Taryn Simon

Born 1975, New York, New York | Lives and works in New York, New York

Taryn Simon, installation view of Birds of the West Indies, 2013, 190 archival inkjet prints in boxed mats and aluminum frames, 15 3⁄4 x 10 1⁄2 in (40 x 26.7 cm) each, and single-channel video; color, sound; 8:05 min., looped; Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist; Photo: Greenhouse Media


Taryn Simon uses photography, text, and graphic design to investigate the impossibility of absolute understanding. Recent projects include an archive mapping the relationships among chance, blood, and other components of fate (A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters, I–XVIII; 2011) and a catalogue of more than 1,000 objects seized upon entering the United States at John F. Kennedy Airport over a five-day period (Contraband; 2010). Simon’s work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions at institutions including Museum of Modern Art (New York, 2012), Tate Modern (London, 2011), Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin, 2011), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, 2007). She received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography in 2001 and was represented in the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Simon’s work is held in many international collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Centre Pompidou (Paris), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles).

Borrow a work

A work by Taryn Simon is available for checkout in the Art Lending Collection at Braddock Carnegie Library.

Read about the artist

The Bond Market (New York Times, September 2013)

Taryn Simon: The Picture Collection (Nowness, March 2013)

Museum Review: A Moral Examination (The Washington Post, November 2012)

A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII (Art.sy Films, June 2012)

Video: Taryn Simon's Rabbits (The New Yorker, April 2012)

Taryn Simon: Shot True (Nowness, December 2011)

Strange Cargo at Kennedy Airport (New York Times Magazine, July 2010) 

Behind Closed Doors (New York Times Magazine, December 2006) 

The Innocents: Photographer's Forward (Frontline/PBS, May 2003)