Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof. Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

 

Anne Imhof (*1978) has emerged over the past decade as one of the most acclaimed artists of her generation. Today based between Berlin and New York, Imhof spent her formative years in Frankfurt am Main, where she taught herself to draw and make music while working as a bouncer at a local night club. Before eventually enrolling at the city’s academy of fine arts, Städelschule, she staged what she later designated the first entry to her catalogue raisonné: a one-night only performance in a red light district bar. She invited two boxers to take part and recruited a band. The boxers were told that the fight should last for as long as the music was playing, while the band were instructed to play for as long as the boxers were fighting. Imhof explained: “It was all pretty red—the table dance bar and the noses. Looking back on it I realized that it had been one way to create a picture.”

 

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Imhof’s practice has since evolved to encompass performance and choreography, painting and drawing, music, installation and sculpture. While her work is inherently multifaceted and continues to expand into ever more media, such as, most recently, film, Imhof conceives her art-making from the vantage point of painting. Her poignant abstractions, whether composed as performance, as two-dimensional images, or in the form of sculpted and found objects, are distinguished by her mastery of perspective and framing. This approach also manifests in her treatment of bodies as gestural surfaces, the positioning and posture of her figures, as well as her distinct symbolism and use of color. Imhof is a maker of pictures, whose images, moving or stilled, point to the history of painting as much as to the fetishes of contemporary commodity culture.

Imhof’s performances, correspondingly, have been described as tableaux vivants. When their liveness fades away, her pictures turn natures mortes and reveal marks of a vampiristic melancholy that accompanies the artist’s undeadening procedures of transforming life into image and vice versa. In this, she is joined by a community of friends, dancers, artists, musicians, poets, and models, who cohabitate alongside the audience within her epic durational installations and animate them through their movement, singing, and ghostly presence of studied passivity. Though following a notated score, the dark play of their ritualistic actions—frequently involving bodies walking in slow motion, spilling fluids, falling, carrying each other or hanging out—is ruled by the contingencies of collaboration and directed by the artist in real time.

Imhof imbues bodies and things with excessive libidinal charge, choreographing figures and staging objects to render intimate portraits of radical dis-identification. Ephemeral, yet violent longings are distributed through avatars of the artist’s self, particularly Eliza Douglas, her artistic partner and muse. Douglas first took center stage in Imhof’s Faust (2017) at the German pavilion during the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia for which she was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. Imhof’s artistic project, crystallizing in a unique repertoire of imaginative intensities that reshape in open-ended serial iterations, has to date further notably included the exhibition and performance cycles Rage (2014–15), Deal (2015), Angst (2016), and Sex (2019–21).

 

Anne Imhof
FAUST, 2017
German Pavilion, 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

 

Works
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023

Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023
Oil on canvas
280 × 392 cm
110 1/4 × 154 1/4 inches

More views
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Clown (maximum blue purple), 2023

Anne Imhof
Clown (maximum blue purple), 2023
Acrylic on aluminum
280 × 180 cm
110 1/4 × 70 7/8 inches

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Clown (lavender purple), 2023

Anne Imhof
Clown (lavender purple), 2023
Acrylic on aluminum
280 × 180 cm
110 1/4 × 70 7/8 inches

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023
Oil on canvas
280 × 420 cm
110 1/4 × 165 3/8 inches

More views
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
"Natures mortes" Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021

Anne Imhof
'Natures mortes' Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021
Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
"Natures mortes" Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021

Anne Imhof
'Natures mortes' Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021
Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021

Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021
Steel, glass, foam and leather mattress, speaker, electric guitar
242 × 370 × 220 cm
95 1/4 × 145 3/4 × 86 5/8 inches
Installation view, World out of Joint, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, May 21–August 14, 2022
Photo: Gunnar Meier

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Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli - Torino, March 20–November 7, 2021

Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli – Torino, March 20–November 7, 2021
Photo: Antonio Maniscalco

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Tate Modern, London, March 22–March 31, 2019

Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Tate Modern, London, March 22–March 31, 2019
Photo: Brotheron-Lock

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Fate, 2022

Anne Imhof
Fate, 2022
Video, color, sound
16:55 min

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Deathwish, 2021

Anne Imhof
Deathwish, 2021
Video, color, sound
Duration: 29:29 min

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021
Acrylic on aluminum
200 × 275 × 4.5 cm
78 3/4 × 108 1/4 × 1 3/4 inches

More views
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019

Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019
Featuring Josh Johnson, Nomi Ruiz and Mickey Mahar
Performance view, Tate Modern, London
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019

Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019
Featuring Jakob Eilinghoff, Oscar Joyce and Ian Edmonds
Performance view, Tate Modern, London
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017

Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017
Featuring Eliza Douglas, Franziska Aigner, Stix Omar, Lea Welsch and Theresa Patzschke
Performance view, German Pavilion, 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017

Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017
Featuring Stix Omar, Lea Welsch, Ian Edmonds, Mickey Mahar and Billy Bultheel
Performance view, German Pavilion, 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Details
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023
Oil on canvas
280 × 392 cm
110 1/4 × 154 1/4 inches

Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023

Anne Imhof
Emo, 2023
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Clown (maximum blue purple), 2023
Acrylic on aluminum
280 × 180 cm
110 1/4 × 70 7/8 inches

Anne Imhof
Clown (maximum blue purple), 2023
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Clown (lavender purple), 2023
Acrylic on aluminum
280 × 180 cm
110 1/4 × 70 7/8 inches

Anne Imhof
Clown (lavender purple), 2023
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023
Oil on canvas
280 × 420 cm
110 1/4 × 165 3/8 inches

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023

Anne Imhof
Cloud IV, 2023
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
'Natures mortes' Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021
Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Anne Imhof
"Natures mortes" Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
'Natures mortes' Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021
Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Anne Imhof
"Natures mortes" Carte blanche à Anne Imhof
Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, May 22–October 24, 2021
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021
Steel, glass, foam and leather mattress, speaker, electric guitar
242 × 370 × 220 cm
95 1/4 × 145 3/4 × 86 5/8 inches
Installation view, World out of Joint, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, May 21–August 14, 2022
Photo: Gunnar Meier

Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021
Installation view, World out of Joint, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, May 21–August 14, 2022
Photo: Gunnar Meier

Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Room IV, 2021
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli – Torino, March 20–November 7, 2021
Photo: Antonio Maniscalco

Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli - Torino, March 20–November 7, 2021
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Tate Modern, London, March 22–March 31, 2019
Photo: Brotheron-Lock

Anne Imhof
Sex
Installation view, Tate Modern, London, March 22–March 31, 2019
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Fate, 2022
Video, color, sound
16:55 min

Anne Imhof
Fate, 2022
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Deathwish, 2021
Video, color, sound
Duration: 29:29 min

Anne Imhof
Deathwish, 2021
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021
Acrylic on aluminum
200 × 275 × 4.5 cm
78 3/4 × 108 1/4 × 1 3/4 inches

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021
Anne Imhof
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021 (detail)

Anne Imhof
Untitled, 2021
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019
Featuring Josh Johnson, Nomi Ruiz and Mickey Mahar
Performance view, Tate Modern, London
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019
Featuring Jakob Eilinghoff, Oscar Joyce and Ian Edmonds
Performance view, Tate Modern, London
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Anne Imhof
Sex, 2019
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017
Featuring Eliza Douglas, Franziska Aigner, Stix Omar, Lea Welsch and Theresa Patzschke
Performance view, German Pavilion, 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017
Featuring Stix Omar, Lea Welsch, Ian Edmonds, Mickey Mahar and Billy Bultheel
Performance view, German Pavilion, 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Anne Imhof
Faust, 2017
Details
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Current and Upcoming
Anne Imhof
Natures Mortes, installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2021
Courtesy the artist, Palais de Tokyo. Photo: Andrea Rossetti

Anne Imhof
Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz
June 8–September 1, 2024

Anne Imhof is one of the most important contemporary artists of our time. Her signature artistic expression is rooted in performance pieces, where casts of androgynous figures navigate the space with a captivating blend of impassive poise and elaborate choreography within an immersive audio-visual experience. This dynamic interplay, underscored by the inclusion of ubiquitous and iconic elements of fashion, photography, and an amalgamation of subculture and popular culture, creates an atmosphere reminiscent of post-apocalyptic isolation.

Within the austere confines of Kunsthaus Bregenz, Anne Imhof ushers in a compelling transformation. In this enigmatic creation, a paradox unfolds, taking the shape of both a barricade and a proscenium. For the KUB exhibition, Imhof will focus on painting and sculpture, which form the crux of her artistic practice, mirroring the fluid evolution of her performative works. The human figure now assumes an allegorical presence, offering a heightened sense of Imhof’s trademark exploration of the human condition.

Link
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Anne Imhof

Anne Imhof
EMO
February 15–May 6, 2023
Los Angeles

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are pleased to announce EMO, a solo exhibition by Anne Imhof, the largest presentation of the artist's work in the United States to date and her first in Los Angeles. Over the past decade, Imhof has developed a deeply moving and varied practice that encompasses sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, video and performance. EMO brings together several new bodies of work across multiple mediums, putting each in dialogue with industrial found objects in ways that implicate visitors' bodies as they move through the space, at turns exalting and frustrating the viewing experience.

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Anne Imhof
Avatar II
September 23–December 23, 2022
London

Sprüth Magers is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Anne Imhof in London—the first show to span all four of the gallery's floors. Continuing and expanding upon the narrative arc of Imhof's recent exhibitions, the works range from oil paintings, large-scale paintings on aluminum panels, and drawings to film and sound works that interweave notions of reality and artifice, presence and absence, exposure and concealment. Fitness equipment and gym furniture are installed throughout the gallery, blurring the boundaries between functional object and art while creating a multilayered experience as visitors encounter and move through Imhof's abundant spaces.

Photo: Anne Imhof, Avatar, 2022 (film still). Featuring Eliza Douglas.

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Anne Imhof
Press

Anne Imhof “YOUTH” Stedelijk Museum / Amsterdam
Flash Art, article by Eleonora Milani, Winter 2022–23

Anne Imhof: Jesters and Gestures
ArtReview, article by Cat Kron, August 26, 2022

Anne Imhof’s Unnerving Hall of Mirrors
The New York Times, interview by Coco Romack, June 2, 2021

Der Tod im Subtext
Monopol, article by Silke Hohmann, June 2021

Anne Imhof. A Fast-Track Wormhole into Post-Millenial Unease
Flaunt Magazine, interview by Billy Bultheel, Franziska Aigner and Eliza Douglas, 2019

Turning Tides: Anne Imhof at Tate Modern
Spike, Online, article by Ella Plevin, March 25, 2019

Biography

Anne Imhof (*1978, Gießen) lives and works in Berlin and New York. Her paintings, sculptures, and performances have been shown internationally since 2012. Imhof’s work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2022), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2021), Tate Modern, London (2019), The Art Institute of Chicago (2019), the German Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2017), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2016), Kunsthalle Basel (2016), MoMA PS1, New York (2015), Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes (2014), and Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (2013). Her work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including at Aichi Triennale, Aichi Prefecture (2022), Kunstmuseum Winterthur (2022), Tai Kwun, Hong Kong (2019), La Biennale de Montréal (2016), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015), the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015), and the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (2014). She represented Germany at the 2017 Venice Biennale, where she was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation, and won the Absolut Art Award (2017) and the Preis der Nationalgalerie (2015). Imhof was a guest professor and artist-in residence at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich (2015) and a visiting artist at Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Yale University, New Haven, and the ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, among others.

Anne Imhof will be presenting a solo show of her works at Kunsthaus Bregenz in 2024.

Education
2008–12 Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Städelschule, Frankfurt a.M. Meisterschülerin with Judith Hopf
2000–03 Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2017 Golden Lion for Best National Participation, 57th Venice Biennale, Venice Absolut Art Award
2015 Fondazione Ettore Fico Prize, Turin Preis der Nationalgalerie, Berlin
2014 MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund, New York
2012 Graduation Prize - Absolventenpreis des Städelschule Portikus e.V., Frankfurt a.M.
ZAC - Zonta Art Contemporary, Award of ZONTA Club Frankfurt II Rhein Main, Frankfurt a.M.