Pamela Rosenkranz. Photo: Marc Asekhame

 

Pamela Rosenkranz (*1979) rose to prominence with a conceptual practice that encompasses sculpture, video, installation and painting. Her work questions the subjective element in the apprehension of an artwork, shifting the viewer’s focus toward the material, biochemical and neurological determinants of human behavior. Dubious of a worldview that places human beings at the center of the natural and material universe, the Zurich-based artist has also collaborated with thinkers from the broad philosophical movement known as speculative realism.

 

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Much of Rosenkranz’s critique of anthropocentrism involves an exploration of consumerist attempts to “domesticate” nature. Firm Being (2009–present), for example, probes the marketing strategies employed by mineral water producers: Works in the series consist of Evian, Fiji, and SmartWater-brand PET bottles filled with silicone tinted to match  “Caucasian” skin shades. The material, also known by the brand name Dragon Skin, is used among other things in the manufacture of prostheses and make-up for films. The sculptures satirize the bottlers’ esoteric advertising promises of self-optimization and internal body cleansing by interpreting them literally and presenting perfectly smooth, synthetic skin as the actual contents of the bottle. On another level, their materiality points to the role of plastic bottles in the littering and contamination of the earth’s water cycle: Even the planet’s ecological balance is sacrificed on the altar of purity.

The silicone rubber in Firm Being is also employed in installations including Our Product (2015) and Skin Pool (Oromom) (2019), where it fills entire swimming pools. Its fleshy hue appears again in acrylic pigment applied to large-format paintings—works for which the artist uses such metaphorically-charged materials as emergency blankets or spandex as a painting surface and her own body as a painting tool. Transformed into its complementary color—a specific green that Rosenkranz associates with the color of rainforest flora and chlorocruorin, the oxygen-binding component in the blood of some annelids—it appears in a number of light installations and painted works as well.

A key focus of the artist’s practice is her investigation of objective evolutionary and biological aspects, neurological reactions and psychotropic phenomena that have a far-reaching impact on the aesthetic experience but are traditionally considered part of the “subjective” aspects of artistic creation. A potent example can be seen in Sexual Power (Viagra Paintings) (2014), for which the artist ingested the erectile dysfunction drug and painted large-scale aluminum panels in a vigorous—or virile—style reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism. Works including Infection (2017) incorporate the synthetic feline pheromone civetone to explore the means by which toxoplasmosis (a disease caused by a protozoan parasite and transmitted by cats, among other animals) can imperceptibly alter human behavior and perception.

A number of Rosenkranz’s best-known works deal with the color blue and its use by French artist Yves Klein, among them the video installation The Death of Yves Klein (2011), paintings in the series My Yves Klein Blue (Approaching) (2015), the sculptural Blue Runs (2016) and light installations including Alien Culture (2017). Common to all of these works is a reflection on the early evolutionary and biological formation of the eye’s receptors for blue. It is the millennia-old genetic codes of these receptors that account for the intense aesthetic, quasi-religious experience of color, not the artist subject. Pamela Rosenkranz dissolves habitual cultural coordinates, detaching the viewer from a traditional view of the world that emphasizes human self-referentiality.

 

Pamela Rosenkranz: Slight Agitation 2/4
Fondazione Prada, Milan, February 9–May 14, 2017
© Jacopo Farina / Matteo Pansana

Works
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Robot, Circuit Board Control Units, Battery, LED light, 3D Printed Head and Tail, Kirigami Skin
120 × 6 cm
47 1/4 × 2 3/8 inches

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Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pattern Tension (Basteen), 2017

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pattern Tension (Basteen), 2017
Acrylic paint, inkjet print, plexiglas
149 × 110 cm
58 5/8 × 43 1/4 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Firm Being (Drop Up) , 2016

Pamela Rosenkranz
Firm Being (Drop Up) , 2016
PET bottle, silicone, pigments, plexi-hood, pedestal
32.4 × 8.9 × 8.9 cm
12 3/4 × 3 1/2 × 3 1/2 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Liquid, Thickeners, Coloring, Pumps

More views
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Blue Runs, 2016

Pamela Rosenkranz
Blue Runs, 2016
Ceramic sink, faucet, water, E131 dye, water tank, water pump
150 × 150 × 150 cm (overall approx)
59 × 59 × 59 inches (overall approx)
115 × 70 × 50 cm (sink and faucet approx)
45 1/4 × 27 5/8 × 19 3/4 inches (sink and faucet approx)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Look Deeper (Pure Sources), 2016

Pamela Rosenkranz
Look Deeper (Pure Sources), 2016
Acrylic paint, spandex
180 × 135 cm (framed)
70 7/8 × 53 1/8 inches (framed)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
No One, 2016

Pamela Rosenkranz
No One, 2016
Video animation, loop, no sound

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Express Nothing (Believe), 2015

Pamela Rosenkranz
Express Nothing (Believe), 2015
Acrylic paint, emergency blanket
210 × 159 cm
82 3/4 × 62 5/8 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Alien Blue Window (Miloin, Oranienburger Strasse 18), 2017

Pamela Rosenkranz
Alien Blue Window (Miloin, Oranienburger Strasse 18), 2017
Lighttex, blue LEDs, anodized Frame, remote control, USB dongle
Diameter: 177 cm
Diameter: 69 3/4 inches

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Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pour Yourself, 2016

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pour Yourself, 2016
5 PET bottles, silicone, pigments, plexi-hoods, pedestals
157.5 × 30 × 30 cm
62 × 11 7/8 × 11 7/8 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Terra preta, LED lightning strips, Amazon Echo smart speakers, sound
Dimensions variable
Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani & Marco Cappelletti
Courtesy Fondazione Prada

More views
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Acrylic on aluminium
210 × 150 cm
82 3/4 × 59 inches

More views
Details
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Robot, Circuit Board Control Units, Battery, LED light, 3D Printed Head and Tail, Kirigami Skin
120 × 6 cm
47 1/4 × 2 3/8 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Sharjah Biennale 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber. Making New Time, installation view, Sharjah, 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Healer (Sands), 2018
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pattern Tension (Basteen), 2017
Acrylic paint, inkjet print, plexiglas
149 × 110 cm
58 5/8 × 43 1/4 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pattern Tension (Basteen), 2017
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Firm Being (Drop Up) , 2016
PET bottle, silicone, pigments, plexi-hood, pedestal
32.4 × 8.9 × 8.9 cm
12 3/4 × 3 1/2 × 3 1/2 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Firm Being (Drop Up) , 2016
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Liquid, Thickeners, Coloring, Pumps

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Installation view, Okayama Art Summit 2019, Okayama, 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Installation view, Okayama Art Summit 2019, Okayama, 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Installation view, Okayama Art Summit 2019, Okayama, 2019

IF THE SNAKE
Installation view, Okayama Art Summit 2019, Okayama, September 27–November 24, 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Installation view, Okayama Art Summit 2019, Okayama, 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Skin Pool (Oromom), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Blue Runs, 2016
Ceramic sink, faucet, water, E131 dye, water tank, water pump
150 × 150 × 150 cm (overall approx)
59 × 59 × 59 inches (overall approx)
115 × 70 × 50 cm (sink and faucet approx)
45 1/4 × 27 5/8 × 19 3/4 inches (sink and faucet approx)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Blue Runs, 2016
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Look Deeper (Pure Sources), 2016
Acrylic paint, spandex
180 × 135 cm (framed)
70 7/8 × 53 1/8 inches (framed)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Look Deeper (Pure Sources), 2016
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
No One, 2016
Video animation, loop, no sound

Pamela Rosenkranz
No One, 2016
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Express Nothing (Believe), 2015
Acrylic paint, emergency blanket
210 × 159 cm
82 3/4 × 62 5/8 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Express Nothing (Believe), 2015
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Alien Blue Window (Miloin, Oranienburger Strasse 18), 2017
Lighttex, blue LEDs, anodized Frame, remote control, USB dongle
Diameter: 177 cm
Diameter: 69 3/4 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Alien Blue Window (Miloin, Oranienburger Strasse 18), 2017
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Alien Blue Window (Miloin, Oranienburger Strasse 18), 2017
She Has No Mouth, installation view, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, 2017

Pamela Rosenkranz
Alien Blue Window (Miloin, Oranienburger Strasse 18), 2017
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pour Yourself, 2016
5 PET bottles, silicone, pigments, plexi-hoods, pedestals
157.5 × 30 × 30 cm
62 × 11 7/8 × 11 7/8 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Pour Yourself, 2016
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Terra preta, LED lightning strips, Amazon Echo smart speakers, sound
Dimensions variable
Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani & Marco Cappelletti
Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Slight Agitation 2/4, installation view, Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2017
Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani & Marco Cappelletti
Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Slight Agitation 2/4, installation view, Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2017
Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani & Marco Cappelletti
Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Slight Agitation 2/4, installation view, Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2017
Photo: Delfino Sisto Legnani & Marco Cappelletti
Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Pamela Rosenkranz
Infection, 2017
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Acrylic on aluminium
210 × 150 cm
82 3/4 × 59 inches

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Installation view, FIAC Paris, 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Installation view, FIAC Paris, 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Pamela Rosenkranz
Pamela Rosenkranz

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019 (detail)

Pamela Rosenkranz
Sexual Power (Viagra Painting, Streaming Tale), 2019
Details
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Current and Upcoming
Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers

Dreaming Mirrors Dreaming Screens
Theodora Allen, Slater Bradley, Lucy Dodd, Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin, Andy Hope 1930, Oliver Laric, Pew Die Pie, Jon Rafman, Pamela Rosenkranz, Sara VanDerBeek, Stan VanDerBeek, Lesley Vance, Andro Wekua
curated by Johannes Fricke Waldthausen / GOODROOM
January 29–April 2, 2016
Berlin

Bringing together the practice of thirteen international artists, the exhibition Dreaming Mirrors Dreaming Screens appeals to the intuitive mind and creativity beyond referential thinking. Departing from the artists' production, it navigates through narratives in the realm of surrealist animation, abstraction and subjects of new materialism embracing the logic of the internet.

Pamela Rosenkranz
Press

Egg Watching: Pamela Rosenkranz
Office Magazine, interview by Shumon Basar, November 6, 2019

Pamela Rosenkranz’ Topologie des synthetischen Subjekts: Pamela Rosenkranz
Allover Magazine, article by David Misteli, April, 2016

Salon Painting: Pamela Rosenkranz
Parkett Magazine, article by Colby Chamberlain, 2015

Art as Virus: Pamela Rosenkranz
Parkett Magazin, article by Nicolas Bourriaud, 2015

Biography

Pamela Rosenkranz (*1979, Uri, Switzerland) lives and works in Zurich. She has held solo exhibitions at institutions including GAMeC, Bergamo (2017), Fondazione Prada, Milan (2017), Kunsthalle Basel (2012), Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2010) and the Swiss Institute, Venice (2009). Pamela Rosenkranz participated at several major international group exhibitions, includig the Okayama Art Summit (2019) and the 15th Biennale de Lyon (2019). Her project Our Product was selected for the Swiss Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale in 2015. Recent group shows were held at MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2019), Garage Museum for Contemporary Culture Moscow (2019), Musée National d´Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2019), Institue of Contemporary Art, Boston (2018), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2017) and Museo Espacio, Aguascalientes (2016).

Education
2012 Rijksakademie, Independent Residency Program, Amsterdam
2005 Department of Comparative Literature, University of Zurich
2004 MBA, Academy of Fine Arts, Bern
Teaching
2019– Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2016 Paul Boesch Prize, Bern
Public Collections
Aïshti Foundation, Beirut
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo
Berezdivin Collection / Espacio 1414, Santurce, Puerto Rico
Boros Collection, Berlin
Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris
Fiorucci Art Trust, London
Foundation Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino
François Pinault Foundation, Venice / Paris
Ishikawa Foundation, Okayama
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong
Kunstmuseum Bern
Kunsthaus Glarus
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz
Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland
Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk
Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
Palazzo Ruspoli, Fondazione Memmo, Rome
Pye Foundation, Hong Kong
Ricola Collection, Laufen
Rubell Family Collection, Miami
Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah
Silvie Fleming Collection, London
The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago
Zabludowicz Collection, London