Lives in Berlin (DE), born in DE.
The German artist Isa Genzken (b. 1948) has been working since the 1970s on a versatile oeuvre that consists of sculptures, installations, videos, artists' books and collages. She uses hard materials such as concrete, gypsum and epoxy resin, as well as plastic, textiles and utensils from everyday life. Abandoned wheelchairs and walking frames are strewn throughout the space, decorated with a rag doll or a hat, and testify of a pathetic loneliness and limited self-reliance. In her work, the artist manages to subtly reflect contemporary reality in a socially critical way. In the late 1980s, she makes a remarkable series of abstract paintings under the title Basic Research. These are similar canvases that are completely dominated by the remarkable use of the paint, which allows Genzken to create topographies that present themselves as close-ups of urban areas or aerial photographs of extra-terrestrial landscapes. The canvases are not only ambiguous in the way they bring together extremes of perception (from micro to macro), but also in the way the paint traces transform the painting into a contemporary sculpture.
Text: Hans Willemse
Translations: Michael Meert
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Isa Genzken, Untitled, 2006. Installation, wheelchair, foam, felt, fabric, lacquer, 90 x 68 x 108 cm.
Isa Genzken, Untitled, 2006. Installation, 2 walker frames, 1 steel helmet, 1 plastic helmet, doll, tin can, lacquer, 138 x 173 x 86 cm.