Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

Isa Genzken. Ohr

n.b.k. Billboard

02 Mar - 01 Sep 2024

Isa Genzken, Ohr, 1980/2012, C-print, 149 x 104 cm
Private collection, courtesy neugerriemschneider, Berlin
© Isa Genzken / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024
Opening: Friday, 1. Mar, 7 pm
Curator: Lidiya Anastasova

Spanning five decades, the work of Isa Genzken is characterized by continuous processes of transformation, driven by her persistent interrogation of the concept of art. Her oeuvre encompasses diverse media, including sculpture, installation, photography, drawing, painting, and film. In the 1970s, Genzken cultivated a sculptural practice rooted in a critical examination of postwar German and American art as well as modernist architecture. Integral to Genzken’s artistic approach are references to realities conveyed through architecture, design, media, current sociopolitical issues, and the human body. In 1980, Genzken produced close-ups of human ears as “something organic, something coming from the inside out, from the head,” according to the artist. For the twelve-part photo series entitled Ohr (Ear), she worked with random individuals she encountered on the streets of New York. The images capture a tension arising from what seems like a contradiction between the anonymity of the photographed subject and the traditional style of portraiture, which typically aims to depict a specific individual. Presented in the n.b.k. Billboard series, Ohr reflects Genzken’s longstanding engagement with art in urban spaces, often questioning the lines between public and private.

The work of Isa Genzken (*1948 in Bad Oldesloe, lives in Berlin) has been shown in solo exhibitions in international museums and institutions, including Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2023); K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf (2021); Kunstmuseum Basel (2020); Kunsthalle Bern (2019); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2016); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015); Dallas Museum of Art (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2014); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013). She participated in the Venice Biennale in 1982, 1993, 2003, and 2015, with a solo presentation at the German Pavilion in 2007. Genzken’s works were also shown at Documenta (1982, 1992, 2002) and Skulptur Projekte Münster (1987, 1997, 2007). In 2017, she was awarded the Goslar Kaiserring, and in 2019, she received the Nasher Prize from the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.