Katharina Maderthaner

Germany, 1982 – Lives and works in Düsseldorf

Other works
Artist website

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The artistic work of Katharina Maderthaner finds inspiration in some bizarre situations of everyday life that the artist calls “banal” or “ordinary.” “Artificial plants with which some people try to give a touch of green into dusty offices, the faux marble covering floors and tables of public places that try to simulate a nonexistent luxury, websites or advertising flyer with common background pattern trying to imitate avant-garde design … “ situations like these ones are perceived by Maderthaner as a taste or a sound, triggering the need to rework the experience through a work of synthesis and sublimation, up to the creation of something new , completely devoid of any pretense of social criticism; artworks reminiscent of something you think you know, arousing in the viewer a discomfort of déjà-vu. In this sense, Maderthaner realizes in her artworks a passage between true and simulated, between original and imitation, between good and bad taste, transforming one into another, and blurring the boundaries, so prodigiously opening a door to the perception of an unexpected beauty.



Born in 1982 in Meerbusch
Lives and works in Düsseldorf in Germany

2009 – 2014 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, in the class of Richard Deacon
2013 honored student (Meisterschülerin) of Richard Deacon
2005 – 2009 Bergischen Universität Wuppertal

2016 Travel fellowship Armenien/Georgien, Frauenkulturbüro NRW
2015 Kunstfonds Arbeitsstipendium, Stiftung Kunstfonds
2015 Dr. Dormagen-Guffanti-Stipendium of the City Cologne
2011 Travel grant, Forum für Neue Kunst Etaneno, Namibia (in cooperation with the Museum für Neue Kunst Freiburg)

since 2018 lecturer at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf for sculpture at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, basic year (Orientierungsbereich)
since 2018 artistic assistant, Department of Architecture, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
2013/14 lecturer at Universität Siegen, Department Art
2014 lecturer at Kunsthochschule Mainz

CURATORY WORK (selection)

Since 2019 artistic and curatorial program of the exhibition space NKR – NEUER KUNSTRAUM (together with C. Schreckenberger, A. Schülke & D. Klepsch)

Since 2010 co-founder of the exhibition space RAUM FÜR VOLLENDETE TATSACHEN, Düsseldorf (together with Christian Schreckenberger)

2015 – 16 Curator, Q18 / Quartier am Hafen, Köln


UNITED, Studio 20, Yerevan, Armenia

Ouverture, Galerie Alber, Cologne, Germany
Hallraum/Gasthof Worringer Platz, Düsseldorf
Performance in 5 Geschmacksrichtungen (zur Sicherung des Weltfriedens), Baustelle Schaustelle, Düsseldorf

Chi dice A, deve anche dire B, Piazza San Francesco d´Assisi, Palermo Art Verona, Gallery Rizzuto Palermo
Hallraum/Gasthof Worringer Platz, Düsseldorf

Miracoli!, Gallery Rizzuto, Palermo, Italien
Fischers Fritze (fischt frische Fische), Armenia, Yerevan (as part of the International Exchange program Frauenkulturbüro NRW)
What would you do? Bruch & Dallas, Cologne, Germany

World Wide Wunder, final exhibition of the scholarship Dr. Dormagen Guffanti, Cologne, Germany

Vanilla Kisses, Kunstraum Gagarin, Düsseldorf, Germany

maybe, Kunstverein Trier, Germany
GO FOR IT, Künstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf, Germany

You are welcome, Ringstube Mainz, Germany


DEACON – MADERTHANER, Museo Riso, Palermo
Editions: Richard Deacon – Katharina Maderthaner, RIZZUTOGALLERY, Palermo
Très Chic, Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Germany

ՖՐԻՑ, Ձկնորսի ՈՐԴԻ, Fischers Fritze, Goethe Institut, Yerevan
closer, Posta Portae No.7, Düsseldorf
Open Space, Armenian Art Fair, Yerevan (in cooperation with Frauenkulturbüro NRW)
All you can see, Gallery Rizzuto Nuove Stanze, Gallery Rizzuto, Palermo

short cut, Frost Museum, Miami, USA
Compilation, Welkunstzimmer der HPZ-Stiftung, Düsseldorf
TRÓJKAT, Kulturforum Alte Post, Städtische Galerie Neuss & Polnisches Institut Düsseldorf in cooperation with Fundacja Transporter Kultury
währenddessen regennass…, Künstlerloge, Ratingen
Chi dice A, deve anche dire B, Piazza San Francesco, Palermo (together mit Lucio Pozzi)
Ohne Netz und doppelten Boden, Künstlerhaus Dortmund

Living room II, Artisterium, State Museum of Georgian Literature, Tbilisi, Georgia
Artissima, Rizzuto Gallery, Turin, Italy
DEW 21 Kunstpreis, Dortmunder U
Maderthaner, Mann, Mirbach, Kunstraum der Stadt Düsseldorf
Farbe bekennen, Charity Exhibition for young refugees, Düsseldorf
Edition 16, Baustelle Schaustelle, Essen
Stolli Bolli (together with Jonas Maas, Stephan Engelke & Christian Schreckenberger), Salon d´Auberbilk, Düsseldorf
Grosse Kunstausstellung NRW, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf

World Wide Wunder, Abschlussausstellung des Dr. Dormagen-Guffanti-Stipendiums, Köln
Touch Me, Hebebühne, Wuppertal
Stream Of Consciousness, Werft 77, Kunst im Hafen e.V.
Germany, mon amour!”, Contemporary in Germany, Collection of Luciano Bennetton, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venedig, Italien
Musterdeutung, Kunsthaus NRW, Kornelimünster, Aachen
Gustav-Lübke Museum, Hamm
id.new talents, Köln
sweethearts, Künstlerhaus Dortmund
Ist nicht schlimm, wenn es schnell geht, Faerber Ausstellungsraum, Wuppertal
Grosse Kunstausstellung NRW, Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf

Vanilla Kisses, Kunsraum Gagarin, Düsseldorf (E)
promise and doubt, Galerie AZ, Zagreb
68. Internationale Bergische Kunstausstellung, Museum Baden, Solingen (Kat.)
New Talents, Biennale Cologne, (Kat.)
another place, another space, together, Quadriennale Düsseldorf
risguardi, Libreria Easy Reader, Palermo, IT

float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, Sittart Galerie, Düsseldorf
Kunstsalon, zu Gast bei SPAM, Düsseldorf
Paradise, Galerie Conrads, Düsseldorf
Temporary Museum, Città di Palermo, Sizilien, Italien
Graumenta, Zeitgenössische Positionen aus der Sammlung Grau, Laboratorium Dortmund
NEXT, Grölle pass:projects, Wuppertal

Vollbildmodus, Kunstpavillon der Tiroler Künstlerschaft, Innsbruck (Kat.)
maybe, Kunstverein Trier, Trier, (E)
GO FOR IT, Künstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf (E)
Große Kunstausstellung NRW, Klasse Deacon, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
An den Rändern der Kunst, MAP Markus Ambach Projekte / Single-Bar, Düsseldorf
Editionen, Ringstube, Mainz
Dyssomnia, Hans-Peter-Zimmer-Stiftung, Düsseldorf
22 Fachgeschäfte, Mischpoke Kunstverein, Mönchengladbach
homegrown, Ostrale 2012, Internationale Ausstellung zeitgenössischer Künste, Dresden

Klasse Deacon im Walzwerk, Düsseldorf
YOU ARE WELCOME, Ringstube, Mainz (E)
Sei Single, Single-Bar Düsseldorf
Love & Hate Wuppertal, Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal
Forum für Neue Kunst Etaneno, Ausstellung der Stipendiaten, Namibia (in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Museum für Neue Kunst Freiburg)
Bartlebooth & Smautf, Düsseldorf

speak my language, Grölle pass:projects, Wuppertal
Raum für vollendete Tatsachen, Düsseldorf

CONVERTER, Villa Von Baum, Wuppertal
Kunstcluster, Wuppertal

Performance, Museum Hamm
Club 9, Wuppertal

Kunsthaus NRW, Kornelimünster Aachen
Museum Kunstpalast (Glas Sammlung), Düsseldorf
Sammlung der Outback-Stiftung, Düsseldorf
Sammlung Graumenta, Dortmund/Düsseldorf
Museum im Busch, Etaneno, Namibia, in cooperation with Museum für Neue Kunst Freiburg
Gustav-Lübcke-Museum, Hamm

MOFF, Ausgabe 15, Hrsg. MOFF e.V.
Mein Rheinland, Ausgabe September 2018, Hrsg. Rheinische Post
Neue Düsseldorfer Kunstszene in 70 Porträts, Hg. Helga Meister und Beat Wismer (Museum Kunstpalast), Wienand Verlag, 2016
Neues Glas / New Glass, art & architecture, Uta M. Klotz (Hrsg.), Museum Kunstpalast, Glasmuseum Hentrich, Köln 2015 exclusiv, Katharina Maderthaner, (hrsg. zusammen mit Stiftung Kunstfonds), Düsseldorf 2015
delikat, Katharina Maderthaner, (hrsg. zusammen mit Stiftung Kunstfonds), Düsseldorf 2015
Große Kunstausstellung NRW, Verein zur Veranstaltung von Kunstausstellungen e.V. (Hrsg.), Düsseldorf 2015 68. Internationale Bergische Kunstausstellung, Kunstmuseum Solingen (Hrsg.), Solingen 2014
New Talents, Biennale Cologne No.4, Die Neue Sachlichkeit, Köln 2014
Drei, Grölle pas:projects (Hrsg.), Wuppertal, 2014
Jahrespublikation. 2012-13, Tiroler Künstlerschaft (Hrsg.), Innsbruck 2013
Grand Prix, Katharina Maderthaner (Hrsg.), Düsseldorf 2013
Queer Sicilia Festival, Temporary Museum, Città di Palermo (Hrsg.), Palermo 2013
Große Kunstausstellung NRW, Museum Kunstpalast, Verein zur Veranstaltung von Kunstausstellungen e.V. (Hrsg.), Düsseldorf 2012 homegrown, Ostrale, Internationale Ausstellung zeitgenössischer Künste (Hrsg.), Dresden 2012

Der Künstler als Existenzgründer, WDR 3, Podiumsdiskussion im Kolumba Museum mit dem NRW-Wirtschaftsminister Gerreit Duin und den Künstlern Hermann Abrell, Boris Becker, Matthias Danberg und Katharina Maderthaner, Köln, 2014
Die Kunst, von der Kunst zu leben, mit Kurator Jochen Heufelder, und den Künstlern Thomas Rentmeister und Katharina Maderthaner,
WDR 5 / Scala, 2014
Perisphere Portraits, www.perisphere-portrait.de/dusseldorf/37-katharina-maderthaner
Von der Hass-Liebe zu eigenartigen Dingen, Künstlerportraits, WDR WestArt


(Dr. Emmanuel Mir, 2014)

The flood snakes and fluctuates; it flows through all terrains, through all tides, and carries away everything that fails to resist. Objects drift in this current, images and concepts that have passed through thousands of transformations. Some of these lie stranded at our feet. We pick them up and study them as if they were messages from another world. We believe we are holding something authentic, primal and true in our hands and overlook all their many previous transformations. The stream of ideas and motifs leaves a rich, heterogeneous and somewhat bizarre deposit behind, which is what Katharina Maderthaner adopts as the basis for her work.
The sculptor fills her installations, images and objects with references that themselves refer back to other references. A long genealogy of taste is revealed to the viewers of her art. Thus the real plant in Interkontinental is an allusion to all artificial plants found in the musty rooms of accessibility-trained officials, artificial greenery that refers to actually bred plants that in turn refer to a natural habitat. In this circularity, you at one time or other lose sight of the original source. The table patterns of Ritmi Latini, for their part, relate to printing attempts that photoshop-neophytes could have cobbled together to announce or represent a yard sale, the menu of an Italian-Indian takeout, an avant-garde textile design, neo-retro wallpaper or folk art. All of which triggers an uneasy déjà-vu, somewhere between daily making-do and genius phantasms, between masterpiece and mass production, design and disaster.
Maderthaner’s works, whether two- or three-dimensional, evolve according to a two-cycle logic: first synthesize, then sublimate. What the artist unearths in her environs—forms, textures, patterns and outer surfaces—are at first reduced, condensed and boiled down to the bone. DIY markets, allotment gardens, amateur-styled websites and laymendesigned flyers are her sources of inspiration, among others. This visual ornamentation is then, in a second phase, enriched with elements of minimalist sculpture or abstract graphics—whereby it is more a question of the codes of minimalist codes—a phase that undergoes further disassociation. Beyond all deconstructivist assertions or postmodern posturing, Maderthaner’s works are manifestly serious and autonomous with a touch of irritating matter-of-factness.
This well-dished out and over-the-top aesthetics takes viewers to their limit. Well meant—perhaps even well done? Where then, please, are the custodians of the good, the beautiful and the true? Where have all the taste-police gone? In a world in which the instruments of design, individualization and prettification have been democratized, in a world of universal do-your-own-thing, of hysterical pressure to self express, of hobby kits, art camps and creative workshops, in a world in which everyone is an artist and villages enter beauty contests, a moral and aesthetic authority is sorely missed. But Katharina Maderthaner refuses to think this way. Her impish attitude is free of any socially critical impetus or know-it-all irony. “Ornament is a pledge,” the artist once said. And she meant it. But, wait, wasn’t there a twinkle in her eye?
The flood is serpentine and irregular, but what goes around comes around. It eventually returns to the place where it had once begun to gush. Katharina Maderthaner stands on a beach and bends down. She picks up a skin-like structure in black-and-white. It had once been the finest marble for a princely palace, then become stucco marble for a bourgeois interior, and now is a print on inexpensive foil for the counter of a sun studio. She smiles roguishly and adds the piece to her collection.

Other works