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Topic of Discussion in the City Center
Deutsche Bank sponsors Isa Genzken’s work for skulptur projekte münster

Isa Genzken, Elefant, 2006
Courtesy neugerriemschneider, Berlin

Wheelchairs, sleeping bags, and clothes hangers that she bent to form the silhouettes of soldiers – whoever recently saw Isa Genzken’s material assemblages at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York knows that her works for Münster are guaranteed to provide a topic for heated discussion. This year, the artist will be taking part in "skulptur projekte münster" in the Westphalian university city, and – with the support of Deutsche Bank – will install a group of sculptures near the cathedral.

Isa Genzken: ABC, 1987

This year, Isa Genzken is playing a central role in Deutsche Bank’s art activities: she is the artist of the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, which the bank is financing for the first time as main sponsor. And her work can be seen both in the context of Affinities, the anniversary exhibition of the Deutsche Guggenheim, as well as in Deutsche Bank’s VIP Lounge at the Art Cologne. This year, the artist was invited to take part in skulptur projekte for the third time. For this renowned exhibition, which takes place every ten years, international artists create works for the public arena.

Isa Genzken’s first contribution to the exhibition series in Münster was highly controversial. In 1987, on a side façade of the university library, she installed a nearly 15-meter-high double gate of concrete that was crowned by two window-like metal frames. Her fragile-seeming sculpture ABC clearly referred to the structural forces of weight and support – the basic principles of a modern skeletal construction. The concrete arch formed a kind of complementary part to the library building, which veiled its construction behind an added façade. And so Isa Genzken made the raw construction, the building’s core structure, visible again. But the cool poetry of her gate sculpture was too awkward for the city of Münster. After the end of the exhibition, they paid more to remove the work than the erection had cost.

Isa Genzken, Vollmond, 1997,
Photo Roman Mensing/,

Ten years later, the artist was once again invited to "skulptur projekte"; this time, she let the moon rise above a lake in the inner city of Münster. Using the simplest of means – a steel mast and a glowing sphere of translucent glass – she called one of the most romantic images we know to life. For the duration of skulptur projekte, the conservative city of Münster stood, so to speak, under the mystical influence of the full moon; and, as Isa Genzken wrote about her installation, "a full moon makes us all a little crazier than usual." And perhaps a little bit more open to contemporary art.

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