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Artissima The Forerunner presents: Anne Imhof

1 October 2020 Journal News

The future of contemporary art has passed through Artissima. Confirming the fair’s ability to capture and convey the most innovative trends in advance, our Artissima The Forerunner column presents a selection of artists who took part in past editions of Artissima and are now showing work in some of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art institutions.

Today for Artissima The Forerunner we present: ANNE IMHOF

► on view at Castello di Rivoli, with the show Espressioni Parte I / Anne Imhof: Sex open from 5 November 2020 – simultaneously with Artissima 2020 – until 28 February 2021

Find out more: Espressioni Parte I / Anne Imhof: Sex


Henry Douglas in Anne Imhof, Sex , 2019. Tate Modern, London. Photography: Nadine Fraczkowski. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York


► participant at Artissima 2014, in the PRESENT FUTURE section, with the gallery Deborah Schamoni and at Artissima 2015 with the gallery Isabella Bortolozzi and winner of the Fondazione Ettore Fico prize

Anne Imhof. Pleasure, 2014. Black alu dibond, etching 100 x 190 cm. Courtesy the artist and Deborah Schamoni, Munich. Photo: Uli Gebert


Learn more about the artist in the words of JAMIE STEVENS, curator of the section  PRESENT FUTURE  of Artissima in 2015:

“Anne Imhof uses her performances as the central generative process for a variety of artistic outputs including painting, music, installation and video. The performances themselves evolve through a concentrated rehearsal process in which she devises a ‘catalogue’ of actions for multiple areas that have been visually demarcated on the gallery floor. This cutting-up of the gallery space provides an architecture within which the performers (of which there have been up to nine, often made up of Imhof’s friends and artist–peers in Frankfurt) are given liberty to move during the duration of each piece. This imbues the artist’s performances with a speculative quality, in which the improvised progression of movements seeks to confuse authorial and conceptual intention. All of Imhof’s performances exist as variations of each other: either literally as versions of the same titled piece or as new works that have grown from an intensified treatment of particular fragments from past rehearsals. Similarly, her wall-based works might end up extracting forms or systems that have arrived through her performances, and are extended as independent works rather than visual scores. This cyclical feed of distinct media becomes a closed circuit, within which Imhof positions a private reconciliation between method and event. Assertions of authority and instruction upon her performers remain uncertain and difficult to perceive within the performances, the collective attitude of these events registering as conspiratorial rather than choreographed. The staging, often rich with object–props (e.g. two donkeys, crates of energy drinks, cigarettes), sets out defined and contiguous areas for the performers and feels self-contained and disinterested in the proximity of the audience. Imhof’s band, which has performed within her exhibitions, is called Beautiful Balance, a further intimation of the artist’s self-described interest in ‘the relation between dominance and submission’. The final formations of her work pivot around a highly personal sense of poise through which visual forms and temporal structures are refined and refreshed”.

Credits cover photo: Eliza Douglas in rehearsal for Anne Imhof, Sex , 2019. Tate Modern, London. Photography: Nadine Fraczkowski. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York

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