German artist Sieverding to speak at Gallery of Art

Katharina Sieverding, professor at the Berlin University of the Arts and one of the most significant German artists of her generation, will speak about her work at 7 p.m. April 2 at the Gallery of Art.

Katharina Sieverding, Maton (1969 and 1996), color photograph and mirror, 74 5/8 inches x 49 1/8 inches each panel.

Sieverding’s visit is sponsored in conjunction with the exhibition Contemporary German Art: Recent Acquisitions, on view at the gallery through April 20.

While at the University, she will also conduct an interdisciplinary workshop with students from Germanic languages and literatures and from art history and archaeology — both in Arts & Sciences — and from the School of Art.

Born in Prague in 1944, Sieverding studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Hamburg and the Academy of Visual Arts in Düsseldorf, where she was a student of Joseph Beuys from 1964-1972. Since 1967, she has concentrated on the creation of large-scale photo-based artworks, frequently self-portraits, which call attention to the process of image production and the role of viewer in this process.

Gallery of Art

Who: German artist Katharina SieverdingWhat: Speaking about her work When: 7 p.m. April 2Admission: Free and open to the publicSieverding’s visit is sponsored in conjunction with the exhibition Contemporary German Art: Recent Acquisitions, on view at the gallery through April 20.For more information, call 935-4841.
“By employing multilayered or otherwise complex reproduction processes, many of Sieverding’s works challenge photography’s most striking quality — its copy-like character,” said Sabine Eckmann, Ph.D., curator of the Gallery of Art.

In early works like Maton (1969 and 1996), which is included in Contemporary German Art, “Sieverding takes her own face as a point of departure,” Eckmann said. “Like the silk-screens of Andy Warhol, Sieverding’s self-portraits don’t exist as unique, ‘original’ images but in the form of a series — a form that de-stroys the image’s aura of singularity.”

In her more recent series, Visual Studies, Sieverding employs collage, solarization and other reproduction processes to manipulate images drawn from the media — particularly images of terror and violence — almost to the point of abstraction.

Yet, while the specific actions depicted may become “unreadable,” the emotional impact and sense of unease remain.

“The Visual Studies photographs insert Sieverding’s own subjectivity into existing images of our political and cultural context,” Eckmann said. “How, in our highly mediated environment, can you create authentic images that convey the violence surrounding us? How, as an artist, can you create new works from already mediated images yet maintain their sense of context?”

Sieverding’s work has been featured in more than 100 one-person shows, including such venues as the Museum Folkwang, Essen (1977), de Appel, Amsterdam (1978), Art Space, San Francisco (1988), Neue National-galerie, Berlin (1992), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Duesseldorf (1997), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1998), and Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (1998).

Sieverding’s work has also been included in numerous international surveys of contemporary art. These include the Biennale de Paris (1965, 1973), Documenta (1977, 1982) in Kassel, Germany, and the Venice Biennale (1980, 1995, 1997).

Her talk is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. A reception will immediately follow the talk.

For more information, call 935-4523.