Lorenza Böttner, Face Art, 1983, digital C-print, 15 3⁄4 × 11 3⁄4".

Lorenza Böttner, Face Art, 1983, digital C-print, 15 3⁄4 × 11 3⁄4".

Lorenza Böttner

Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart

If you visited the Kassel iteration of Documenta 14, chances are that the exhibition marked your first encounter with the work of Lorenza Böttner (known simply as Lorenza), an armless transgender artist active in Europe and the United States from the late 1970s until her death in 1994. Chances are also good that you, like me, were floored by what you saw. Installed in the Neue Galerie, two vitrines filled primarily with photographs occupied one space, while a dramatically hung, monumentally scaled self-portrait on unstretched canvas, which the artist painted, as the wall text explained, with her feet, took center stage in another. That same painting, which had in fact debuted at what was then Gesamthochschule Kassel in 1984 as part of Lorenza’s senior thesis, occupied a similarly breathtaking position in the exhibition “Lorenza Böttner. Requiem for the Norm,” mounted by curator, writer,

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