Born 1972 in Ryki, Poland, Sosnowska studied in 1992-93 at the Schola Posnaniensis (private art academy in Poznan), 1993-98 at the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, and 1999-2000 at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (postgraduate studies).
For more than ten years, Monika Sosnowska has created increasingly complex installations, including a series of doors that shrink in size until viewers are unable to move through them (Entrance, Sculpture Center, 2003); a scale model of a communist housing block crushed to fit into the Polish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale (1:1, 2007); and an external staircase, as found in Poland's Socialist housing, oversized, twisted and leading nowhere (Staircase, Dusseldorf, 2010).
During her studies in Poznan she painted, but as she states herself, during her last years at the Academy, "painting started to escape her canvas". She then realized many works which were a play between the painting and space, and finally resigned from canvas altogether, treating space as a 3D painting. Sosnowska treats space as a medium for her works, which only exist for a limited time and are then subject to destruction. She always designs her projects for a given space. She once wrote: I am especially interested in the moments when architectural space starts to acquire the aspects of the mental one.. It happens that we are used to recognize reality and to classify it according to comprehensible systems. Even looking at art becomes a part of the scheme. We feel safer, when an object fits to the norms and is called art. It is much more difficult to assume an attitude toward something that may be intriguing but exists outside the usual categories. There is a delusive moment, when the object is categorized and seems to be understood. We have no idea that we are getting rid of the pleasure of sensing things just the way they are, without the necessity of naming them. (Monika Sosnowska, Mala Alicja)
Monika Sosnowska is short-listed for the 2012 Guggenheim Hugo Boss Prize. The Würth Trusts awarded the artist with the Robert Jacobsen Prize in 2009. It was the 2007 Venice Biennale work 1:1, which swayed the honorable members of the trust to give the sculpture prize to Sosnowska. In 2003 she won the prestigious Baloise Art Prize in Basel, and Polityka's Passport, given by Poland's most influential weekly. She lives and works in Warsaw, where she is represented by the Foksal Gallery Foundation, and from 2010 she is also represented by Hauser & Wirth Gallery in New York, Zurich and London,
Monika Sosnowska's solo shows include the upcoming in 2013 exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, Australia
as well as at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. Past solo shows: The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Scotland (2012, 2008), Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2011); Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico (2011); 2011 Kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2011); Licthof/Atrium Project 1, K21 Düsseldorf (2010); Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2010); Herzliya Museum Tel Aviv, Israel (2010); 52nd International Biennale of Venice, Polish Pavilion, 1:1, Venice, Italy (2007); Kunstmuseum Lichtenstein, in Vaduz, Lichtenstein, Museum of Modern Art, Projects Series (2006); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León - MUSAC, León, Spain (2006); Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne (2006, 2005); Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw (2005, 2002); The Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna; OPA, Guadalajara, Mexico (both 2005); The Modern Institute, Glasgow; De Appel Gallery, Amsterdam; The Serpentine Gallery, London; Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (all in 2004); Laura Pecci Gallery, Milan (2003); CCA "Zamek Ujazdowski", Warsaw (2001); Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2000, 1999)
She participated in several group shows, including: Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, MCA Chicago, (2012); 2012 Shanghai Biennale- REACTIVATION; ILLUMInations, Venice Biennale, (2011); Museum of Desires, MUMOK Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (2011); elles@centrepompidou, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009/10); Monika Sosnowska / Andrea Zittel, Munchenstein, SchaulagerBasel (2008); Delusive Orders, Museum of Art in Lodz, Poland (2007); ARS 06 - Sense of the Real, Kiasma Museum, Helsinki; Satellite of Love, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2006); We Disagree, Andrew Kreps and Wrong Gallery, New York; Glasgow International, Sculpture Studios, Glasgow (2005); Distances?, Le Plateau, Paris; Parallel Action, Cieszyn (organized by Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw; 2004); Art Focus 4, Israel Festival, Jerusalem; Contemporary Art for all Children, Zacheta National Art Gallery, Warsaw; Istanbul Biennale; Elephant Juice, Kurimanzutto, Mexico City; Prague Biennale 1; Clandestine, 50th Venice Biennale; Architectures of Gender, SculptureCenter, New York; S-AIR Show 2, Intercross Creative Centre, Sapporo; Art Basel, Basel; Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered - Spatial Emotion in Contemporary Art and Architecture, Migros Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, and CCA "Laznia", Gdansk (2003); In capital letters, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel; Manifesta 4, Frankfurt am Main; Project 1, 4th Gwangju Bienalle, Gwangju, Korea; Fair, Royal College of Art, London (2002); Raster Gallery, Warsaw (2001); Escape, Centre de Solai, Bamako, Mali (2000).