Anne Imhof: Angst

10 Jun 2016 – 21 Aug 2016

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Anne Imhof (b. 1978), recent winner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2015 for young artists, presents an audacious new commission that combines her interests in performance, painting, and installation with a live element that will extend over the duration of the exhibition.


Here, Imhof presents the first act of an “opera” of sorts composed by the artist in several acts and constructed through a choreography of cryptic gestures, an abstract musical composition, and sculptural elements. The opera’s various characters—which ephemerally appear, occasionally coincide, and leave traces of their presence in the exhibition—are played by amateur and formally trained performers. Each has a name, as in the Lover, the Diver, the Rope Dancer, the Spitter, or the Oracle (played by a live falcon). Together they continuously form and un-form what could be called the “images” that make up the piece and give sense to the enigmatic sculptural scenography that forms their backdrop. The whole expands on Imhof’s signature vocabulary and materials, from her exploration of task-like movements and physical acceleration to her frequent use of dripping liquids and branded comestibles, like Pepsi or Orbit gum. In the process, Angst, true to the artist’s larger practice, troubles the boundaries of the body, time, and the fleeting images created between them.

Special extended performance times (during Art Basel)
June 15, 2016, 6 pm–midnight
Spread over six hours, Angst, act 1 of Anne Imhof’s exhibition-as-opera, will reach a pinnacle with all of its eleven characters appearing together.
June 18, 2016, until midnight
A special viewing of Angst as part of Art Basel’s Parcours Night

The opera that forms the basis of Anne Imhof’s Angst is a co-production of Kunsthalle Basel and the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, supported by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and made in collaboration with La Biennale de Montréal. The exhibition benefits from the generous support of Martin Hatebur, the Rudolf Augstein Stiftung, the Isaac Dreyfus-Bernheim Stiftung, and ValeriaNapoleoneXX.

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Anne Imhof


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