Iza Genzken

(b. 1948)

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(1948– )

German sculptor, painter, and multimedia artist. She was born in Bad Oldesloe and lives and works in Berlin. As a student she was confronted by the need to engage with American Minimal art. German artists at that time were struggling to achieve international recognition in the face of American dominance. Her Ellipsoid sculptures were designed with the help of computers and have polychromatic surfaces. They lie on the floor, are hollow and can be anything up to 40 feet long. Genzken has also related her works to the products of the consumer society. The Hi-Fi (1979) series was derived from magazine photographs, copied in high contrast and presented behind glass. Placing an Ellipsoid on the floor, she thought that ‘it must be at least as good as this advert. That's how good a sculpture needs to be.’ More recently she has further applied an irreverent elaboration to Minimal forms and made sculpture incorporating household artefacts. Urlaub (2004, Saatchi collection) is a seven and a half foot tower of metal and wood, surmounted by plastic leaves, a giant glass, and toy figures. Genzken has also worked in film.

Further Reading

B. Buccloch, ‘All Things Being Equal’, Artforum International (November 2005)

Subjects: Art.

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