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Listed by the Huffington Post as “one of 10 transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art,” Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture. Featuring a series of bodies transformed by strict physical training regimes, Cassils’ artworks offer shared experiences for contemplating histories of violence, representation, struggle, and survival. Cassils juxtaposes the immediacy, urgency, and ephemerality of live performance against constructed acts for the camera. Drawing on conceptualism, feminism, body art, and gay male aesthetics, Cassils creates a visual critique around ideologies and histories with sweat, blood, and sinew.
Solo exhibitions include the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska; MU artspace, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Trinity Square Video, Toronto; and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. Cassils’ work was featured in Homosexuality_ies presented by the Deutsches Historisches Museum and the Schwules Museum, Berlin; Institute for Contemporary Art and the National Theatre, London; Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte, muca-Roma, Mexico City, Mexico; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City; ANTI Contemporary Performance Festival, Kuopio, Finland; Museu da Imagem e do Som, São Paulo; and Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica. Cassils received a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship, 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2015 Creative Capital Award in addition to the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, Rema Hort Mann Visual Arts Fellowship, California Community Foundation Grant, Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art award, and Visual Artist Fellowship from the Canada Council for the Arts. Cassils has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Artforum, Wired, the Guardian, TDR, Performance Research, Art Journal, and Vogue Brazil, and was the subject of a 2015 monograph published by MU Eindhoven.