David Byrne’s 2006 exhibition Furnishing the Self - Upholstering the Soul at Pace/MacGill featured several of his unique chair designs. Bringing together constructed chairs with Byrne’s original drawings for their design, the exhibition also featured this group of Byrne’s imaginative sketches embroidered onto upholstery fabric and released as editions by PaceEditions (production completed by Andre Ribuoli and Jennifer Mahlman). The exhibition coincided with the release of Byrne’s book Arboretum, published by McSweeney’s.
Co-founder of the innovative rock group Talking Heads, Byrne has been involved with photography and design since studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art. His ability to create extraordinary visual and sensory experiences out of the otherwise ordinary and mundane informs much of this work. In Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (2003), Byrne adapted the usual business applications of Microsoft’s Powerpoint presentation software for artistic purposes, producing a series of short films and animated sequences that explore the program’s creative possibilities. For his Playing the Building installation (2005), he converted a Stockholm factory into a giant musical instrument by vibrating its beams, pillars, and pipes.
Byrne has been exhibiting his work since the mid-1990s in major solo shows and public art projects around the world. His multimedia art has also provided the material for several books published by Byrne in recent years, including Arboretum (McSweeny’s, 2006); Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (Steidl/PaceMacGill, 2003); David Byrne Asks You: What is It? (Smart Art Press Pinspot # 13, 2002); The New Sins (McSweeny’s, 2001); Your Action World (Chronicle Books, 1998); and Strange Ritual (Chronicle Books, 1995).