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Basic Data

Rebecca Horn is one of the most recognized contemporary artists today. Her multifaceted oeuvre is composed of various artistic disciplines. Among them are drawing, sculpture, performance, photography, film and kinetic installation.

  • Born: 24 March 1944
  • Place of birth: Michelstadt, Hesse
  • Nationality: German
  • Studied at: University of Fine Arts of Hamburg
  • Similar Artists: Hanne Darboven
  • Era: Postmodernism
  • Stylistic direction: Fluxus, happening
  • Medium: Performance, installation, video, sculpture



Childhood and studies

Rebecca Horn was born on March 24, 1944 in the Hessian Michelstadt. During her childhood, she came into contact with art. Through several books, drawing lessons, and her uncle, who was an artist, she decided early on to pursue artistic path. She attended a boarding school and began to study economics after her graduation, in order to take over the family’s textile factory. However, this she broke off after half a year. Then she applied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg and began to study art and philosophy.

In addition to her studies, she took issue with numerous writings of Locus Solus, Kafka, Pasolini, Jean Genet and numerous other authors. This influenced her and her art greatly.

In 1967 she created replicas made of glass fibres. Thereupon Horn suffered of pulmonary poisoning. She was hospitalized for one year. Since this incident, she made her sculptures only with organic material. In 1971 the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) granted he  a scholarship for St. Martin’s School of Art in London. There she spent a year. During this time she designed several body-related sculptures.


Teaching activity

In 1972 she moved to the USA and lived in New York until 1981. During this time, she held a position as a visiting professor at the California Art Institute in San Diego. From the early 1980s, she was back in Germany and in 1989 she began teaching at the Universität der bildenden Künste Berlin (UdK).This she practised until 2009. Since 2007 Rebecca Horn lives and works in Berlin and Paris.



Motives und Themes

Since the 1970s Rebecca Horn assembled her work with different media like installations, performances, drawings, films and sculptures. In 1972, she participated at documenta 5, which was headed by Harald Szeemann. She was the youngest of the participating artists. During that time she made numerous body-related sculptures. The theme of this sculptures were field extensions and renewals. Her first body-related sculpture was in 1968 Arm-Extensions.

For Horn, it was really important that the viewer found out a new experience of space. She provided herself to make these experiences possible. Her own body became an experiment.

The years in America influenced Horn enormously. She lived in New York in SoHo district where she was part of the American Fluxus movement. From there on, performances and actions were her common artist repertoire. Horn also made numerous films in addition to her performance art. In her artistic career she received several prizes for them. Among others, she was awarded with the Deutscher Kritikerpreis for her film Unter dem Wasser schlafen und Dinge sehen, die sich in weiter Ferne abspielen in 1975. Her films were accompanied with poetic and psychological sequences so that they got some momentum.

Horn’s works changed over the time. Her body-related works had been replaced by acting alive sculptures such as Pfauenmaschine in 1979/80. Kinetic art replaced the body-related art.

She was part of documenta 5, 6, 7 and 9. In 1986 she was awarded with the documenta prize in Kassel.

In 1987 she designed the Zwinger in Münster in a memorial against Nazi violence. For her exhibition Skulptur-Projekte Horn helped with the sculpture Das gegenläufige Konzert to change the Zwinger in an interesting place for the public.

Through her art Horn wanted to attract the viewer, but then dissociate him again. She used boundaries between space and time to direct the viewer. Body and distance characterized horns entire oeuvre. She used various mechanisms and alienated perspectives. One example is the work Concert for Anarchy from 1990. In this a piano is inversely from the wall. 

In 1994, Rebecca Horn was the first woman which had a retrospective solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. This was one of the highlights of Horns career. The exhibition with her oeuvre was later shown again in the National Gallery in Berlin and at the Kunsthalle Wien.



Current exhibitions

  • 28.09.21 – 23.01.22 Rebecca Horn – Kunstforum Wien, Vienna.
  • 15.09.21 – 15.08.22 In die Weite - Aspekte jüdischen Lebens in Deutschland – Kolumba Kunstmuseum.
  • 30.07.21 – 02.02.22 The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, IMMA: 30 Years of the Global – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.
  • 14.10.21 – 13.02.22 Nothing is Lost - Art and Matter in Transformation – GAMeC Bergamo.


Past exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

  • 2019 Rebecca Horn. Theatre of Metamorphoses - Centre Pompidou-Metz, Paris
  • 2019 Rebecca Horn - Body Fantasies - Museum Tinguely, Basel
  • 2018 Rebecca Horn: Glowing Core – St. Hedwigs Kathedrale, Berlin
  • 2017 Rebecca Horn – Hauchkörper als Lebenszyklus – Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg
  • 2016 German video art in the Russian Museum – Rebecca Horn – The State Russian Museum – Marble Palace, St. Petersburg
  • 2014 The Vertebrae Oracle – Sean Kelly Gallery, New York City     
  • 2013 The Chemical Wedding in Istanbul – Galerie Artist, Istanbul
  • 2012 Federn tanzen auf den Schultern – Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen
  • 2011 Crickets Song – Baldwin Gallery, Aspen
  • 2009 Rebellion in Silence – Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
  • 2009 Sunrise – Galerie Marie Laure Fleisch, Rome
  • 2008 Cosmic Maps – Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
  • 2007 Jupiter im Oktogon – Museum Wiesbaden
  • 2006 Treasures – Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
  • 2005 Twilight Transit – Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
  • 2003 Dancing Canvases – Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin
  • 2002 Herzschatten – Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
  • 2001 Rebecca Horn – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
  • 1999 REBECCA HORN. MOTION PICTURE – The Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw
  • 1998 Spiegel der Nacht – Synagoge Stommeln, Cologne
  • 1997 The Glance of Infinity – Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover
  • 1996 Seufzer der Steine – Galerie Franck & Schulte, Berlin
  • 1995 Rebecca Horn – Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble
  • 1994 Rebecca Horn – Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  • 1993 Rebecca Horn – Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
  • 1992 La Lune Rebelle – Galerie de France, Paris
  • 1991 High Moon – Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
  • 1990 Diving through Buster’s Bedroom – Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • 1989 Missing Full Moon – Artsite Gallery, Bath
  • 1988 An Art Circus – Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
  • 1987 Plötzlich tauche Buster Keaton als George Washington getarnt in der Bucht auf – Galerie Konrad Fischer, Berlin
  • 1986 The Gold Rush – Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
  • 1986 Die sizilianische Palastreise – Theater am Steinhof, Vienna
  • 1985 The Golden Waterfall – Galerie Eric Franck, Geneva
  • 1984 Rebecca Horn – Serpentine Gallery, London
  • 1982 Rebecca Horn. Zeichnungen. Objekte. Filme – Kunsthaus, Zurich
  • 1979 Dialogue Between Two Swings – Gallerie Salvatore Ala, Milan
  • 1978 Die Eintänzer – Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover; Stedeijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster
  • 1977 Zeichnungen, Objekte, Video, Filme – Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
  • 1976 The Chinese Fiancée and Other Works – Galerie René Block, New York
  • 1975 Rebecca Horn – Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
  • 1974 Dreaming under Water – Galerie René Block, New York
  • 1973 Körperraum – Galrie René Block, Berlin


Group exhibitions

  • 2021 FEMALE FAME - Erika Hock im Skulpturenmuseum - Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl
  • 2020 Rebecca Horn & Antonio Paucar - Time Goes By - ifa-Galerie Berlin
  • 2020 Memory – Akbank Art Center, Istanbul
  • 2019 Schluss - Schau Fenster, Berlin
  • 2019 Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now - Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
  • 2019 The Assembled Human – Museum Folkwang, Essen
  • 2019 Travelling the World – Art from Germany – Kapana Gallery, Plovdiv
  • 2018 Bildhauerinnen. Von Kollwitz bis Genzken - Museen Heilbronn - Museum im Deutschhof / Kunsthalle Vogelmann
  • 2018 Beyond Borders - Boghossian Foundation - Villa Empain, Brussels
  • 2018 THE ART OF RECOLLECTING - G2 Kunsthalle Leipzig
  • 2017 Restless Gestures - Works from the Hubert Looser Collection - The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo
  • 2017 Infinite Garden. From Giverny to Amazonia - Centre Pompidou-Metz
  • 2016 An der Oberfläche_On Surface - Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg
  • 2015 KUNST FÜR ALLE. Multiples, Grafiken, Aktionen aus der Sammlung Staeck – Akademie der Künste, Berlin
  • 2014 Spuren der Moderne – Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
  • 2013 44. Art Basel, Basel
  • 2012 Asche und Gold. Eine Weltenreise – MARTa Herford, Herford
  • 2011 42. Art Basel, Basel
  • 2010 9. Art Basel, Miami Beach
  • 2009 elles@centrepompidou – Centre Pompidou, Paris
  • 2008 Von Gerhard Richter bis Rebecca Horn. Werke aus der Sammlung Zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
  • 2007 Stichwort Gegenwart – Ludwig-Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen
  • 2006 37. Art Basel, Basel
  • 2005 (my private) HEROES – MARTa Herford, Herford
  • 2004 Gegenwelten. Das 20. Jahrhundert – Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  • 2001 Selected Works – Galerie Jamileh Weber, Zurich
  • 2000 Beauty Now – Haus der Kunst, Munich
  • 1998 Der unendliche Raum dehnt sich aus – Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden
  • 1996 Zeitströmungen – Sprengelmuseum, Hanover
  • 1994 Das Jahrhundert des Multiple. Von Marcel Duchamp bis zur Gegenwart – Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
  • 1992 A Changing Group Exhibition – Marian Goodman Gallery
  • 1990 Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit – Ausstellungsprojekt in Ost und West, Berlin
  • 1989 Magiciens de la terre – Centre Pompidou, Paris
  • 1987 Die Gleichzeitigkeit des Anderen – Kunstmuseum, Bern
  • 1985 The European Iceberg – Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • 1982 Sydney Biennale, Sydney
  • 1980 Deutscher Pavillon - Biennale di Venezia, Venice
  • 1977 documenta 6, Kassel
  • 1976 Made in Berlin – Galerie René Block, New York
  • 1975 Körpersprache – Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
  • 1974 Kunst bleibt Kunst – Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
  • 1973 Kunst aus Photografie – Kunstverein, Hanover 1972 documenta 5, Kassel





  • 2019 Grand Cross of Merit with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2017 Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize, Duisburg
  • 2016 Pour le Mérite for sciences and arts
  • 2012 Austrian decoration for science and art
  • 2010 Praemium Imperale, Japan Art Association
  • 2006 Piepenbrock Preis für Skulptur, Berlin
  • 2004 The Barnett and Annalee Newman Award, New York
  • 1994 Berliner Bär B.Z.-Kulturpreis, Berlin
  • 1993 Kunstpreis, Darmstadt
  • 1992 Medienkunstpreis, Karlsruhe
  • 1992 Kaiserring der Stadt Goslar
  • 1988 Carnegie Prize, Pittsburgh
  • 1986 Arnold-Bode-Preis, Kassel
  • 1979 Kunstpreis der Böttcherstraße, Bremen
  • 1977 Kunstpreis Glockengasse, Cologne
  • 1975 Deutscher Kritikerpreis, Berlin



  • Moon Mirror Journey, Rebecca Horn, Germany 2011, ’72.
  • Cutting Through the Past, Rebecca Horn, Germany 1995, ’55.
  • Buster’s Bedroom, Rebecca Horn, Germany/Canada 1990, ’104.
  • La Ferdianda. Sonate für eine Medici-Villa, Rebecca Horn, Germany 1981, ’85.
  • Die Eintänzer, Rebecca Horn, Germany 1978, ’47.
  • Einhorn, Rebecca Horn, Germany 1970, ’12.



  • Das Maribor Projekt: Rebecca Horn und Gäste, Ausstellungskatalog, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Göttingen 2013.
  • Rebecca Horn. Love and Hate, exhibition catalogue, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg 2008.
  • Rebecca Horn. Bodylandscapes, exhibition catalogue, Kunstsammlung NRW Düsseldorf, Ostfildern 2004.
  • Rebecca Horn. Light imprisoned in the belly of the whale, exhibition catalogue, Palais de Tokyo Paris, Ostfildern 2003.


Own writings

  • Rebecca Horn, Das Wirbelsäulen Orakel, Ostfildern 2014.
  • Rebecca Horn, in: Rebecca Horn. Love and Hate, exhibition catalogue, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg 2008.
  • Rebecca Horn, Notebook Samarkand 2001, Berlin 2001.           
  • Rebecca Horn, Tailleur du Coeur, Zurich/Berlin/New York 1999.
  • Rebecca Horn, La Lune Rebelle, Ostfildern 1993.









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