Isa Genzken is widely recognized as one of the most important living artists. Her oeuvre, which continues to inspire and challenge younger generations of artists, straddles the boundaries of disciplines such as sculpture, installation, architecture, photography, film, and painting.
The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel turns the spotlight on the outstanding creative practice that Isa Genzken devised in the first decade of her career. Internationally acclaimed solo exhibitions have presented surveys of key tendencies in Genzken’s oeuvre or showcased spectacular new productions. The show at the Kunstmuseum Basel, by contrast, undertakes a comprehensive examination of her output between 1973 and 1983. It was during this time that she created the “Ellipsoids” and “Hyperbolos”; the largest-ever gathering of works from these sculptural series will be center stage in our exhibition.
A second focus will be on Genzken’s computer printouts on continuous paper, some in very large formats. These series, which played a vital role in the development of the “Ellipsoids” and “Hyperbolos,” are also of eminent artistic value in themselves. They will be complemented by several graphic series whose line patterns first probed the elegantly curved horizontal shape that the artist subsequently translated into the abovementioned sculptures. Other works from the same decade to be presented include the early film “Zwei Frauen im Gefecht” (1974) and conceptual photographic series such as the so-called Hi-Fis (1979).The bodies of work selected for the exhibition draw attention to the influence of conceptual and post-minimalist approaches on Genzken’s early work.