Cosima von Bonin
°1962, Mombassa (KE) – lives and works in Cologne (DE)
Since she started working as an artist at the end of the 1980s, von Bonin has made many different kinds of work: she uses an enormous range of media, including sculpture, installation, fabric images, murals, photography, and film. She not only presents her work in solo exhibitions but also collaborates with other artists, organizes group projects, produces videos and performances, throws parties, and performs as a DJ. From the beginning, her work countered the celebration of individual mastery in the flourishing art market of the 1980s with a strategy of collective production that leaves room for all kinds of influences and ideas.
Von Bonin defamiliarizes everyday objects by manipulating their proportions, altering their materiality and texture, or questioning our sense of their reality. Artistic creation is understood as something intermeshed with all kinds of cultural and social reflections. Personal experiences also make up part of this web, in a way that is often impossible for viewers to follow.
Von Bonin’s exhibitions and room-filling installations deliberately can’t be understood in terms of the expressive single work. Attempts to explain every detail of her work are usually bound to fail and besides not something the artist wants. In spite of that, however, her repertoire of images, which always also has an ironic and playful note, is filled with allusions and cross-references to art and popular culture. These easily recognizable references make it straightforward to establish certain associations, but in the search for meaning, you are usually left to your own devices.
(courtesy of MUMOK, Vienna)
Cosima von Bonin – Killer whale with long eyelashes (School desk version), 2018
Cosima von Bonin – Hermit Crab, 2018
Cosima von Bonin – Ohne Titel (fence), 2000
Cosima von Bonin – Ohne Titel (champignon no.78), 2004
Cosima von Bonin – What if it barks 7 (Coffee pot version), 2018
Cosima von Bonin – Untitled (The Grey Saint Bernard With Box), 2006
Cosima von Bonin – Smoke, 2008-2011
Cosima von Bonin – Rorschachtest no.3, 2006
Cosima von Bonin – Killer whale with long eyelashes (Rhino version), 2018
Cosima von Bonin’s solo exhibitions include Kunsthaus Bregenz; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Arnolfini, Bristol; MAMCO, Geneva; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Sculpture Center, New York; MUMOK, Vienna; and MoCA, Los Angeles. Group shows include MoMA, New York; Les Abbatoirs, Toulouse; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Tate, Liverpool. Von Bonin also participated in Documenta XII, Kassel. Her work is included in many notable collections worldwide, including the Tate Britain, London; Museum für Neue Kunst im ZKM, Karlsruhe; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Cosima von Bonin is represented by the following galleries;
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