Anna Fiegen


*1981 in Coesfeld
2001–2011 Academy of Fine Arts Münster, master class Michael van Ofen
  Lives and works in Berlin

Grants / Scholarships

2018 Goldrausch female artist project, Berlin
2008 Summer Studio: Residency + Solo Exhibition, Kunstverein Greven

Solo exhibitions

2019 Randzone, GASAG Kunstraum Mitte, Berlin
2018 Utopia war gestern, Galerie Art-Eck, Solingen-Gräfrath
2014 transit, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2013 unverortet, Kleine Galerie Stadt Eberswalde
  um die Ecke, Galerie ArtEck, Solingen-Gräfrath
2012 noch nicht mehr, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Berlin
  entschleunigung, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2010 irgendwann, Kunstverein Dülmen
  danach, Galerie Kabuth, Gelsenkirchen
2009 landscapes, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
2008 Sommeratelier, Kunstverein Greven

Group exhibitions

2021 Utopien mit Schatten, studiomauer im Rahmen des Architekturspaziergangs INS BLAUE, Hannover
2020 vom Wesen der Dinge, Galerie ArtEck, Solingen
  Territorien, SCOTTY Projektraum, Berlin
  40 in 40, Kleine Galerie Eberswalde, Museum Eberswalde
2019 Dimension of space, Kunsthaus Essen
  querbeet 8, Kunstmix Galerie, Bremen
  HAPPINESS, Kabinett 25, Berlin
  Painting Painting Painting, Raum Vollreinigung, Berlin
  von Steinen und Beton, Galerie Z22, Berlin
  Deep Surface, Winterrundgang 2019, Halle 14, Spinnerei Leipzig
2018 Transformation, Enter Art Foundation, Bunker K101, Köln
  Archipelago, Goldrausch Künstlerinnen 2018, Reinbeckhallen Berlin
  Instant Interior, im Rahmen des Ortstermin Moabit, Händel-Pavillon, Berlin
  querbeet VII, Produzentengalerie kunstmix, Bremen
2017 10 Jahre, Kunstverein Neukölln e. V., Berlin
  Kunst in der Region, DA Kunsthaus Kloster Gravenhorst, Hörstel im Kreis Steinfurt
  Awagami International Mini Print Exhibition (A.I.M.P.E.), Tokushima, Japan
  Concrete Dance, Kunstvoll Gallery, Hamburg
  HAPPILAND - a country not far from utopia, SCOTTY, Berlin
2016 Betreten der Grünfläche auf eigene Gefahr!, Galerie Hoffmann Contemporary, Rheda-Wiedenbrück
  Radierung, Galerie Schneeberger, Münster
  DUST, Schillerpalais Neukölln, Berlin
  Collective Identity, Greskewitz Kleinitz Galerie, Hamburg
2015 Nachts allein im Atelier (II), Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg
  Weiterreichung, Kunstverein Neukölln e. V., Berlin
2014 Notausgang am Horizont - 8. Bremer Kunstfrühling, BBK Bremen
  Stranden Sie bitte nicht!, nachtspeicher23 e. V., Hamburg


Washed modernity

When architecture is brought into the picture, this is usually done in the medium of photography - apart from simulations of building projects by 3-D programs. Anna Fiegen's paintings are also based on photographs. Often she has taken them herself, on forays through cities, either in Berlin or while traveling, or she uses templates from books or the Internet. In her paintings, she usually shows us individual buildings isolated in a barren environment. However, they are not buildings that one would expect to find in the open countryside, but seem to have been cut out of an urban context.

The absence of people and the abstractly reduced scenery radiate something unreal and dreamlike, reminiscent of the motifs of Giorgio de Chirico, whom Anna Fiegen certainly cites as a model. The buildings in her latest paintings are mostly stereometric structures inspired by buildings of brutalist modernism or its present-day 'successor'. They are mostly well-known buildings, but, reduced to their basic stereometric bodies, they have been stripped of all references to their practical function and have become, as it were, sculptures in public space.

Comparisons between modern architecture and sculpture are not new. As early as 1966, Dan Graham drew an analogy between the uniformly repetitive structures of suburban houses in New Jersey and the serial sculptural formations of Minimal Art based on industrial materials in his project "Homes for America," published in the form of a newspaper article.

There is a comparability here to Anna Fiegen's approach in that a critique of modern architecture is not presented unilaterally, but a moment of strangeness or psychological and social 'alienation' is expressed aesthetically rather than as a real situation. If her painting contains a critique of architecture, it is not directed at the formal, but at the fact that not every successful form leads to a successful architectural environment. What looks impressive on paper or on canvas can also fail impressively as a building in or with which one has to live. Thus Anna Fiegen also repeatedly puts Le Corbusier's "housing machines" into the picture, some of which - despite their architect's utopian intentions - became problematic social hotspots.

The aesthetic 'critique' is also presented in a painterly differentiated manner. When David Chipperfield's narrow, multi-story concrete building in Düsseldorf's Medienhafen is "washed" - the title of the 2017 painting - it refers on the one hand to the cult of purity of modernism perpetuated by Chipperfield; on the other hand, to the fact that there are no building elements that look as quickly outdated as geometrically clear, white facades, because on them one immediately notices any dirt. The paint running down the picture acts as the complementary contrast to the accumulating dirt, which follows the trail of the - possibly acidic - rain flowing down the facades.

At the same time, by stripping the buildings placed in the picture of their practical function and presenting them, as it were, as sculptures, Anna Fiegen also performs a kind of formal purification.

Film and photography theorist André Bazin has asserted, "All the arts are founded on the presence of man; only in photography do we enjoy his absence." Anna Fiegen shows us that Bazin was not entirely right; painting can also take advantage of this. In her work, the reduction and emptying of both architectural forms and pictorial space is contrasted with a strong psychological compression, a surreally heightened 'mood' that results not least from the complete absence of human actors.

Ludwig Seyfarth