Isa Genzken

Isa Genzken

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Isa Genzken, Nofretete, 2014. Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin/New York, David Zwirner, New York/London and Hauser & Wirth.

November 28, 2015

Isa Genzken
Mach Dich hübsch! 
November 29, 2015–March 6, 2016 

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10
The Netherlands

Isa Genzken: Mach Dich hübsch! (Dress Up!) presents a survey of the extraordinary oeuvre of Isa Genzken (b. 1948, Germany), one of the most influential artists of the last 40 years. The exhibition, Genzken’s first major retrospective in the Netherlands, is her largest survey to date, comprising over 200 works. The exhibition will open during Amsterdam Art Weekend 2015.

“I always wanted to have the courage to do totally crazy, impossible, and also wrong things.”
–Isa Genzken

Mach Dich hübsch! is an odyssey traversing four decades of an astonishing practice defined by artistic freedom and bold inventiveness. The concept of the exhibition is introduced in the first room, designed in collaboration with Genzken as a comprehensive installation of very recent work, which she created especially for this occasion, interspersed with older works. In the following suite of galleries, Genzken’s oeuvre is presented as a montage rather than a chronology, in order 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. Genzken’s oeuvre is rooted in the medium of sculpture and is distinguished by radical experimentation and the unrestrained use of media. The artist works across a wide range of media, including sculpture, installation, film, video, painting, works on paper, collage, and photography. The radical inventiveness of her work, rich in autobiographical elements and subtle social critique, serves as both a point of reference and a source of inspiration for generations of artists and art lovers.

Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk Museum, comments on the artist: “Radically inventive in her oeuvre, from her early, computer-calculated abstract sculptures in the mid-1970s to the assemblages of her latest body of work, Isa Genzken has proven to be one of the most influential artists in challenging her artistic media and continuously redefining her aesthetics. Genzken is an unstoppable inspiration for many artists, especially for recent generations. This exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum—the most extensive survey ever organized in an institution—will present an important figure who has an enormous influence on the young artists with whom the Stedelijk has close relationships.” In 2014, the then-newly-appointed director’s first acquisition for the museum was one of Genzken’s paintings, Zwei Lampen (Two Lamps) (1994).

According to curator Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen, “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. Genzken embodies the challenging, unconventional tradition of the Stedelijk Museum like no other artist.”

Artist’s book
The exhibition’s title, Mach Dich hübsch!, is derived from a special artist’s book published on the occasion of the exhibition. The book, a scrapbook in the style of Genzken’s well-known publication, I Love New York, Crazy City, is full of playful collages in which she reflects upon life in the big city, media culture, sexual identity, and her own life story. The original publication is on view in the exhibition. 

Isa Genzken: Mach Dich hübsch! is curated by Beatrix Ruf and Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen.

This exhibition is made possible by the leading support of Stichting Hartwig Foundation, in addition to support from a private benefactor and the LUMA Foundation.

RSVP for Isa Genzken
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
November 28, 2015

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