Sabine Dehnel

15. July 2018 to 07. August 2018

Sabine Dehnel (b. 1971 in Ludwigshafen) is a conceptual and multimedia artist living and working in Berlin. Her work, which was on view at the MKdW in the exhibition Reload! Traditional Costumes – Art – Fashion, tends to be created in a direct interplay of photography, painting, and set design. The human figure is central to her artistic practice, yet she doesn’t show it as a complete, individual being but, rather, usually from the hips down, seen from behind as a half portrait, or as a bust portrait.


In these partial portrayals the figures operate in spaces which at first glance seem real. Upon closer inspection, however, we recognise that the people depicted are quite real, but their surroundings are not. The environments are the work of the artist and the trompe-l’oeil effect is heightened by the flesh-colour painted bodies which Sabine Dehnel usually drapes in self-created clothes. With this hierarchy-free combination of painting, photography, and built sceneries the artist is able to skilfully dissolve the boundary between reality and fiction and produce an optical illusion that requires you to look again and again, resulting in gradual realisation.