"I always wanted to have the courage to do totally crazy, impossible and also wrong things," said Isa Genzken once. She therefore put sunglasses with mirrored lenses on the delicate nose of the bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Past meets future meets Genzken.
T he Berliner by choice, who refuses to be pigeonholed, is therefore one of the most important German artists and has acquired great international renown with her complex works. Now the exhibition "Isa Genzken: Make yourself pretty!" in the Martin-Gropius-Bau offers the perfect opportunity to (re)discover her previous work.
A uniform concept, an obvious common thread bores the 67-year-old, but she is far too willing to experiment as a free spirit. With the courage to take creative risks. For her series “Actors”, for example, she put mannequins of all ages in haphazard outfits: a child’s doll wears nothing more than a glittering chain mail shirt with a brightly colored rain cape, and Genzken sticks banknotes on a mannequin’s breasts. Grotesque, trashy , fascinating. Looking away is pointless given the striking colors of the works of art described, the surprising breaks also cast a spell over the viewer. In over 30 years, Isa Genzken has built up an impressive portfolio, including sculptures made of wood and concrete, installations, films, photographs and paintings. There is hardly a medium on which she has not let off steam.
The curators of the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin have curated significant samples of this extensive, innovative Å'uvres in a work show that combines, among other things, a number of early moving images, drawings, ellipsoids and image montages. Conceptual worlds such as modernity, urban culture, architecture, portraits and the human body are in the foreground.
The exhibition can be seen until June 26, 2016. In this short report, which was created at the start of the exhibition tour of "Make yourself pretty!" in Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum, you can find out more about Isa Genzken and her extraordinary art.