Martin Kersels was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended UCLA for both his undergraduate and graduate educations, receiving a BA in art in 1984 and an MFA in 1995. His body of work ranges from the collaborative performances with the group SHRIMPS (1984-1993) to large-scale sculptures such as Tumble Room (2001) to photographs of performative actions to kinetic and sound producing sculptures.
His interest in machines, entropy, sound, and dissolution has produced work that examines the dynamic tension between failure and success, the individual and the group, and the thin line between humor and misfortune. Since 1994, Kersels’ objects and projects have been exhibited at museums both nationally and internationally, including the 1997 and 2010 Whitney Biennials, the Pompidou Center, MOCA Los Angeles, the Tinguely Museum, Kunsthalle Bern, MAMCO in Geneva, and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. For nearly 14 years Kersels taught at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), only within the last few years joining the faculty at the Yale School of Art as Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture. Currently he lives and works in the New Haven area of Connecticut. His work is represented by the galleries Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, Redling Fine Art in Los Angeles, and Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois in Paris.