Since the beginning of the 1970s, German artist Rebecca Horn has been creating an oeuvre which constitutes an ever-growing flow of performances, films, sculptures, spatial installations, drawings, and photographs. The essence of their imagery comes out of the tremendous precision of the physical and technical functionality she uses to stage her works each time within a particular space.
Horn’s diverse body of work is bound together by a consistency in logic; each new work appears to develop stringently from the preceding one. Elements may be readdressed, yet appear in totally different, divergent contexts. In her first performances, the body-extensions, Horn explored the equilibrium between body and space. Following the physical experience of her performances with body extensions, masks, and feather objects of the 1970s were her first kinetic sculptures, as well as large, site-specific installations to honor places charged with political and historical importance. With her kinetic sculptures created during this time, the artist released and rediverted the weight of the past onto the physical spaces. The objects used in Horn’s sculptures, including violins, suitcases, batons, ladders, pianos, feather fans, and metronomes, move beyond their defined materiality and are continuously transposed into ever-changing metaphors touching on mythical, historical, literary, and spiritual imagery. Each of Horn’s installations is a step towards breaking down completely the boundaries of space and time, offering glimpses of a materially liberated universe.
Concurrent with her installations and performances, Horn has maintained a rich drawing practice throughout her career. At times, her drawings have been coextensive of her work in other media, as in her drawings which document sculptural proposals. Horn’s Bodylandscape drawings, produced between 2003 and 2015, translate the interest in exploring the limits of the body present in her sculptures and performances to the medium of drawing. Scaled to the proportions of her body, these large drawings limit Horn’s mark-making to reach of her arm; yet Horn produces energetic and innovative works with this formal constraint.
Horn has been the subject of solo exhibitions at venues across the globe, including the Museum Tinguely, Basel; Centre Pompidou-Metz, France; Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany; Tate Modern, London; the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow; the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi; the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge; Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; MOCA, Los Angeles; the Neue National Galerie, Berlin; the Kunsthalle Wein; the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; the Kunsthaus Zürich; and the Anthology Film Archives, New York, amongst others. Horn’s work has been presented at the 59th Venice Biennial in 2022, and the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997 as well as documenta 5 and documenta 9. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2017 Willhelm Lehmbruck Prize, Lehmbruck Museum; the 2016 Ordre pour le mérite des Arts et des Sciences, France; the Grande médaille des arts plastiques from the Académie d’architecture de Paris, 2011; the 2010 Premium Imperiale Prize, Japan, and the 1988 Carnegie Prize.
Horn currently lives and works in Germany.
For more information, please visit www.rebecca-horn.de.
Rebecca Horn | Videopodcast zur Ausstellung, Kunstforum Wien, September 27, 2021.
Curator's Diary zu Rebecca Horn Episode #1, Kunstforum Wien, September 10, 2021.
| EXPOSITION | « Rebecca Horn. Théâtre des métamorphoses » Interview Emma Lavigne, Alexandra Müller, Centre Pompidou-Metz, July 8, 2019.
Rebecca Horn: Kunst am Bau des Bundesrats, NEXTFRAME , February 18, 2018.
Rebecca Horn – Body Extensions and Isolation | Fresh Perspectives | Tate Collective, Tate, December 11, 2016.
Rebecca Horn - Flying Books Under Black Rain Painting, Harvard Art Museums, October 13, 2015.