Artwork Detail

Little Crazy Column
German, b. 1948
Reflective glass and holographic foil on fiberboard support
102 3/8 x 12 3/16 x 12 3/16 "
University purchase, Charles H. Yalem Art Fund, 2003
WU 2003.0004.0001
Isa Genzken works with a wide spectrum of materials, and her oeuvre includes sculpture, film, video, installation, painting, and photography. However, the touchstone of her artistic practice has always been sculpture, reflecting her ongoing interest in the connections among art, architecture, and the urban environment. "Little Crazy Column" and "Bill II" (WU 2003.0004.0002) are paradigmatic of this interest. Each a slender column reaching upward, they mimic the slick appearance of the modern skyscraper on a miniature scale. Covered with mirrors, holographic foil, neon-colored tape, and, in the case of "Bill II", photographs of food taken from magazines, they incorporate cheap, ephemeral, and almost vulgar-seeming material. The mirrors return the gaze of the viewer, turning an encounter with one’s own image into part of the artwork. The effect is one of fluidity and instability that brings modernist architecture back to a human scale and allows for an exchange on equal footing, albeit one that fragments the viewing subjects and fractures the world around them. [Exhibition brochure text, 2013]