Selected works by Isa Genzken

Isa Genzken
Urlaub

2004

glass, lacquer, plastics, metal, wood, photograph

227 x 165 x 55 cm

Isa Genzken’s totemic sculptures, colourful mirrored panels and lacquered paintings articulate the artist’s mysterious method. Harvesting, fusing and re-constructing references from myriad sources, she takes an anything-goes approach to the materials she uses to convey multiple meanings in unexpected ways.


ARCHIVE: PAST WORKS

Isa Genzken
Mutter Mit Kind

2004

plastic, fabric, mirror foil, wood, metal, lacquer

194 x 60 x 100 cm
Her practice is mostly three-dimensional but it also embraces photography, video, film and collage, the latter finding its way into her sculptures as well as wall-based works, as part of her investigation of the way we create and read images and objects.
Isa Genzken
Bouquet

2004

plastic, wood, lacquer, mirror foil, glass

260 x 115 x 130 cm
The column for Isa Genzken is a recurring motif: its linear purity becomes a critical field on which she explores the relations between art, architecture, design, and social experience. In her most recent work, Genzken augments her usually svelte and sophisticated formalism to create assemblages of maximum overload. Bouquet explodes as unwieldy still-life: its plinth base defiled with spray paint, adorned with garlands, topped with a menagerie of cowboys and Indians warring under an ornamental flower arrangement. Posed as a beautiful and grotesque requiem, Genzken’s sculpture references a shattered utopia, framing modernist architectural form as monument of hope and mourning.
Isa Genzken
Kinder Filmen I

2005

Mirror, metal, adhesive tape, magazine and book pages, stamps acrylic, lacquer, spray paint.

280 x 100 cm each panel (Wall Installation of Four Parts)
In Kinder Filmen (2005) mirrored panels, covered in a chaotic collage of adhesive tape, magazine and book pages, lacquer and spray paint, create an illusion of space, drawing attention to the power of art to subvert our preconceptions. They are suggestive of architectural façades and the information overload of urban experience.
Isa Genzken
MLR

1992

lacquer on canvas

206 x 185 cm
Genzken’s MLR painting series (1992), which the artist has said references the work of the nineteenth-century artist Hilda of Klimt, depicts gymnast’s rings frozen moments after their release in mid-air. The images invite the viewer to ponder the symbolic, allegorical act of letting go.
Isa Genzken
MLR

1992

lacquer on canvas

126 x 91.5cm
The oversized fake leaves and giant wine glass dominate Urlaub (2004), inviting a surrealist-tinged, free-associative interpretation. Bouquet (2004) is a comically uptight version of a beautiful, excessive still life as well as a memorial to modernist form. The combine plinth of Mutter Mit Kind (2004) creates an almost sacred altar-like space, bringing together religious and minimalist symbols. Geschwister and Untitled (both 2004) juxtapose found objects into, respectively, a recognisable shape and a non-utilitarian re-purposing to provoke questions around given material meaning. Built around traditional notions of narrative and form, these works suggest a crudeness and frailty behind what has been human-made.
Isa Genzken
MRL

1992

lacquer on MDF

120 x 80 cm
Isa Genzken
Untitled

2006

Wheelchair, hologram foil, belts, fabric, color print, mirror foil, 2 ceramic bowls, clips, lacquer

88.9 x 63.5 x 105.4 cm
It is for these kinds of assemblages exploring the tension between open and precise meaning that Genzken is best known. As she says, ‘There is nothing worse in art than, “you see it and you know it”… That’s a certainty I don’t like.’
Isa Genzken
Geschwister

2004

Plastic, lacquer, mirror foil, glass, metal, wood, fabric

220 x 60 x 100 cm

Articles

Isa Genzken


Since the mid seventies, Isa Genzken (b. 1948) has been making a name for herself with an oeuvre including sculpture, photography, film, video, works on paper and canvas, collages and books.

During this period, her work groups, which are wide-ranging and surprising in terms of both form and the media used, have involved her public in a constantly fresh examination of the meanings and function-modes of artistic propositions. Here Isa Genzken focuses on the medium of sculpture. This has not been such a presence in art in recent years, but a younger generation of artists is once more making it central to its creative activities. Genzken's work, both historically and actually, is impressive in this context, not just because of its consistent development, which is inherent in the work, but also in the precise analysis, critical of both the age and of art, that she regularly and effortlessly leaves behind her.
Her work concentrates on the ways in which the reality that surrounds and shapes us operate: architecture, design, advertising, media, socio- political themes and fields of tension linked with them, tensions between private and public, permeable and hermetic, subjective and objective.Genzken always formulates the work of art as an autonomous unit. It cannot become a mere object, and certainly not an escapist object, because it confronts us with individuality, but also with subjectivity and even intimacy, as realities. Thus the relationships, conditions and effects that make up our view of the art object itself, our view of general and social reality, are open to question.

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Source: www.artfacts.net


Isa Genzken by astrid wege, sara ogger


The characterization of Isa Genzken as a traditional sculptor, along with the usual remarks concerning the heterogeneity of her method and the surprising breaks between her various bodies of work, belong firmly to the topoi of her reception. Genzken's approach, which includes recourse to photography, video, film, collages, and collage books, does, it's true, represent a continuous examination of the classic themes of sculpture: the ordering of masses and volumes; the relations between construction, surface design, and materials; the conception of and relation between objects, space, and the viewer. And regardless of the medium--from series executed in painted wood, plaster, and concrete to the more recent epoxy-resin hoods and lamps; assemblages of metal household utensils; and stelae--the artist questions the contemporary meaning of sculpture by taking up its vocabulary of forms, then expanding, discarding, and reinterpreting it.

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Source: findarticles.com