Anna Oppermann

Galerie Barbara Thumm

“Somewhere in this world, complexity must still be valued.” Anna Oppermann (1940–1993) wrote these words midway through a brief yet prolific career during which she endured the disdain of many critics perplexed by the large, unruly installations she called “ensembles.” Consisting of hundreds of photographs, drawings, annotations, found objects, and scraps of paper, these works, meant to change every time they are shown, seem to unflinchingly portray an obsessive impulse to accumulate words and images in a chaotic and hermetic manner. But despite a position of relative marginality—partly due to the failure of her work to adhere to a recognizable genre or movement but also a product of the condition of being a female artist confronting the masculine ethos of postwar German art—she could count among her supporters curators of major international exhibitions including Documenta and the Venice

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