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Isa Genzken: Retrospective (Hardcover)

Sabine Breitwieser

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ISBN 10: 0870708864 / ISBN 13: 9780870708862
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Hardcover. Isa Genzken is arguably one of the most important and influential female artists of the past 30 years, yet the breadth of her achievement--which spans sculptures, paintings, photographs, c.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 315 pages. 2.290. Bookseller Inventory # 9780870708862

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Title: Isa Genzken: Retrospective (Hardcover)

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

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Isa Genzken is arguably one of the most important and influential female artists of the past 30 years, yet the breadth of her achievement--which spans sculptures, paintings, photographs, collages, drawings, artist’s books, films, installations and public works--is still largely unknown in the United States. Published in conjunction with the first comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s epically diverse body of work, this publication encompasses Genzken’s work in all media over the past 40 years and is the most complete monograph on the artist available in English. Genzken has been part of the artistic discourse since she began exhibiting in the mid-1970s, but over the last decade a new generation of artists has been inspired by her radical inventiveness. The past ten years have been particularly productive for Genzken, who has created several bodies of work that have redefined assemblage for a new era. The catalogue presents Genzken’s career, through essays exploring the unfolding of her practice from 1973 until today, as well as an expansive plate section that provides a chronological overview of all her most important bodies of work and key exhibitions.
Born in Germany in 1948, Isa Genzken is one of Germany’s most important living artists. In the mid-1970s, as a student at Düsseldorf’s renowned Kunstakademie, she created geometric wood sculptures, which gained her early international acclaim (she exhibited these works at Documenta 7 and the Venice Biennale in 1982). Since then, she has made sculptures in plaster, concrete and epoxy resin. Ranging in size from maquettes to monumental, these abstract works are influenced by Minimalism, but are decidedly narrative. Paintings that examine ideas of surface and light, as well as photographs, collages, artist’s books and films, followed in the 1990s. From the late 90s on, Genzken began to create increasingly complex sculptural installations.


This catalogue accompanies a comprehensive exhibition of the same title organized by curators in New York, Chicago, and Dallas. Breitweiser (formerly, MoMA) provides a narrative description of Genzken's early career from 1970 to 1996, interweaving artistic development and biography. Laura Hoptman does the same for the years 1993 to the present, the period of assemblage constructions for which Genzken is now best known. The remarkable diversity of Genzken's oeuvre across four decades--from early minimalist sculpture to film to assemblage--is evident in the extensive selection of color images. Shown together, they reveal Genzken to be a consummate experimenter. The heterogeneity of her practice is also the topic of an essay by Michael Darling. Jeffrey Grove explores the self-referential elements that thread through much of Genzken's work. Lisa Lee examines how Genzken's sculptural constructions model historical precedents, revealing Genzken's acuity as a student of art history. The catalogue includes a biographical chronology and selected exhibition history. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above. (D. L. Schuld CHOICE)

Even for those familiar with Genzken's art, the size and breadth of her oeuvre is likely to come as a surprise. (Anne Doran Art in America)

[...] Among the nearly 150 works, it's Genzken's towering assemblages of found objects (from a metal dolly to plastic flowers) that best convey her acute inventiveness. (Kevin Gray Details)

As almost every rigorous essay here is at paints to point out, Genzken's oeuvre is as diverse as it is directed. How do we understand work spanning such a wide spectrum of material and meaning, work that, as Lee writes, is just as likely to reference Donald Duck as Donald Judd? In these pages we encounter post - Minimalism via giant "knitting needle" sculptures from the 1970s; photographs featuring the ears of strangers encountered on the street; the stunning Weltempfanger (World Receiver), 1987-1989, its radio antennas sticking out from mute concrete blocks; [...] Like the best of its genre, this catalogue makes one impatient to see the exhibition. Everybody needs her own view. (Prudence Peiffer Bookforum)

"Hers is a career in which she is constantly reinventing herself, and yet she remains very focused on architectural forms," Hoptman says. Raised in Berlin immediately after the Second World War, Genzken was fascinated by the destruction and construction of cities. " Her concrete sculptures look just like the rubble that was Berlin after 1945," Hopman says. But Genzken's work is not purely, or even primarily, autobiographical. It also deeply engaged with art history. (Julia Halperin The Art Newspaper)

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