*1970 in Stuttgart, DE
lives and works in Berlin
Vanessa Henn studied at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart from 1992 to 2001, with Joan Jonas, among others, with one-year visits to the academies in Edinburgh and Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2002 she had a scholarship from the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, in 2004 at the ceeac in Strasbourg, and in autumn 2005 she had a work scholarship at the Cité des Arts in Paris.
Vanessa Henn’s installations and objects combine formal reduction and playful wit; she draws her motifs from everyday culture and from her perceptive observation of public space and the situations that result in it. She is particularly interested in various functional and stylistic elements in architecture that serve to guide and regulate the flow of public space, such as pedestrian bridges, railings, and signposts.
She has attracted the attention of a wider audience with her works based on industrially manufactured handrails, which create colorful trails through the exhibition spaces and along the walls. Works of this kind have become almost a kind of trademark for Henn, and they skillfully blur the boundaries between painting, sculpture, and installation. All these more or less functional elements of urban furnishings develop in her hands into a game filled with associations with one recurring theme: the path, moving from one place to another, a treasure trove of sensory and narrative experiences that can constantly be decoded anew and presented.