Born in Bad Oldesloe (D) in 1948 and studied painting (Hamburg), art history and philosophy (Cologne), photography and graphic design (HdK Berlin), and finally at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. She currently lives and works in Berlin. In her multifaceted and radical works, Isa Genzken expands the genre of sculpture by means of a visual language that constantly reinvents itself and a seemingly unlimited use of materials and media. Her interest in the formal language of cheap materials and mass production from around the world is manifested in bleak objects as well as positively connoted, affirmative works such as her oversized flower sculptures. They stand exemplarily for her works, which occupy themselves with the absolute and relativized idea of beauty, of reality and appearance as well as with our perception of pictures and objects, in particular the play of proportions in the context of architecture, nature, and mass culture.

Rose III, 2016

Aluminium casting, galvanized steel, lacquer
830 × 310 × 260 cm
Edition of 3 + 1 AP

Isa Genzken’s over 8-meter-high sculpture in the form of a rose is a lacquered aluminum casting with a steel core that, despite its weight of nearly 500 kg, stands nimbly in the landscape on a minimal base with only four screws. It represents a successful example of the compromise between castability and flexible further processing in metal and lacquer.

In a first step, the technical 3D datasets from the artist’s studio were combined with scanned data of an actual rose. This facilitated the appropriation of botanical language and the incorporation of details such as pressure marks and various surface structures. The individual parts were then printed with the in-house PMMA 3D printer and then cast in aluminum in the direct burn out technique. The parts were welded together with the exception of the bloom, whose petals are mounted individually with a screw system, since every petal is painted individually. The stem, the four branches, and the bloom were primed in 10 parts with an epoxy paint system and lacquered using an airbrush technique. In the process, the color was determined based on a real rose in cooperation with the artist. After all the individual parts had been mounted, a final color comparison was performed. A separately produced, bent tube of high-strength chromium steel inside the stem guarantees structural stability. A rain gutter was also built in so as to prevent standing water.

The first rose sculpture by Isa Genzken was presented for the first time in 1993 at the trade fair grounds in Leipzig.

Between 2016 and 2017, all three editions of Rose III were produced at the Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen.