Born in Michelstadt, Hesse, in 1944, Rebecca Horn began studying at the Fine Arts Academy in Hamburg in 1964; a scholarship enabled her to study in London from 1971 to 1972. Horn became known in 1972 as the youngest participant in the epoch-making "documenta 5"; she received the "documenta" prize in 1986. In 1992 Rebecca Horn was awarded the Media Prize of the ZKM Karlsruhe and the Kaiserring of the city of Goslar. Since 1989 she has taught as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. In recent years she has had solo exhibitions in major museums and private galleries in England, France, Germany and the USA.
Since the 1960s, Rebecca Horn has created her own multimedia artistic cosmos; her work is a constantly mutating web of motifs, objects, and themes, with a focus on exploring the limits of the body and perception and how to overcome them, especially in her early works.
One trauma is central to understanding her work: when Horn was studying in Hamburg in the 1960s, she used fiberglass for her sculptures, and destroyed her lungs with this toxic substance. She had to spend two years in isolation in a sanatorium.
At that time she was preoccupied with themes of isolation, the body, healing and movement, she began to work with performance and kinetic sculpture. Body extensions, bodily instruments, bandages, masks, prostheses, feathers - the poetics of psychological and physical confinement defined her work. From her performances, feature films, and kinetic sculptures to her installations, drawings, and poetry, Horn's work is extremely diverse. Although her work shows traces of Fluxus and feminist avant-garde, she remained a loner who did not want to join any movement.
Curator Bettina M. Busse has succeeded in bringing essential works from 1970 onward to the Wiener Bank Austria Kunstforum. The diverse spectrum of artistic media Rebecca Horn uses is shown in this retrospective: works on paper, photography, and film to kinetic sculptures and large installations. Horn's work is explored in its many facets in various rooms of the Kunstforum, including the basement, where feature-length films by the artist can also be seen. She is a filmmaker, poet, printmaker, activist, performer, sculptor and installation artist.
Horn created sculptures that seem to come to life and become more and more independent over time. The viewer of the works is involved in the action. It is said that kinetic art, limited by its programs and unlike painting and sculpture, cannot be renewed once seen. Horn's work is irrefutable proof that this is not true.
Her interest is in the interaction between object or actor, between viewer and space - in Rebecca Horn's words, "There are only participants" (Carl Haenlein, "Rebecca Horn. The Glance of Infinity"). (written by Cem Angeli)
Tee exhibition runs until January 23, 2022https://www.kunstforumwien.at