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Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director Ocula Conversation Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director

Pierre Huyghe is a producer of spectacular and memorable enigmas, with works that function more like mirages than as objects. Abyssal Plain (2015–ongoing), his contribution to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was installed on the seabed of the Marmara Sea, some 20 metres below the surface of the water and close to...

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MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern Ocula Report MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern 29 Nov 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

In the early decades of its existence, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, transformed from a philanthropic project modestly housed in a few rooms of the Heckscher Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, to an alleged operating node in the United States' cultural struggle during the cold war, and one of the...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Rebecca Horn

b. 1944, Germany

Rebecca Horn is a German contemporary artist known for her body-extensions, mechanical sculptures, drawings, performances, films, and installations. These artworks explore the relationship between the human body and its surroundings, political and historical memory, and human vulnerability.

Horn was born in Michelstadt, Hesse, Germany. While studying at the HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg, in the 1960s, she was hospitalised for lung damage from working unprotected with polyester and fibreglass. Confined to her bed for a year, the artist could only draw and sew. This gave rise to her fixation with the human body found in her early wearable sculptures. They came to be known as ‘body-extensions’.

Horn’s body-extensions are simultaneously sculptures and performance accessories, blurring the line between stationary objects and temporary props. Her iconic Einhorn (Unicorn) (1970–1972), for example, consists of a long cone—reminiscent of a unicorn’s horn—and a series of straps (made from wood, fabric, and metal) for securing it to the wearer’s body. The work was designed for a fellow student, who wears it while walking through the woods at dawn in the video Performances II (1973).

In the late 1970s, Horn began to introduce mechanised sculptures into her films. The Feathered Prison Fan (1978)—a human-scaled sculpture with large overlapping feathers that move like a shell to encase whoever stands inside—appears in The Gigolo (Der Eintänzer) (1978), a 45-minute feature film about a man named Max, a blind man, and twins. Fantasy and reality take turns in propelling the narrative forward, emanating the dream-like and illogical quality evocative of Surrealist experimentation. In La Ferdinanda (1981), set in an Italian villa, Horn shows a machine that spreads out and folds beautiful white peacock plumage (The Peacock Machine, 1979–1980).

After periods of living in London and New York, Horn returned to Germany in the 1980s and 1990s to create site-specific installations that incorporated sound and violent activities as haunting reminders of war. For Concert in Reverse, conceived for Skulptur Projekte Münster in 1987, she installed mechanical hammers in the basement vaults of the Zinger, where Gestapo executions had taken place. Concert for Buchenwald, installed in 1999 in a disused tram depot in Weimar near the Buchenwald concentration camp, consisted of a stack of old musical instruments and their cases behind a pile of ash. There is no sound—a silent concert without musicians or audience—apart from the commotion made by a trolley as it regularly travels down the railway line and crashes into a wall at the end.

Other recurring motifs in Rebecca Horn’s oeuvre include the butterfly, which usually takes the form of a pair of fluttering blue wings attached to a small motorised device. In the sculpture Butterfly Body Fantasy (2009), a thin branch hangs upside down in a vitrine while a mechanised butterfly beats its wings on a stick protruding out from a wall. Another sculptural work, Metamorphoses between Rock and Butterfly (2014) juxtaposes the ephemeral beauty of the butterfly with the durability of hard rock, by placing the insect atop a volcanic rock the artist found near Mt Vesuvius in Italy.

Horn has had numerous retrospective exhibitions, including a mid-career survey at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1993, which travelled to Eindhoven, Berlin, Vienna, London, and Grenoble, and Bodylandscapes at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 2005. In 2019 two retrospective exhibitions were held simultaneously at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (Rebecca Horn: Theatre of Metamorphoses) and Basel’s Museum Tinguely (Rebecca Horn: Body Fantasies).

Biography by Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Mirrored Moon by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornMirrored Moon, 2017 Butterfly, electronic motor, black painted paper, glass funnel, gold leaf, brass, branch, steel, glass
39 3/8 x 30 3/8 x 7 1/2 inches
Sean Kelly
Landscape by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornLandscape, 2015 Acrylic and pencil on paper, burnt paper
32 x 24 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Paris by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornParis, 2015 Acrylic and pencil on paper
32 x 24 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Schreib Frucht by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornSchreib Frucht, 2015 Acrylic and pencil on paper
40 x 30 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Untitled by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornUntitled, 2015 Acrylic and pencil on paper
40 x 30 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Untitled by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornUntitled, 2015 Acrylic and pencil on paper
40 x 30 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Eidechse und Eichhörnchen gekreutz in Napoli by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornEidechse und Eichhörnchen gekreutz in Napoli, 2015 Acrylic, pencil on paper
181 x 150 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Between The Knives The Emptiness by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornBetween The Knives The Emptiness, 2014 3 knives, steel construction, electronic device, motor, brush, brass
255 x 180 x 150 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See 6 Jun 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

To coincide with Art Basel 2019, which opens to the public from 13 to 16 June, galleries and institutions across the city are presenting a range of stellar exhibitions. From Rebecca Horn at Museum Tinguely to Geumhyung Jeong at Kunsthalle Basel, here is a selection of what to see.William Kentridge, Dead Remus (2014–2016). Charcoal on found ledger...

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In Related Press

A Prophet of the Coming Electronic and Mechanical Realities Related Press A Prophet of the Coming Electronic and Mechanical Realities Hyperallergic : 5 August 2019

METZ, France; BASEL, Switzerland — The Centre Pompidou-Metz and Museum Tinguely have joined together to present a remarkably diverse and prolific two-part exhibition devoted to the German artist Rebecca Horn. Horn's stimulating body of work, begun in the late 1960s, consists of conceptually based, process-oriented, prosthetic performances,...

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In Head-To-Head Exhibitions, Artist Rebecca Horn Equips Machines To Fiddle With Human Emotions Related Press In Head-To-Head Exhibitions, Artist Rebecca Horn Equips Machines To Fiddle With Human Emotions Forbes : 17 June 2019

When Rebecca Horn was in art school, she used fiberglass and polyester as sculptural materials. They soon damaged her lungs, forcing her to spend a year in a sanitarium. The months of isolation led to a reappraisal of her sculptural medium. After she was released, she started sculpting own body.

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Klaus Biesenbach recalls the founding of KW in Berlin 25 years ago, a moment of 'radical change and freedom' Related Press Klaus Biesenbach recalls the founding of KW in Berlin 25 years ago, a moment of 'radical change and freedom' ARTnews : 29 November 2016

In late November 1989 I came to Berlin. I had spent the summer in New York, staying with a friend who at the time was the editor of an international magazine. On her cable TV and in the many different newspapers she had at her home on the Upper West Side, I had seen and read about an autumn full of demonstrations in East Germany, embassies taken...

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THE BACKBONE OF REBECCA HORN Related Press THE BACKBONE OF REBECCA HORN Interview Magazine : 15 May 2015

If you were to imagine Justine, the titular heroine in the Marquis de Sade's late 18th-century novel (also called The Misfortunes of Virtue), in a tiger pelt, you would be sharing a poetic vision with celebrated German artist Rebecca Horn. You might also be fantasizing about the late German born-Swiss Surrealist, Méret Elisabeth Oppenheim, to whom...

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