Since 2000, Anne Wenzel has been building an oeuvre of ceramics, fearlessly diverting its tradition into remarkable sculptures with a brutal sense of decay. Drawing her inspiration from art-history, Wenzel is intrigued by the symbolic language behind heroism and violence, and the extravagant spectacle that tends to accompany these subjects. Her sculptures are often described as modern-day Vanitas, subsequently undermining their own heroic aura. When looking at Wenzel’s sculptures of people and animals, is it as if witnessing some horrific event taking place. In contrast, her apocalyptic landscapes show the dreadfully calm remains of an action, rather than the action itself. In her new series of work, Wenzel focuses more on the language that lurks behind the heroism of war memorials. Her monumental florals and wreaths, a universal symbol for celebration and the commemoration of war, are frozen in a state of decay. She unmasks the monument and, through the medium of clay — which she uses unconventionally and without regard to national borders – shows that all ideologies and even personifications of power display identical stylistic and linguistic characteristics.
Anne Wenzel (1972, Schlütdorf, Germany) studied at the Academy for Visual Arts in Enschede (NL). Her work is currently on display at a.o. CERAMIX at Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht and will later go to Maison Rouge, Paris. Starting February 20th, Wenzel will have an exhibition at Void Contemporary Art Gallery, Derry (solo). Previous solo shows include Rijksmuseum Twenthe (2015); TENT Rotterdam (curated by Daria de Beauvais, 2014); Villa Roth, Germany (2010), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010); Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch (2008); Kunstvereniging Diepenheim (2007); Buro Leeuwarden (2006) and The Agency, London (2006). Wenzel participated in group exhibitions at a.o. Hetjens Museum Düsseldorf (2015); Bornholm Art Museum (European Ceramic Context, 2014); Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (Collection Presentation, 2013); Stedelijk Museum ’s Hertogenbosch (Collection presentation, 2013); Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (Collection Presentation, 2013); Carré St-Anne, Montpellier (‘Sign of the times’ curated by Richard Leydier, 2013); La Galerie des Galeries (‘Into the Woods’ curated by Daria de Beauvai); Fondation Ricard, Paris (2011); Shepparton Art Gallery—award (2010), Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent (2008) and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2007). Her works are in many private and public collections, including Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch, S.M.A.K Ghent, and Frac Auvergne. Wenzel is one of the artists filmed for the ongoing series ‘Dutch Masters of the 21st Century’. She lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.