Annette Messager was born in Berck-sur-Mer, France, and now lives and works in Paris. After achieving acclaim as an artist in Europe, Messager has come to the attention of museums and galleries worldwide. In 1995 her work appeared at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Art in America, March 1994, comments that Annette Messager “seems to treat taxidermy and photography as interchangeable in their capacity to preserve living things for eternity.” For her installations, Messager uses dead birds and animals, photographs, stuffed toy animals, knitted garments, and written words which appear to unravel like so much yarn on the wall. The artist deconstructs and then reconfigures the world, working in series with names like Effegies, My Trophies, and Voluntary Tortures. According to French critic Mo Gourmelon, “the works of Annette Messager do not necessarily go hand in hand with the morbid, although they seem to rub shoulders with it.” He further suggests that her work exists “between the lightness of a daydream and the darkness of a nightmare.”
Messager is an inveterate collector of objects and images. She arranges them in relationship to each other in ways which jar the viewer. She also deals with fragments of the human body, inquiring into the nature of human identity and the role of women in society, including her own.