Isa Genzken - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Neugerriemschneider, Berlin
    Private Collection, Europe

  • Catalogue Essay

    “If you walk around my works and pay attention to the scenery, something different always emerges and you can always discover something new and sympathise with it.”
    (The artist in an interview with Diedrich Diederichsen, Isa Genzken, London, 2006, p. 15)

    With totemic collagist sculptures such as Dubai, Isa Genzken draws the viewer into a dialogue between the handmade and the readymade, symbolising both the glamour and detritus of the modern city. But while her assemblages can evoke beauty and wonderment, they are often undercut by a deeper sociopolitical inquisitiveness. Discordant objects are woven together, their original function and essence transformed into a fragile monumentality, begging the question: are we beholding a shrine to modernity or an omen of its precariousness? In Dubai, Genzken presents a silver-sprayed tower crowned by an upturned fan draped in metallic tinsel, overlooking a set of paint-splattered figurines engaged in playful battle. The real Dubai, that jewel of the Middle East, is the site of the shimmering Burj al Arab tower amongst many others, each clamouring to be taller and more spectacular than the last. In its reference to a glistening city, Dubai is emblematic of this celebrated German artist’s practice: at once a celebration of everyday beauty whilst simultaneously an inquisition into manufacture, materialism and modernity. Dubai is a calculated collision of high and low art, with glorious results.



Wood, aluminium, fan, plastic hose, silver tinsel, plastic figures and porcelain figure.
210 × 60 × 45 cm (82 5/8 × 23 5/8 × 17 3/4 in).

£60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for £61,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

16 February 2012