Selected works by Jutta Koether

Jutta Koether
Frontage (Well, Show Me Nothing)


Oil on canvas

188 x 290 cm

Jutta Koether’s abstract paintings, with their translucent interconnected web patterns, fragments of texts and songs, are like a portrait of the artist in our times. She is a painter, but not only that. Interweaving soft, sinuous brushwork and delicate colouring with bold cartoon-style figuration and graffiti-making is just part of a bigger whole – an interdisciplinary artistic practice overlapping performance, music, writing and other activities, and reflecting her strong, feminist, punk/pop-influenced engagement with contemporary theory and culture.

Jutta Koether


Oil on canvas

250 x 200 cm

Koether used to edit the German culture and music publication Spex and has been based in New York since the 1990s. In her vibrant paintings she shows a fascination with the German ‘bad painting’ of Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, while taking unabashed pleasure in the physical, handicraft of art-making and its associations with traditional women’s work. Her lush style is reminiscent of the fluid nature of street art, DIY and self-published comic books, and shares a similar disregard for traditional ideas about technique.

Jutta Koether
Leibhaftige Malerei


Acrylic on linen

400 x 484 cm

Gesturing hands, legs and a face float amidst the sketchy greens of Mède (1992). Multiple embedded elements are fused into a swirling, magnetic whole whose stormy, messy layering includes a strangely pop ‘smiley face’ over the whole work. Frontage (Well, Show Me Nothing) (1994) features an exploding cartoon bubble at its centre, from which contradicting lines, figurative elements and letters radiate and intersect in thinned pastel shades. The lines recalling railway maps, a hand holding dollar bills in the upper right-hand corner and an open one at the centre of the canvas suggest multiple possible narratives in the sweeping abstract composition.

Leibhaftige Malerei (2007), an elegant large-scale painting, harnesses abstract abandonment into a dark forest scene depicting figures performing a mysterious act in the foreground. The painting fuses Koether’s interest in experimental technique with the primal, raw power of self-consciously primitivistic imagery.

Other Resources
Additional images and information – Jutta Koether
Various and images – Jutta Koether
Representing gallery, additional images, press release and exhibition information
Images from past exhibitions
Selected works, images, information and biography
Jutta Koether is one of the central figures in contemporary painting. Yet she is more than just a painter. She is also a performance artist, musician, writer and theoretician. .
Her role as an artist was long reduced to being regarded as a feminist response to the Cologne scene of the late 1980s. With her translucent color fields, the gestural brush stroke, drawings of female bodies and the lyrical appropriation of poetry and art history, she frequently seems to assume positions in contrast to artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke and Albert Oehlen. As critic and editor of the music and pop culture magazine Spex and as performance artist and musician, however, Koether did not fit the typical image of the art scene of that time.
Jutta Koether’s artistic practice is influenced as much by her complementary roles as musician and writer as it is by her move from Cologne (home to German ‘Bad Painting’) to New York (home to Experimental Noise rock).
Jutta Koether (* 1958 in Cologne), is a painter, performance artist, musician, writer, critic and theoretician who has been working in New York since the 1990s