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November 20, 2015

Isa Genzken, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Isa Genzken: Mach Dich hübsch!
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
November 29, 2015 - March 6, 2016

Isa Genzken
Isa Genzken “Nofretete”, 2014 
7 Nefertiti plaster busts with glassed on wooden bases, wooden plinths on casters and 4 steel panels 
Each 190,7 x 40 x 50 cm Installation dimensions variable Galerie Buchholz 
© Photo courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin/New York

The exhibition Isa Genzken: Mach Dich hübsch! presents a survey of the extraordinary oeuvre of Isa Genzken (Germany, 1948), one of the most influential artists of the last forty years. The exhibition is the first major retrospective of Genzken in the Netherlands and is her largest survey to date, comprising over 200 works. 

Isa Genzken
Isa Genzken, Soziale Fassade, 2002
Metal, plastic and metal foil, 70 x 100 cm. Ringier Collection, Zürich 
© Photo courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin/New York 

Mach Dich hübsch! is an odyssey through four decades of an astonishing practice defined by artistic freedom and bold inventiveness. The first room introduces the concept of the exhibition. It was designed, in collaboration with Genzken, as a comprehensive installation of older works mixed with very recent work, which she created for this exhibition. In the following suite of galleries, Genzken’s oeuvre is presented as a montage, not a chronology, to highlight interconnections and thematic threads. The artist engages with themes such as artistic position, the body, identity, the (self) portrait, architecture, and big-city culture.

Isa Genzken
Isa Genzken, X-Ray, foto 
100 x 80 cm, private collection 
Courtesy of Gert Jan van Rooij. 

Isa Genzken’s oeuvre is rooted in the medium of sculpture, and is distinguished by radical experimentation and the unconstrained use of media. The artist works across a wide range of media, which includes sculpture, installation, film, video, painting, work on paper, collage, and photography. The radical inventiveness of her work, rich in autobiographical elements and subtle social critique, serves as a reference point and inspiration source for generations of artists and art lovers.

Curator Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen says, "Isa Genzken creates art that engages with the present moment. With her startling sculptural vision, she reflects upon the material world around us and the structures that dictate our lives. Among artists, Genzken's embodiment of the challenging, unconventional tradition of the Stedelijk Museum is virtually without equal.” 

Isa Genzken
Isa Genzken (2015) Galerie Buchholz 
© Photo courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin/New York

The artist has a special relationship with Amsterdam. She visited the Stedelijk Museum in her youth, and held one of her first exhibitions in the Amsterdam gallery Van Krimpen. The Stedelijk has been collecting her work since 1985, and holds several key works from her oeuvre. In 2014, newly appointed director Beatrix Ruf’s first acquisition for the museum was a Genzken painting, Zwei Lampen (1994). 

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
www.stedelijk.nl

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