Sam Taylor-Johnson was born in London in 1967. Originally a sculptor, Taylor-Johnson (nèe Taylor-Wood) began working in photography, film, and video in the early 1990s. In 2011 she was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Taylor-Johnson has had numerous group and solo exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (1997), where she won the Illy Café Prize for Most Promising Young Artist, and was nominated for The Turner Prize in 1998. Solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Zurich (1997), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek (1997), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (1999), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2000), a retrospective of her work at the Hayward Gallery, London (2002), State Russian Museum, St Petersburg (2004), MCA, Moscow (2004), BALTIC, Gateshead (2006), MCA Sydney (2006), MoCA Cleveland (2008) and the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (2008).
In 2008, Taylor-Johnson directed the BAFTA and Palme d’Or nominated, Sundance Film Festival winning short film Love You More, written by Patrick Marber and produced by Anthony Minghella.
Her directorial feature film debut came in 2009 with the critically acclaimed Nowhere Boy, a film based on the childhood experiences of The Beatles songwriter and singer John Lennon. Nowhere Boy was nominated for four BAFTAs including Best British Film and Outstanding Debut for Taylor-Johnson’s direction.
In September 2014, Taylor-Johnson released a photography book for Chanel entitled Second Floor, in which 34 images captured the private apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel. This was accompanied by a solo exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London.
February 2015 saw the release of Taylor-Johnson’s directorial feature, Fifty Shades of Grey. Not only has the film been titled Universal Pictures’ highest-grossing R-rated international release, it also marked the biggest opening in history for a female director.