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Anna Genger Main Profile Image

Anna Genger

Anna Genger

Drawing, Painting • Born in Hamburg, Germany • Studied at The Slade (UCL) and the Royal College of Art in London

Published  15/05/2017   |   Updated  06/04/2020

No excuses. Find solutions.

I always wanted to invent things. I am more interested in creating something new than painting something beautiful. I am not really interested in beauty. It happens that since I use plants, animals and ornaments as basic elements for my work, beauty happens. If you use greens and pinks the painting is bound to be somewhat pleasing to the eye.
However.
I want my paintings to be forces of nature. Impulsive, weak and strong at the...

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I always wanted to invent things. I am more interested in creating something new than painting something beautiful. I am not really interested in beauty. It happens that since I use plants, animals and ornaments as basic elements for my work, beauty happens. If you use greens and pinks the painting is bound to be somewhat pleasing to the eye.
However.
I want my paintings to be forces of nature. Impulsive, weak and strong at the same time. A spontaneous outburst that is fed by a life time of experience and emotion.
I am very interested in deception. Magic, superstition. Psychology. I am interested in discovering memories in shapes and want to be left with a feeling of uncertainty, when I look at art.
Unpredicted impulses, implications of movements. Figures. Objects. Plants. Recognition of shapes being only almost possible.
Predictable art is just as dull as predictable thinking.
Accidents and Intuition however, are only the starting point. By and by one chooses which strokes and shapes to preserve and which to eradicate.
A rational decision towards success.
Francis Bacon said in an Interview with David Sylvester that the starting off in abstraction and moving toward figuration is an attempt to bring the figurative thing up onto the nervous system more violently and more poignantly.
I love the possibility in art to fuse viscerality with contemplation. To create a cacophony that still makes sense.
Visual counter point.
Accidents and intuition may well be the breeding ground and foundation, but it takes determination and thought to turn the work into something that is fed by emotion but conducted by spirit.
Many years ago, at college I read an essay by Merleau-Ponty -where he says that only in the moment where we know nothing we have the chance to learn something new. I love that notion. As vague as it sounds, this moment of being lost is the ultimate chance to grow beyond one's boundaries.
It is slightly megalomaniac to expect that from my work, but I hope that I can achieve that in my paintings.
I want to surprise you. Crush you with details, lure you with soft colours and floral shapes into my universe, scream at you with bold colours and weird shapes and then push you off balance. I want you to be uncertain. Dubious and contemplative. Shocked maybe, or even disgusted. But I never want you to be sure that you exactly know what it is you see. Because people who think they know are just fools.
People who just see flowers in my work make me want to cry.
I am terribly romantic when it comes to my art. My paintings are my poetry.
I wouldn't dare to say so if I hadn't actually met people who really get it (Hello Ksenya Kumm!)
It is magical to meet someone who gets your work.
The other day I was at a concert and listened to Mahlers 6. Sinfonie.
I cried. And then, there were actually people leaving the auditorium.
It is not necessary that everyone gets it, gets art, gets my art, I guess.
And to be angry is a waste of energy.
Maybe if everybody understood the work, it wouldn't be that special anymore.

Anna Genger
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Anna Genger

Unentweiht von selbstgewählten Götzen, March 2020. Collaboration with Poet Ksenya Kumm. One image and one corresponding poem.

Unentweiht von selbstgewählten Götzen, March 2020. Collaboration with Poet Ksenya Kumm. One image and one corresponding poem.

Unentweiht von selbstgewählten Götzen, March 2020, Collaboration with Poet Ksenya Kumm. One image and one corresponding poem.

Unentweiht von selbstgewählten Götzen, March 2020, Collaboration with Poet Ksenya Kumm. One image and one corresponding poem.

"I was told to drown and you told me to stop"Collaboration with Poet Ksenya Kumm. One image and one corresponding poem.

"I was told to drown and you told me to stop", 3D Collage March 2020 -Collaboration with Poet Ksenya Kumm. One image and one corresponding poem.

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

The solitude.

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

I love the smell of oil paint. I try to keep my studio as empty as possible, the white space is a necessity I find, to keep my head clear and open to new ideas.

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

Oil paint and paper. After a recent residency in Finland I have found a way to combine both and love it.

What themes do you pursue?

I recently had to explain to a Finnish group of students what I paint. Given the language barrier I tried to put it as simply as possible. Imagine someone making a cake. They use eggs, flour and sugar. I use plants, people and animals to create my own world. I am interested in making mind maps. Mazes of thoughts and emotion. I want people to look at the work and get lost.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

The dean at Central St. Martins said during the open day speech: No excuses, find solutions. I wrote it right after on the cover of my sketch book and have ever since lived by it. People who whine about lack of time, space and money are boring.

If you could install your art absolutely anywhere, where would that be?

Actually, funnily enough-I have to say Deichtorhallen, Hamburg. I have exhibited internationally but never in a big space in my home town. I love the space and it would make my mother very proud.

If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?

I would be a lawyer.

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

My bed.


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2017

Anna Genger, Galerie Aplanat, Hamburg, Germany

2016

Herland, The Agency Gallery, London, UK

Birds of Prey, Galerie Biesenbach, Köln, Germany

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GROUP

2019

Chrystals Plus, Polarraum, Hamburg, Germany

2018

Von Pablo Picasso bis Robert Rauschenberg, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Deutschland

10 Jahre Kunstverein Neukölln, Kunstverein Neukölln, Berlin, Deutschland

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WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

Bank of America Collection

Bufacchi Collection

Collection of Geri and Arnie Obler

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EDUCATION (detailed)

2000-2001, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London

2001-2004, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London

2005-2007, Royal College of Art, London


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