Through layering photographic negative and positive transparencies, Yass creates vibrant and unusual images. After consultations with a sleep scientist, she produced a series of works investigating the psychological structures of dreams. 


Sleep (alcove)

Ilfotrans transparency, light box
33 7/8 x 26 3/4 x 4 7/8 in. (light box)
Ed. of 3
© Catherine Yass. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.  


From the artist:

"I've always had a suspicion of the ease in which you believe an image. I was using [the camera] to record performances, and still think of my images as recordings of a place. When I started photographing with it, I put the film in the wrong way round; when I saw that this was having funny effects, I experimented. I photograph on individual sheets: first of all, the positive transparency on one side of a plate, then another transparency on the other, which is processed as a negative, making it blue. I overlay the two, and there's a time gap between the two exposures. The photographs are then displayed in lightboxes to make the colours much more intense. There is a feeling of being drawn right into the inner world of the image." 

- Interviewed by Sarah Phillips, The Guardian 2011




Born 1963, London, England

Lives and works in London, England

MFA, Goldsmiths College, London, England, 1990

BA, Slade School of Art, University College London, London, England 1986

Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, Germany, 1984-1985


Solo Exhibitions

2014  Cadences: Works from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam and film by Catherine Yass, Milton Keynes Gallery, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

2012  Lighthouse, Galerie Lelong, New York, New York

         Lighthouse, Alison Jacques Gallery, London, England

2011  De La Warr Pavilion, East Sussex, England

         Descent, The Philips Collection, Washington, DC

2009  The China Series, Stedelijk Museum 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands

         Descent, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri

         Afloat, Galeria Estiarte, Madrid, Spain

2008  High Wire, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland; Commissioned and produced by Artangel and the Gi Festival. Traveled to The German Gymnasium, London, England

         Alison Jacques Gallery, London, England, Laing Gallery, Newcastle, England

2006  Lock, Galerie Lelong, New York, New York, Alison Jacques Gallery, London, England

         Wall: Descent: Flight, Khalil Sakakini Centre, Ramallah, Palestine

2005  Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

         Art Basel, Unlimited, Basel Art Fair

         Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

         Herzliya Museum of Modern Art, Herzliya, Israel

2004  Alison Jacques Gallery, London, England

2003  Jerwood Gallery, London

2002  Descent, aspreyjacques, London, England

         Glass Box Project: Catherine Yass, ARTLAB 16 at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, England

         Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London

2001  Double Agent, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford, England

         Jerwood Gallery, London, England

         Star, National Gallery of Modern Art, Jaipur House, New Delhi. Traveled to National Gallery of Modern Art, CJ Hall, Mumbai, India; Birla, Calcutta, India; Lalit Kala, Chennai, India

2000  Cell, i8 Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland

         New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, England

         Synagogue, (Art in Sacred Spaces), The Congregation of Jacob, London, England

1999  Baths, The Pool, Central Club Hotel, London, England

         British Council Exhibition Space, Prague, Czech Republic

         Project Space, Galeri Wang, Oslo, Norway

1998  Baths, Sabine Schmidt, Cologne, Germany

         Galería dels Angels, Barcelona, Spain

         Invisible City, Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1997  Grave, Portfolio Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

         Stage, Cell Space, Barbican Centre, London, England

1996  Stall, Laure Genillard, London, England

         Steel, Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales

1995  Spectators, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, England

1994  Chair, Viewpoint Photography Gallery, Salford, England

         Guy’s Cliffe, Herber Percy Gallery, Warwickshire, England

1992  Laure Genillard, London, England

1991  The Tavistock Centre for Psychotherapy, London, England


Group Exhibitions

2018  Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture, Wellcome Collection, London, England

         Powerful Tides - 400 Years of Chatham and the Sea, The Historic Chatham Dockyard, Kent, UK

2017  Navigating the Unknown: Elastic Actions in a Dizzying World, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria

         Togetherness: Notes on Outrage, Kestle Barton Gallery, Cornwall, England

         Mission is 40, Mission Gallery, Swansea, South Wales

2016  Precarious Balance, Christchurch Center of Contemporary Art, Chistchurch, New Zealand

2015  How to Construct a Time Machine, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

2014   Walk On: From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff – 40 Years of Art Walking, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and Peninsula Arts, Plymouth, Massachusetts

         It’s All About the River Film Festival, part of the River Tamar Project, Plymouth, Massachusetts

         Lost in Landscape, Museo di Arte Mdoerna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (MART), Rovereto, Italy, Museum Moderner Kunst (Mumok), Vienna, Austria

         Bad Copy: Carrdiff by Parris, Museums at Night, Cardiff Museum, Cardiff, United Kingdom

         Ship to Shore: Art and the Lure of the Sea, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, United Kingdom

          Cultural Cartographies, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, Utah

         Tribute to an Avenue, Sculpture International Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The         Netherlands

2013  DRONE: The Automated Image, 13th Montreal Photo Biennale, Montreal, Canada

          High Wire, Walk-On, The Gymnasium, Berwick upon Tweed, United Kingdom

          Government Art Collection, Revealed, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland

         Fluid Motion, Lizbeth and George Krupp New Media Gallery: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

         Summer Exposure, Galerie Lelong, New York, New York

2012  Nuit Blanche, TIFF Space, Toronto, Canada

         The World in London, Olympic Commission Victoria Park, The Photographers Gallery, London, England

         High Wire, Tate Britain, London, England

         Government Art Collection, Commissions: Now and Then, Whitechapel Gallery, London, England

         Government Art Collection, Lancaster House London, England

         Desire Lines, Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (forthcoming in December)

         Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

2011  Editions and Acquisitions 2011, The Alan Cristea Gallery, London, England

         The Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York, England

         Left Behind: Selected Gifts from the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

         Projections: Works from The Artangel Collection, The Manchester International Festival, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, England

         Interventions in the Landscape, Galerie Lelong, New York, New York

2010  P(art)ners: Gifts from the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.

2009  Passing Thoughts & Making Plans, group show curated by Catherine Yass, Jerwood Space, London, England

         Learning Modern, The School at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

         There Goes the Neighborhood, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio

         The Photographic Object, The Photographer’s Gallery, London, England

2008  Eastern Standard: Western Artists in China, Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts

         Dateline Israel, The Jewish Museum of Maryland, Baltimore (MD)

         Turned on, Alan Cristea Gallery, London, England

         Parallax, Fieldgate Gallery, London, England

2007  The Speed Art Museum: Highlights from the Collection, The Speed Art Museum, Louisville

         Bare Life, The Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel

         Weather Report: Climate Change and Visual Arts, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

         Dateline Israel: New Photography and Video Art, The Jewish Museum, New York, New York

         Sleeping and Dreaming, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, Germany. Traveled through 2008 to Wellcome Collection, London, England

         The Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Arts, London, England

         Urban Landscapes: Emancipation and Nostalgia, David Winton Bell Gallery, List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

         Video and Photograph from the Western Bridge, Museum of Art, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

2006 6th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China

         MAN- Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Sarretto, Italy

         Seoul International Photography Festival 2006

         In The Society of London Ladies, La Nuit Blanche, Miss China Beauty Room, Paris

         Dual Realities, The 4th Seoul International Media Biennale

         Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London

         New Territories, Cultuurcentrum Brugge, Bruge, Belgium

2005 7th Graz Biennial on Media and Architecture, Graz, Austria

         Art Futures, Contemporary Art Society, Bloomberg SPACE, London, England

         EXPO 2005 Aichi Japan, British Pavilion, Nagoya Eastern Hills, Japan

         In Progress, Locarno International Film Festival, Locarno, Switzerland

         Les Grande Spectacles, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

         Switched On, Alan Cristea Gallery, London, England

         Thrust, 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia

2004  Interior View: Artists Explore the Language of Architecture, De Zonnehof, Centrum voor Moderne Kunst, Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Traveled to Firstsite, Colchester, Essex, England; Fri-Art, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Fribourg, Switzerland

         WOW, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington

2003  CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

         Eastwing Collection 06, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England

         Some Things We Like..., aspreyjacques, London, England

         The City That Never Was. Fantastic architecture in Western art. Traveled to Centro de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Museo De Bellas Artes De Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain

         Up Close and Personal, Nottingham Castle, Drawing With Light International Photography Festival, Nottingham, England

         Wetterling 25-ars jubileum, Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

2002  Cinema India:  The Art of Bollywood, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England

         The Ink Jetty, Neon Gallery, London, England

         Tate Modern Collection, Tate Modern, London, England

         Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

         Glass Box Project: Catherine Yass, ARTLAB 16 at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

         In Print: Contemporary British Art from the Paragon Press February 2002-2006, Art Pavillon ‘Cvijeta Zuzoric, Belgrade. Traveled to various locations

2001  10th Indian Triennale, Delhi, India

         Multiplication: Artists’ Multiples, Artists Multiplied, National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania. Traveled to Muzeul de Arta, Braşov, Romania; Muzeul Brukenthal, Sibu, Romania

         No World Without You. Reflections of Identity in New British Art, Herzliya Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel

         Nothing, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, England. Traveled to Contemporary Arts Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania; Rooseum Centre for Contemporary Art, Malmo, Sweden

         Read Only Memory, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre University of Warwick, Coventry, England

         The gallery: UNCOVERED, University of Essex, Essex, England

2000  Eat, Fuck, Die, Platform, London, England

         Explorations of the Environment: Landscape Redefined, Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami, Florida

         Light x 8, The Jewish Museum, New York, New York                   

1999  Glen Dimplex Artists Award, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland

         Officina Europa, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy. Traveled to Chiostri di San Domenico, Imola, Italy; Ex Fabbrica Arrigoni, Cesena and Palazzo dell’Arnego, Rimini, Italy

         Prime, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland

         This Other World of Ours, TV Gallery, Moscow, Russia 

         National Gallery of Art, Tirana

1998  Modern British Art, Tate, Liverpool, England

         New Art From Britain, Kunstraum, Innsbruck, Austria

         Performing Buildings, Tate, Bankside, London, England

         Queen’s Festival, Waterfront Concert Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland

         Screen, Anne Faggionato Gallery, London, England

         Feeringbury V111 Cultivated, Feeringbury Manor and Firstsite, Colchester, England

         London Screen, Edicions T Gallería d’Art, Barcelona, Spain

         United in Death, Cambridge Darkroom Gallery, Cambridge, England

1997  Date with an Artist, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, England

         Denys Lasdun Retrospective, Royal Academy of Arts, London, England

         Dimensions Variable: Works from the British Council Collection, City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland. Traveled through 2000 Royal Academy of Free Arts, Stockholm, Sweden; Soros Foundation, Kiev, Ukraine; Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw Poland; Stadtische Kustsammlungen, Chemintz, Germany; Prague National Gallery of Modern Art, Prague, Czech Republic; Zagreb Union of Croatian Artists, Zagreb, Croatia; Institute Mathidenhohe, Darmstadt, Germany; Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnus, Lithuania; Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary; Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia; National Theatre Galleries, Bucharest, Romania

         False Impressions, British School, Rome, Italy

         Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, Ireland

         Light, Richard Salmon, London, England

         Pictura Britannica, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

         Private Face / Urban Space, The Gasworks, Athens, Greece

         Six Unrelated Projects, The Tannery, London, England

         Surroundings, Museum of Modern Art, Tel Aviv, Israel

         Urban Legends, Kunsthalle Baden–Baden, Baden–Baden, Germany

1996  ACE Arts Council New Purchases, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire, England; Oldham Gallery, Oldham, England; Hayward Gallery, London, England; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England; Mappin Art gallery, Sheffield, England; Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, England; Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland

         Elektroniske understromme, Kunst & Video, Statens Museum for Kunst & Filmhuset, Kobenhavn, Denmark

         Inner London, Delfina, London, England

         Inside Bankside, South London Gallery, London, England

         Join the Dots, Galerie 5020, Salzburg, Austria

         Manifesta 1, European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

         Private View, Bowes Museum, Darlington, County Durham, England

1995  152c Brick Lane, London, England

         British Art Show 4, Cornerhouse, Manchester. Traveled through 1996 to Edinburgh, Scotland; Cardiff, Wales

         Care and Control, Hackney Hospital, London, England

         Gang Warfare, Independent Art Space, London, England

         Institute of Cultural Anxiety, ICA, London, England

         Melange d’Aout, Laure Genillard, London, England

         Open House, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, England

         Whistling Women, Royal Festival Hall, London, England

1994 Guys Cliff, Heber-Percy Gallery, Warwickshire

         Martina Detterer Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany

         Miniatures, The Agency, London, England

         Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England

1993  Inner Side, Architectural Association, London, England

         Vox Pop, Laure Genillard, London, England

1992  Brit Art, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland

         Discretion, Canary Wharf, London, England

         Exhibit A, Serpentine Gallery, London, England

1991  Brit Art 1, Galeri Senger, Zürich, Switzerland

         Countdown, Chisenhale Gallery, London, England

         Post-Morality, Cambridge Darkroom, Cambridge, England

         Sign of the Times, Camerawork, London, England

         Swimming Underwater, Imagination, London, England

         The Clove Building, Butler’s Wharf, London, England

1989  Suppose It’s True After All? Crypt Gallery, London, England

1985  Galerie Ackerstrasse, Berlin, Germany

1984  New Contemporaries, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England


Special Commmissions & Other Projects

2017  Clandon Park, The National Trust, West Clandon, England

2009  Passing Thoughts & Making Plans, group show curated by Catherine Yass, Jerwood Space, London, England

2003  Set design for Merce Cunningham: Split Sides, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York; Performance toured to Théâtre de la Ville, Paris and Barbican Theater, London, England

2000  Christmas Tree 2000, Tate Britain, London, England



2002 Arts and Humanities Research Board, Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, through 2005

         Turner Prize Shortlist, Tate Britain, London, England

         Wellcome Trust Award, London, England

2001  10th India Triennale Award, New Delhi

2000  Sci-Art Award, The Wellcome Trust, London

         Year of the Artist Award, The Arts Council of England

1999  Glen Dimplex Artists Award, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland

1997  Citibank Photography Prize Shortlist, London, England

1987  Boise Travel Scholarship, Slade School of Art, London, England



Catherine Yass. London: aspreyjacques, 2000.

filmografía/filmography. Gran Canaria, Canary Islands: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, 2005.

Catherine Yass: High Wire. London: Artangel, 2009.


Public Collections

Arts Council of England, United Kingdom

Biblioteca Albertina, Leipzig, Germany

The British Council Collection, London, United Kingdom

Delfina Entrecanales, London, United Kingdom

Dundee City Council, Dundee, Scotland

Government Art Collection, London, United Kingdom

Jewish Community Centre, London, United Kingdom

The Jewish Museum, New York, New York

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England

The Microsoft Art Collection, Redmond, Washington

The National Museum of Women in the Arts Collection

National Museum and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff, Wales

New Art Gallery, Walsall, England

The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Public Art Development Trust, London, United Kingdom

Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, Warwick, England

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland

Tate Collection, London, United Kingdom