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Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen

Lena Henke

My Fetish Years

Lena Henke (born 1982) receives on September 27th 2019 the 8th Siegen Promotional Award of the Rubens Prize. The award includes prize money of € 5,000 as well as an exhibition and a publication. The exhibition “My Fetish Years” at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, which opens on the day of the award ceremony, provides an overview of ten years of artistic production.

Lena Henke. My Fetish Years, Exhibition view, MGKSiegen, Lena Henke, My Trust, Your Trust, 2019, Courtesy the artist, Emanuel Layr Gallery Vienna, Bortolami New York, Photo: Gunnar Meier

A bright yellow shape made from weather-resistant synthetic rubber – a sleeping elephant as well as postmodern architecture; a bright red hoof made of Forton, alternating between a horse's foot, a tree trunk and a brick; a sculptural family group cast in deep purple rubber – simutaneously a portrait of a collection of figurative 20th century sculpture.

Lena Henke (born 1982 in Warburg, Germany, currently lives and works in New York) often arranges her diverse sculptural works in space-consuming installations. Her works of art are reminiscent of urban planning and Land Art; they address themes such as interpersonal relationships, sexuality, and fetishism. Henke always infiltrates the patriarchal structures of art history in a quirky manner, often with a humorous undertone. Employing strategies of intervention, appropriation and control, the artist examines her work in relation to herself and her family environment. Her formal language contains references to Minimalism, which she combines with surrealist motifs. In this way Henke investigates street life and explores the ideas of urban planners and urban theorists such as Jane Jacobs, Roberto Burle Marx and Robert Moses.

The exhibition “My Fetish Years” at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen was the most comprehensive solo exhibition to date of the Rubens Promotional Award winner and provided an overview of ten years of artistic production. The catalogue “Lena Henke. My Fetish Years”, which appeared in January 2020, can be aquired in the Museum Shop.

1 Article to explore, 1 Publication and 1 Work in the collection