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  • Provenance

    David Zwirner Gallery, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Culminating in the work of Isa Genzken are influences of multiple facets of Modern and Contemporary art. A classic sculptural approach to art in terms of distribution of weight and mass along with a social and political voice in Genzken’s work create a dichotomy eliciting critical dialogue. Multimedia approaches to making art allow Genzken evolution and freedom within her art.
    Born in 1948 in Bad Oldescloe, Germany, Isa Genzken is currently based in Berlin – a city of complexity and vast development in every direction of art. A student of Hamburg College of Fine Arts (1969 - 1971), Berlin University of Fine Arts (1972 - 1973), and Düsseldorf Art Academy (1973 - 1977), Genzken went on to receive the International Art Prize in 2004 and theWolfgang-Hahn-Prize (Museum Ludwig, Cologne) in 2002.The artist has exhibited in an international array of museums and galleries including Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and P.S. 1 in NewYork City.The second wife of famed German artist, Gerhard Richter, Isa Genzken subscribes to the avant-garde idea of autonomy in her work.
    The present lot, Untitled of 2006, showcases the current status of Genzken’s oeuvre – a growing interest in “cheap” production and materials. Genzken quoted of her work in a 2003 interview, “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” (B. Ruf, Isa Genzken, Zurich, 2003, p. 138).The artist’s work is filled with contemporary objects and symbols while constantly referencing Modernism. In response to such labels, Genzken wrote, “‘topical’ is perhaps a better description than ‘modern.’ But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be modern. My work is modern” (A. Farquharson, D. Diedrichsen, S. Breitweiser, Isa Genzken, NewYork, 2006, p. 11).
    Untitled is comprised of twenty-eight parts. Materials range from holographic paper, and colored adhesive tape to photography and paint. The work is architectural in its delineation of space and sculptural in its attention to distribution of weight among objects. No clear suggestion of an organized center of focus references the work of Minimalist artists, such as Sol LeWitt and Donald Judd. Often reviewed as a critical continuation of the Minimalist movement, Genzken’s choice to not employ industrialization through easily reproduced works differentiates her sculpture, allocating exclusivity to the conceptual discussion within the individual work.
    Retaining independence while still obeying relevant laws, Isa Genzken’s sculptures and installations developed out of a simplistic use of materials into the inclusion of a significant range of objects. Early works including her Plaster Sculptures and Concrete Sculptures reference Constructivist artists El Lissitzky and Kasimir Malevich. Current works of the artist exercise a formalist purity while bearing a narrative interpretation.The present lot, Untitled, is a prime example of the pinnacle of an artist’s career bridging Modern and Contemporary art.



Aluminum, plastic, mirror, hologram, adhesive tape, photographs, paper collage, paint and lacquer.              
119 x 409 1/2 in. (302.3 x 1040.1 cm).

$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for $314,500

Contemporary Art Part I

13 Nov 2008, 7pm
New York