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b. 1978, Germany

Anne Imhof Biography

German artist Anne Imhof's intense endurance performances are explorations of power, contemporary anxiety and the neoliberal condition.

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Life

Anne Imhof was born in 1978 in Gießen, Germany. She spent her formative years in Frankfurt am Main, where she worked as a bouncer of a nightclub. Imhof studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach between 2000–2003. Five years later, she went on to study at the Städelschule Hochschule für Bildende Künste under the tutelage of Judith Hopf.

Imhof's work is widely celebrated receiving numerous international awards such as the MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund and the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Anne Imhof Artworks

Imhof works across a varied range of media. Her ever-expanding artistic practice has included performance, choreography, painting, music, fashion design and installation. Imhof's work takes up a similar vantage point to painting, playing with perspective and framing devices. Her performances, while visceral and embodied, are conceived of as gestural surfaces where she explores symbolism and representation.

Imhof credits her first piece to an event she organised before enrolling in art school. In this piece she invited two boxers and a band to perform. Imhof instructed the boxers to keep fighting until the band stopped playing, and the band to keep playing until the boxers stopped fighting. Held in Frankfurt's Red-Light District, this was Imhof's first foray into the use of performance and choreography as central to her practice.

Imhof works very closely with her collaborators. In an interview for Art Basel, she remarked that 'art is only possible together.' While Imhof provides a score for her collaborators, she often directs their actions in real-time through text messaging.

Angst (2016)

One of Imhof's performances is the three-act opera Angst (2016), where drones fly across a smoke-screened room as if they were surveilling the audience. Viewers are met with a falcon perched on the arm of a health goth and later, performers shaving each other and running into walls. Running for four hours, this piece speaks to a specific angst that plagues various generations – between anxieties of changing leaders and political instability, climate change, warfare, idleness and the pressure to perform in contemporary society.

Faust (2017)

Faust (2017) was performed at the German Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale. Responding to the architecture of the pavilion and to the politics of access and space, this piece involved the participation of Doberman guard dogs alongside performers who moved around the space—balancing on plinths, singing, dancing to heavy metal, crawling beneath the audience's feet beneath a glass floor, while some perched atop a metal fence which lined the building. Faust thinks through power, from Nazi histories to contemporary modes of control. Imhof was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation for this work. Following the exhibition, she also released an LP with the soundtrack that was created for the work.

Natures Mortes (2021)

In Natures Mortes (2021), Imhof transformed the whole of Palais de Tokyo in Paris into a stage. Imhof replaced the museum's white walls with steel and mirrors, as well as creating a labyrinth out of salvaged windowpanes, all of which were left intentionally dirty. Performers activated the space by crawling and walking through the museum, as if either in a procession or on a runway. Imhof also gathered images and paintings by other artists to exhibit as part of the work, including her partner and long-time collaborator Eliza Douglas'. In this work, Imhof reflects on the concept of natures mortes or 'still life', thinking through the function of décor and staging, allowing visitors to oscillate between spaces of the living and the non-living.

Exhibitions

Anne Imhof has been widely exhibited internationally. She has held solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Tate; Kunsthalle Basel; and MoMA PS1. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; and MOCA, Toronto.

Website and Instagram

Anne Imhof's Instagram can be found here.

Arianna Mercado | Ocula | 2022

Anne Imhof
featured artworks

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Untitled by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Anne Imhof Untitled, 2023 Aluminium, acrylic
100 x 75 cm
Galerie Buchholz Request Price & Availability
Montauk by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Anne Imhof Montauk, 2023 Pencil on paper
31 x 41 cm
Galerie Buchholz Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Anne Imhof Untitled, 2023 Glass, spray paint, iron, rubber
226.5 x 180 cm
Galerie Buchholz Request Price & Availability
The Last of Us by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork painting
Anne Imhof The Last of Us, 2023 Oil on canvas
280 x 421.52 cm
Sprüth Magers Request Price & Availability
069 H, 1st of at least eleven (Der Schwan) by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Anne Imhof 069 H, 1st of at least eleven (Der Schwan), 2016 Aluminium, acrylic
244 x 150 x 5 cm
Galerie Buchholz Request Price & Availability
My big mouth filled with shooting stars II by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Anne Imhof My big mouth filled with shooting stars II, 2022 Acrylic on aluminum
150 x 200 cm
Sprüth Magers Request Price & Availability
Monster II by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork painting
Anne Imhof Monster II, 2022 Acrylic on aluminum
200 x 270 cm
Not for sale
Sprüth Magers
Suicidal Tendencies I by Anne Imhof contemporary artwork painting
Anne Imhof Suicidal Tendencies I, 2022 Oil on canvas
89 x 67 x 3.8 cm
Not for sale
Sprüth Magers
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Anne Imhof
recent exhibitions

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Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

Galerie Buchholz contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany
Galerie Buchholz Berlin, New York, Cologne
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Anne Imhof in
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