Conrad Shawcross was born in 1977 and studied at the Chelsea School of Art (1996), Ruskin School of Art (1998) and Slade School of Art (2001). He currently lives and works in London.
Recent awards include: Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture (2014); Urbanomic residency, Falmouth, UK (2010); Artist in Residence, Science Museum, London (2009-2011); ILLy Art Prize (2009); Art & Work 2008 Award for Space Trumpet, Unilever Commission (2008); International Fellowship at Location One, New York (2008-2009); First Base Acava Free Studio Award (2001-2002); Ray Finnis Charitable Trust Award (2001).
Shawcross has exhibited at Victoria Miro Gallery; Manifold, New Art Centre; Dulwich Picture Gallery; The ADA Project; ARTMIA Foundation; Roundhouse; National Gallery, London; Science Museum; Turner Contemporary; Oxford Science Park; The Pace Gallery; The Sculpture Garden at 590 Madison Avenue, New York; Ministry of Justice Commission, Unilever Commission, Unilever House; The New Art Gallery, Walsall and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Continuum, The Queen’s House, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; Manifesta 5; Entwistle Gallery amongst many others.
Conrad Shawcross flirts with concepts of scientific rationality. His practice is influenced by geometry, physics, mathematics, metaphysics and their relation to epistemology and philosophy. Drawn to historical quests and failures to attain certified fact or scientific dogma Shawcross implements these redundant failed ideas and methodologies in order to create structures and mechanical assemblages that appear to defy rational equilibrium. He creates machines that retain an enigmatic presence, brimming with paradox and complexity. In some of his work Shawcross pays homage to scientific and technological pioneers such as Charles Babbage, best remembered for originating the first programmable computer and Dorothy Hopkins who discovered the structure of pig insulin. His systematic constructions discuss historical triumphs, socially manifested ideologies and by highlighting inventions or concepts forgotten in history raise questions about constructed fact. In doing so Shawcross' work places scientific and creative discovery on an equal pedestal and thereby champions pure inventiveness and discovery.