Isa Genzken - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, Europe
    Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg, New York, Contemporary Art Part II, May 14, 2002, lot 186
    neugerriemschneider, Berlin
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    St. Nazaire, LIFE, Sonic Youth etc.: Sensational Fix, June 17 - September 7, 2008, then traveled to Bolzano, Museion (October 10, 2008 - January 4, 2009), Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, (January 31 - April 26, 2009)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I think my work is very difficult to understand. Sometimes people do and sometimes they don’t. I can’t do much about that.”

    ISA GENZKEN, 2013

    Emerging as one of the most significant and prominent German artists of the last four decades, Isa Genzken’s achievement in a wide array of media, from painting and collage to film and sculpture, have challenged viewers since her initial reception in the mid-1970s. Select works have earned monumental status for the physical, political, and intellectual energy infused within them. Often assemblages of found objects and textiles fixed together with a derisive detachment, her art is offbeat, visionary, brazen, and bursting with visual exclamations on the topics of violence, culture, consumption, and fashion, grasping the pulse of the contemporary human experience.

    The present lot, Schindler, one of Genzken’s memorable sculptural assemblages, thwarts all endeavors to summarize or pigeonhole the work, but anchors itself with the physical reality of the world in which we live. As the artist once put it, “…I have always said that, with any sculpture, you have to be able to say, although this is not a ready-made, it could be one. That’s what a sculpture has to look like. It must have a certain relation to reality. I mean, not airy-fairy, let alone fabricated, so aloof and polite.” (W. Tillmans, “Isa Genzken in conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans,” Camera Austria, 2003, pg. 7-18) Depending upon the decade in which she created them, her sculptures can be a polished consummate abstraction or a disintegrating concrete, post-apocalyptic collection of consumer wreckage. Schindler nestles somewhere between these categories. Initially appearing gritty-industrial concrete forms resting atop an iron pedestal-upon closer inspection, the work is a fragile, elegant arrangement neatly balancing atop a grid of parallel and perpendicular lines, indicating a clear intent and immense precision that both subverts and extends the minimalist sculptural form.

    A formidable example of assemblage redefined for a new generation, Schindler is the creation of an artist who observes her era and transcends it simultaneously. Her brash and improvisational artistic footprint brims with searing sentiment that annihilates sensible taste and often resembles nothing of art. When attempting to mitigate the considerable transience of the artist, Colm Toibin once expressed, “It is as though she wakes up every morning, or every month or so, and decides who she will become.” (R. Kennedy, “No, It Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy,” The New York Times, November 2013, pg. 2)



concrete, steel pedestal
85 1/8 x 20 7/8 x 25 3/8 in. (216.3 x 53 x 64.6 cm.)
Signed, titled and dated "SCHINDLER 1988 Isa Genzken" on the underside of the steel plinth.

$350,000 - 550,000 

Sold for $341,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Sale
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 15 May 2014 7PM