To mark Isa Genzken’s 75th birthday, the Neue Nationalgalerie is honouring the German artist with the exhibition Isa Genzken: 75/75, showing 75 sculptures spanning all phases of her oeuvre from the 1970s to the present.

Major works on display include the 10-metre long “Blau-grau-gelbes Hyperbolo‚ ‘MBB” (1981), “Atelier” (1990), “Venedig” (1993), “Nofretete – Das Original” (2012) and “Schauspieler” (2013). The presentation recalls displays of classical antiquity collections in its arrangement of individual sculptures in the Neue Nationalgalerie’s upper hall.

In the configuration models, archetypes and assessments of the human and modern society emerge. The sculptures are not hewn into form but rather embody in their heterogeneous materiality the technologies, plastic, concrete, decorations and functional objects that permeate daily life. Genzken (b. 1948) transposes these reassessments and fluid framings into authenticity, beauty, absurdity and exaggeration. Her work derives from actualities, such as a window or the figure of an actor, which she then alters and distorts into her own realities and visual language.

The individual, also her as an artist, and her biography are the instruments used in this scrutiny of Western culture’s ideals and types of production.

The works are meant to function more as moving images than as sculptures, with a new view seen from every angle. Nothing is fixed or two-dimensional but rather cinematic.

(Isa Genzken, from an interview, 2016)

Visitors discover themselves being queried through the confrontation with familiar everydayness. Collages of personal worlds emerge. The viewers become participants, tools, and scales of measurement within the exhibition space, not least through reflections in the object surfaces.

On Monday, 27 November 2023, the museum will specially open its doors to celebrate the artist’s birthday. Curated by Klaus Biesenbach, director of the Neue Nationalgalerie, with curatorial assistance from Lisa Botti. A catalogue accompanies the presentation. The exhibition has been made possible by Freunde der Nationalgalerie.