci : Part 1, Early Works, Photographs 1969-1972, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
1987
Vito Acconci: Domestic Trappings, La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA (solo)
1985
Vito Acconci, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
1983
Vito Acconci: Video tapes:De Appel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)

Literature

2004
Volk, Gregory, and Vito Acconci. Vito Acconci: Diary of a Body 1969 -1973. Milan-New York: Charta, 2004
2001
Acconci, Vito, and Gloria Moure. Vito Acconci: Writings, Works, Projects. Barcelone: Poligrafa, 2001
2001
Vito Acconci. Acconci Studio acts of architecture (exh. cat.). Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2001
1998
Contemporary Visual Arts, 20, pp. 36-38, Unbuilt Roads, Obrist, Hans Ulrich
1990
Critical Inquiry, 16, 4, Summer, pp. 900-918 Public Space in a Private Time, Acconci, V.
1988
ARTFORUM, XXVI, March, pp. 126-128, Projections of Home, Acconci, V.
1988
Vito Acconci: Public Places. New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1988
1980
Vito Acconci, A Retrospective: 1969 -1980 (exh. cat.). Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1980
1978
Vito Acconci: Catalogue of headlines and images. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1978
1976
October, Spring, pp. 50-64, Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism, Krauss