Anna Vogel

8 Jul 2014 – 30 Aug 2014

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00

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Sprüth Magers | Berlin

Berlin, Germany

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Give Back the Kingdom


Anna Vogel
Give Back the Kingdom
08/07 - 30/08/2014
Give Back the Kingdom, the summer exhibition at Sprüth Magers Berlin, offers a survey of the
multifaceted work of Anna Vogel. The artist studied at the Art Academy Düsseldorf in the master
class of Andreas Gursky as well as with Thomas Ruff and Christopher Williams; she has been
awarded various prizes for her oeuvre, which is characterized by a rare atmospheric density and by
a systematic investigation of the pictorial space of the photograph. Her mostly small-format
photographs thereby distance themselves quite clearly from the sober, objective-material style that
is normally associated with the Düsseldorf School.
Vogel's works function intuitively for the most part. The theme of Give Back the Kingdom ' without
sounding any religious or environmental overtones ' has to do with the idea of a lost kingdom in a
Biblical sense. The works of the exhibition focus on the nonchalance with which we treat the world,
the unintended vestiges that we leave behind in it, the fleeting and superficial manner in which we
perceive it. Here lifeless roadways stretch across unspecific landscapes. Rubbed-out, scratched
oceans subside at the horizon. Forests can only be dimly recognized behind thick lines. In a few
works, the landscapes have completely entered the realm of ornament and abstraction. In others,
they take on post-apocalyptic aspects: Blood red and white clouds of fire-extinguishing sand float
disquietingly in the atmosphere, as if they had been emitted not by airplanes, but by an invisible
force. An aircraft carrier drifts homelessly upon the seas. At the edges of these pictures, in their
instances of faint blurriness, their occasionally visible pixelation and color distortions, the noise of
the atmosphere becomes clearly perceptible. The dynamic lines and scratches of the works point
toward the inescapable slipping out of control to which our memory is subject in a world of constant
The investigation of these contents is accompanied by a richly imaginative playing with the medium
of photography that self-confidently transcends the traditional borders of the genre. Vogel herself
took some of the photographs on which the works are based; she found others on the Internet or
created them herself with a computer. She subjects her motifs to a large number of analog and
digital processes of image editing. She retouches certain visual elements or alters the pictorial
composition. She makes use of traditional collage technique, expands the photographic space with
the help of drafting tools, and is not afraid to scratch the picture surface in a mechanical way.
Upon a small space, with often succinct means, and without clearly revealing what exactly is being
shown, the works in Give Back the Kingdom achieve an astounding auratic impact. Operating
almost in a mode of sleepwalking, they set in motion perceptual irritations and doubt. They show a
world, which remains in the realm of vagueness. Landscapes that seem somehow familiar, but then
again are not. Settings that are known from somewhere, but nonetheless remain foreign. A kingdom
whose melancholic energy oscillates between desire and discomfiture.
Anna Vogel (*1981, Herdecke, Germany) lives and works in Düsseldorf. In 2014, she was
nominated for the Karl-Schmidt Rottluff stipend and the Art Award of the Vordemberge-Gildewart-
Stiftung. She was awarded the dHCS-Studio Grant of Kunstverein der Rheinlande und Westfalen in
2013, and the prize of the capital city Düsseldorf for visual arts in 2012. Her works have been shown
in solo presentations at the Bienal de Lanzarote (2014), the KIT/Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and the
Galerie Conrads (both 2013), as well as in group shows like So hält uns auch im Banne fremdes
Sein at Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf (2014), DistURBANces/LandEscape at Musée National
d'Histoire et d'Art Luxembourg (2013) and State of the Art ' New Contemporary Photography at
NRW Forum Düsseldorf (2012).
Sprüth Magers Berlin is concurrently presenting the solo exhibitions 'Frankfurter Block ' Arbeiten
am Hohlkasten 1981 ' 2014' by Reinhard Mucha and 'Eine Ansammlung von Gegenständen' by
Peter Fischli & David Weiss.
For more information and press enquiries, please contact Sina Deister (sd@spruethmagers.com).
Exhibition Opening: 05.07.2014, 6 pm ' 9 pm
Opening Times of the Gallery: Tue ' Sat, 11 am ' 6 pm

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