Biography

Antonia Contro is a visual artist whose work ranges from intimate drawings to site-specific installations and collaborations that engage artists from many disciplines. Her work explores ideas about knowledge: how we come to know what we know, and how we come to know the unknowable. Many of her works examine the theme of time. She works with art materials—such as paint, pencil, collage, film, and clay—as well as found objects and ephemeral materials.

In 2019, Theorem, a collaborative visual and literary book with poet Elizabeth Bradfield, was published by Candor Arts and a trade edition was released in 2020. Site-specific exhibitions include Tempus Fugit at the American Philosophical Society Museum in 2012, Ex Libris at Chicago Cultural Center in 2011, Field Guide at Chicago’s Notebaert Museum in 2007–8, Closed/Open at Chicago’s The Newberry Library in 2006, and Descry at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in 2002.

Contro’s art was featured in Only Connect at the Carrie Secrist Gallery in 2020, Surrealism: The Conjured Life at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2015–16, A Sense of Place, the Italian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, The Centennial Celebration: New Acquisitions 2001–2011 at the New York Public Library, and Chicago Artists at the Block Museum, 2007. She has also done numerous private commissions.

Contro’s work is in the American Philosophical Society Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Block Museum, Brandeis University, Davis Museum, Delaware Art Museum, Illinois State Museum, Hammer Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Menil Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New York Public Library, Polaroid Collection, Smith College, Stanford, Taubman Museum, Wellesley College, Yale University, and others.

She was awarded a CAAP grant in 2011, a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council in 2007, and was the recipient of a Rockefeller fellowship in 2002.