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About Lena Henke

Born: 1982, Warburg, Germany

Lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Germany


2004–2010: Academy of Fine Arts, Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main.
2008-2009: Erasmus Exchange Program, Master of Multidisciplinary Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland

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Lena Henke

Practice: sculpture / installation

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 Of particular interest with regard to Lena Henke's work is her emphasis on materials made to function as podiums or pedestals while equally fulfilling theoretical or visual roles.

A billowing swathe of solidified 'fabric', for example, perches precariously on flimsy-looking plastic containers - apparently defying not only gravity but the logistics of load-bearing.

In a recent installation at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, simple metal chairs formed a platform for large epoxy panels, their presence adroitly referencing the institutional nature of the Kunstverein (a literal art platform) while providing visual counterpoint to the jet-black, roughened sheeting perched above them.

In yet another approach to the physical presentation of sculpture, the intriguingly titled 'Carla Bruni' is supported by the ceiling as well as the floor, wedged into position between opposed horizontal surfaces.

And in pieces echoing Vladimir Tatlin's influential 'corner reliefs', two photographic panels meet across walls (this elegant modernist revision of the traditional wall mount is enjoying something of a resurgence, having also featured in recent work by Hugh Scott-Douglas, among other artists).

In fact, few of Henke's works are free-standing or self-supporting in an obvious sense, but manifest improbable or unusual tensions in their occupation of space, subtly revising a patriarchal tradition of plinth and pedestal to produce unusually individual, challenging sculpture.

Added Feb 2012

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