*1970 in Stuttgart, DE
Lives and works in Berlin.
Vanessa Henn studied at the Stuttgart Academy from 1992 to 2001 with Joan Jonas, among others, and in between made one-year trips to the academies in Edinburgh and Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2002 she received a scholarship from the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, in 2004 at the ceeac in Strasbourg, and in autumn 2005 she received a working scholarship at the Cité des Arts in Paris.
In her installations and objects, Vanessa Henn combines formal reduction and playful wit, the motifs of which she draws from everyday culture and from a keen observation of public space and the situations that arise in it. She is particularly interested in the various functional and stylistic elements belonging to architecture that serves to direct and regulate the flow of the public – such as walkways, railings, or signposts.
She has already made herself known to a broader public through her work from industrially manufactured stair handrails, which draw their colorful paths through the exhibition rooms and along the walls. Works of this kind have almost become a kind of trademark for Henn and skilfully blur the boundaries between image, sculpture, and room installation. All these more or less functional elements of street furniture unfold under their hands a game rich in associations, but in which one theme recurs: the way, the movement from one place to another, to break down a treasure trove of sensual and narrative experiences to be discovered again and again and to show.