photo: SAIKI Taku


Material/ Techniquewood, metal, aluminum foil, postcard
Size/ DurationH320×W20×D18cm
Copyright Notice© Isa GENZKEN
Year of acquisition/ donation2001
DescriptionBorn in Bad Oldesloe, Germany in 1948. Lives and works in Berlin.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Genzken became known for her large-scale floor sculptures. Later she began to produce works using many different media, including oil painting, photography and film. She continues to produce pieces that place two opposing concepts on a single platform: roughness and delicacy, openness and closure, transparency and opaqueness, and so on. Genzken is an artist who juxtaposes careful calculations and unpredictability, and tries to make the two properly balanced.

The motif of this series of tall, square pillar-shaped sculptural works is people. The figures are mostly modeled after people close to her, but there are also historical figures such as Wilhelm LEHMBRUCK, a German sculptor who influenced Joseph BEUYS. Frequently used for these pieces are the building materials such as wood and steel that she consistently uses. She has also stuck layers of photos and mirrors onto the structures, which indicates her intension to make works based on the key words ‘collection’ and ‘reference.’ "New Buildings for Berlin 1-8" is based on Mies VAN DER ROHE’s plan for "Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Project" (1921). His plan proposed to build office buildings with all their vertical planes made of glass on a site facing Friedrich Street in Berlin. Though the plan was not implemented, it had a marked impact on following architects. Genzken made this architectural plan, whose image alone had circulated, into glittering sculptures by fixing colorful glass pieces together with tape.