Alexandra Bircken Born in 1967 in Remscheid, Germany | Lives and works in Köln


Alexandra Bircken

Alexandra Bircken
Foto: Thomas Brinkmann

The Cologne artist Alexandra Bircken originally worked as a fashion designer. However, her jewelry and articles of clothing developed into independent creations that defied any practical use. As a consequence, an artistic concept has come into being since 2004 that has taken a very unique position in contemporary sculpture. She has developed a process that is motivated by the material and is formulated out of the material

Her objects and installations bear witness to an immense sensitivity and understanding of working with natural materials like twigs and stones, but also in working with industrially produced materials like wool, nylon stockings, rope, or artificial materials like polyester wadding. She mounts and combines these into objects that are presented as individual sculptures or in assemblages as installations. The operations that went into creating these objects are perceptively comprehensible and imprinted in the work. The weaving, crocheting, knitting, sewing, tearing, and folding imbue them with a distinctive aesthetic.

Through the combination of the elements, materials, and workmanship techniques, the material is ennobled and contextually shifted, placing the expectations of materiality and its perception in question and shifting the view of reality.


1995-1997 Eigenes Modelabel “Faridi” (mit Alexander Faridi), London, Great Britain
1991-1995 BA Fashion, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London, Great Britain
1990-1991 Fine Art Foundation, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London, Great Britain

Solo exhibitions (selection)

2010 Blondie, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Colonge
2009 Alles muss raus!, BQ, Berlin
Crossings, Herald St, London, Great Britain
2008 Units, Docking Station, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2007 Holz, Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA
2006 BQ, Colonge
2005 Herald St, London, Great Britain
2004 BQ, Colonge

Group exhibitions (selection)

2011 Skulpturales Handeln, Haus der Kunst, Munich
EINS PLUS EINS, M.1 Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung, Hohenlockstedt
Wash, then dance, Tinderbox, Hamburg
Suspense. Suspended Sculptures, EX3 Centre for Contemporary Art, Florenz, Italy
2010 Kimmerich, New York, USA
Neues Rheinland. Eine postironische Generation, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Undone, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, Great Britain
Rive droite / Rive gauche, Paris, France
SPOT ON 05, Museum Kunst Palast, DĂĽsseldorf
The same sight slighter, Renwick Gallery, New York, USA
Feint Art, Kunstverein Freiburg
2009 The Long Dark, The International 3, Manchester, Great Britain
2008 Brussels Biennial, BrĂĽssel, Belgium
Borders, Museum Boijmans Van Beunigen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
View 14: Hooking up, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, USA
Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican Art Gallery, London, Great Britain
Paradies und zurĂĽck, Sammlung Rheingold in Schloss Dyck
Anti-Baby Pille, Aktualisierungsraum, Hamburg
2007Unmonumental, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, USA
Hope and Despair, Cell Project Space, London, Great Britain
Common Threads, Charlottestown Confederation Center, Charlottestown; Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary, Canada
Um-Kehrungen, Kunstverein Braunschweig
L’Homme nu, Volume 2/3: L’Homme et son environnement, Maison Populaire, Montreuil, France