Catherine Yass was born in London in 1963, and studied at the Slade School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College, London.  She has exhibited on an international level, with shows in Oslo, Reykjavik, Prague and Tokyo.  Significant group exhibitions include Light x 8, Jewish Museum, New York, 2000, Manifesta I, Rotterdam, 1996 and the British Art Show 4, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 1995.  Catherine has had recent solo shows at the New Art Gallery Walsall, 2000 and at the Jerwood Gallery, London, 2001. In 1999 she won the Glen Dimplex Award and in 2000 she created the Christmas tree for Tate Britain.  Catherine Yass is represented by asprey jacques, London.

Catherine Yass, the artist representing Britain at the 10th Indian Triennale, won a prestigious prize for her exhibition entitled Star. Star comprises new work which was unveiled for the first time at the opening ceremony in Delhi.  

Yass’s prize was amongst nine other awards made by the Triennale organisers.  The exhibition is a showcase for artists from all over the world and features 30 artists from foreign countries and 37 from India.

The Indian Triennale is the most important gathering of international contemporary art on the Indian subcontinent.  It is held in three venues in Delhi from 22 January – 21 February 2001 at the Lalit Kala Akademi, the National Gallery of Modern Art and the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society


In January 20010 Catherine Yass represented Britain at the 10th Indian Triennale where she was awarded one of nine prizes by the Triennale committee for a new body of work specially commissioned by the British Council. The new work, entitled Star, comprises six portraits of Bollywood film stars, with a further four images of the auditoriums of Mumbai cinema houses.

Living in the East End of London, Yass’s first awareness of Indian Film came via the large Asian community there. In November 2000 she made her first visit to Mumbai where, with the support of the British Council there, she was able to meet and photograph six of the highest profile film stars working in the industry: Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt and Karisma Kapoor. Of the six portraits, four were made whilst the actors were on set. The artificiality of the context enables Yass to go beyond portraiture and to explore the institutional structure which supports the actors, as well as examining the notions of identity.

In his essay for the catalogue produced for the exhibition, Vikram Chandra writes of the symbolic relationship between the film star and the film fan: a relationship of mutual need as each validates the other’s identity and existence.