Stephen Prina is an American artist, musician, and composer, born in 1954 in Galesburg, Illinois. He currently splits his time between Los Angeles, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts where he is a professor at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies (VES) at Harvard University. Prina received his B.F.A. from the Northern Illinois University and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts.
Prina works in a variety of media including musical performances. Each piece is related in some way and develops in a series of long-term projects that he frequently rearranges and re-presents in different exhibition and associative contexts.
Stephen Prina’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions worldwide. Solo exhibitions include English for Foreigners, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2020); galesburg, illinois+, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles; Stephen Prina, Museo Madre, Naples, Italy (2017) ¡HOLA! ¿QUÉ TAL?, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne (2014); Carve Out a Space of Intimacy, Capitain Petzel, Berlin (2011); Stephen Prina: Modern Movie Pop, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2010); Stephen Prina, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen (2009); The Second Sentence of Everything I Read is You, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden (2008); The Queen Mary, Petzel Gallery, New York (2006); Gaylen Gerber with Stephen Prina, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2002); and To the People of Frankfurt am Main: At Least Three Types of Inaccessibility, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main (2000), among others.
Prina’s work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions, including Familienbande, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2019); Double Lives: Visual Artists Making Music, MUMOK, Vienna (2018); Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2016); Take it or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Outside the Lines, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2013); This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2012), traveled to Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Von realer Gegenwart, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2010); Yokohama Triennal, Yokohama; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Oh Girl, it’s a Boy!, Kunstverein München, Munich (2007); Who’s afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? Positionen der Farbfeldmalerei, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden; Los Angeles, 1955-1985, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2006); Make Your Own Life: Artists In and Out of Cologne, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; The Power Plant, Toronto; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; in capital letters, Kunsthalle Basel (2002); Adorno. Die Möglichkeit des Unmöglichen, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main; Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe (2001); Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2000); Crossings: art to see and to hear, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (1998); Allegories of Modernism: Contemporary Drawing, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1992), among many others.
His work can be seen in public collections at the Tate, London; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.