Artist page 
Isa Genzken
Kaiserring of the City of Goslar
2017
Isa Genzken has been awarded the 2017 Kaiserring of the City of Goslar
Isa Genzken, Untitled, 2015 (detail).

October 7, 2017–January 21, 2018

Isa Genzken is the recipient of the 2017 Kaiserring (or “Emperor’s Ring”) prize from the city of Goslar. Inaugurated in 1975 and judged by a panel of curators and museum directors, the prize is organized by the city of Goslar and the Verein zur Förderung Moderne Kunst (Association for the Promotion of Modern Art). Previous winners include fellow gallery artists Sigmar Polke, Bridget Riley, and Richard Serra. The news was published in Artforum.

An accompanying solo exhibition at the Mönchehaus Museum presented an untitled installation made in 2015 that is comprised of seven parts: four wooden towers and three columns incorporating a range of materials including mirror foil, glass, plastic flowers, spray paint, plaster, acrylic, woven polypropylene, medication instructions, coloured tape, photographs, metal clips, magazine covers, and paper. The exhibition also featured recent two-part works in which materials including photographs, printed paper and stickers are affixed to aluminium panels.

Isa Genzken: Retrospective
2013
The artist’s first American museum survey

Organized by The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Isa Genzken: Retrospective was the artist’s first retrospective exhibition at an American museum. Featuring around 150 works, many of which were on view in the United States for the first time, the show covered forty years of Genzken’s practice in diverse media. The exhibition was curated by Sabine Breitwieser and Laura Hoptman at MoMA in collaboration with curators at the museums to which the show traveled in 2014—Michael Darling at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Jeffrey Grove at the Dallas Museum of Art.

As critical responses to the exhibition emphasized, New York has long been an important source of inspiration and material for the artist, who first came to the city in 1960; the exhibition included the work I Love New York, Crazy City (1995–1996), a three-volume scrapbook of architectural photographs, maps, hotel bills, receipts, flyers, and other souvenirs that Genzken began composing during a stay of several months. As Roberta Smith notes in a review of the show for The New York Times, "It is hard to imagine her work without the city’s skyscrapers, street life, trash and style, not to mention Canal Street and its rich vein of cheap shiny materials and job lots. . . . In the galleries, the works move in roughly chronological fashion, in distinct, often startling series, presenting an artist who seems to become younger and more vital with each decade, as her work becomes more spontaneous and grounded in reality."

For Peter Schjeldahl, writing in The New Yorker, "The show finds coherence in works that range from minimalist sculpture, charged with cryptic emotions, from the nineteen-seventies, to recent hilarious assemblages, featuring plastic toys and gussied-up mannequins, which secrete a steely aesthetic discipline. Unifying it all is a brash spirit that is strangely both celebratory and bedevilled. Genzken takes on the ideals of modern art and architecture along with the joys and the anxieties of life in contemporary cities."

A major catalogue published in conjunction with the exhibition features texts by Sabine Breitwieser, Michael Darling, Jeffrey Grove, Laura Hoptman, Lisa Lee, and Stephanie Weber.

Isa Genzken in conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans
2003

In 2003, the Graz-based journal Camera Austria published a conversation between Isa Genzken and Wolfgang Tillmans. The text was reprinted in October Files in 2015 as part of a special publication devoted to Genzken's practice. 

Read the full text here

GENIS0335_vr

Availability 
Available
Artists 
Dimensions 
37 7/8 x 29 1/2 x 3/4 inches (96.2 x 74.9 x 1.9 cm)
Materials 
Photographs, acrylic paint, spray paint, tracing paper, pen, pencil, paper, metallic tape, plastic tape, sticker, and glitter
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Untitled

Year 
2016

GENIS0389_basel

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Dimensions 
Overall: 76 1/2 x 122 1/2 x 109 inches (194.3 x 311.1 x 276.9 cm) Overall dimensions vary with installation
Materials 
Six mannequins, fabric, plastic, and spray paint
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Untitled

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2017
Basel Additional Info 

ISA GENZKEN

Untitled, 2017

Six mannequins, fabric, plastic, and spray paint
Overall: 76 1/2 × 122 1/2 × 109 inches (194.3 × 311.1 × 276.9 cm)
Overall dimensions vary with installation

With a career spanning over four decades, Isa Genzken (b. 1948) has incessantly probed the shifting boundaries between art, design, architecture, media, technology, and the individual. Her prodigious oeuvre frequently incorporates seemingly disparate materials and imagery to create complex, enigmatic works that range in medium, including sculpture, painting, collage, drawing, film, and photography. Deeply attuned to both the legacies of the twentieth-century avant-garde and the materials and forms of twentyfirst-century global society, Genzken's work interrogates the impact of our increasingly commodified and interconnected culture on our everyday lives.

The present work is an ambitious example of the artist's ongoing Schauspieler (Actors) series. First presented in her 2013 retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, these works consist of elaborately outfitted mannequins holding an array of props and accessories. Styled by the artist somewhere between high-fashion models and post-apocalyptic survivors, these figures represent Genzken’s most explicit engagement with the human form, confronting viewers with a distorted reflection of the world around them. As Laura Hoptman notes, "Frozen, many with one leg forward as if to take a step, these anthropomorphic assemblages are primed to reenter the world out of which they have been assembled."1 

1 Laura Hoptman, "Isa Genzken: The Art of Assemblage, 1993-2013," in Isa Genzken: Retrospective. Exh. cat. (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2013), p. 167.

IG2018Studio_2

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View of the artist’s studio, Berlin, 2018. Courtesy David Zwirner and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo by Jens Ziehe. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

IG2018Studio_1

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View of the artist’s studio, Berlin, 2018. Courtesy David Zwirner and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York. Photo by Jens Ziehe. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018

GENIS0404

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None
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Dimensions 
27 1/2 x 39 1/2 inches (69.9 x 100.3 cm)
Materials 
Adhesive tape, hologram foil, photographs, and spray paint on aluminum panel
Images format 
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Front title 

Untitled

Year 
2017

GENIS0406

Availability 
None
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Dimensions 
39 3/4 x 24 3/4 inches (101 x 62.9 cm)
Materials 
Adhesive tape, adhesive foil, and spray paint on plaster board panel
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Front title 

Untitled

Year 
2017

GENIS0407

Availability 
None
Artists 
Dimensions 
39 1/8 x 24 5/8 inches (99.4 x 62.5 cm)
Materials 
Adhesive tape, adhesive foil, and spray paint on plaster board panel
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Front title 

Untitled

Year 
2017

GENIS0388

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Dimensions 
Framed: 42 3/8 x 32 1/4 inches (107.6 x 81.9 cm)
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Chromogenic print mounted on Forex
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X-Ray

Year 
1991/2012

GENIS0405

Availability 
None
Artists 
Dimensions 
45 1/4 x 31 1/2 inches (114.9 x 80 cm)
Materials 
Adhesive tape, adhesive foil, hologram foil, and photographs on aluminum panel
Images format 
Thumbnail
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Grey display
Front title 

Untitled

Year 
2017

GENIS0394

Availability 
None
Artists 
Dimensions 
39 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches (100.3 x 69.9 cm)
Materials 
Adhesive tape, adhesive foil, banknote, oil paint, and spray paint on canvas
Images format 
Thumbnail
Images display 
Grey display
Front title 

Untitled

Year 
2017

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