Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me at Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), September 23, 2023 – February 25, 2024

“The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) presents the New York museum debut of Canadian visual artist and performer Shary Boyle. On view from September 23, 2023–February 25, 2024, Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me explores the forces that create our inner and outer selves, both individual and collective. The multisensory solo exhibition of new works by the artist includes exquisitely sculpted ceramics, life-sized automatons, two-way mirrors, a coin-operated sculpture, and an interactive soundtrack. To help realize her creative vision for the exhibition, Boyle enlisted a team of collaborators, including a scenic designer, costume artist, robotics engineer, amusement park innovator, and acrylic nail artist. Each work in the exhibition is a testament to slow, skilled, passionate handcraft.

The exhibition’s title, Outside the Palace of Me, references a lyric from ‘Europe is Lost,’ written by UK poet and singer Kae Tempest in 2016. In this visceral protest song, Tempest catalogs society’s ills, including the commodification of the self through reality TV, social media, and the influencer economy.” — MAD

Installation views of Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York (September 23, 2023–February 25, 2024). Photos by Jenna Bascom; courtesy the Museum of Arts and Design.

“Shary Boyle has been galvanized by the global turmoil over the last decade to create extraordinary works of art, ambitious in their breadth of scope and the depth of discourse concerning the essential challenges facing our society, such as racism, misogyny, and environmental destruction,” said Elissa Auther, MAD’s Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and William and Lasdon Chief Curator.

“Boyle sees the artist as a risk-taker and wants her art to start conversations, ask questions with no right answers, and change thought. To achieve this, she has called on all her powers as a multimedia artist and enlisted a team of collaborators to create a deceptively nostalgic space for play—and provocation. Her work addresses heavy histories but is also hopeful about our ability to creatively reimagine and collectively enact a better future,” Auther added.

Outside the Palace of Me is organized by the Gardiner Museum, Toronto.

Title image: Shary Boyle. The Sculptor, 2019. Terra cotta, porcelain, china paint. Courtesy of the artist and Patel Brown Gallery. Photo credit: John Jones.