Anna Grath (*1983 in Immenstadt, Germany) studied Fine Arts at the HfBK in Hamburg, where she lives and works. Her works focus on formal as well as functional and narrative qualities of common objects and materials, stripped of their familiar purposes and reconstructed. Under her touch, the material bends, breaks and coils; it is trimmed and stretched, chastised and educated. Principles of reduction and efficiency inform her works, which come to life under pressure, deformation and imposed restrictions. Moreover, things are removed from their responsibility, no longer having to remain in their identities as tights, music stands and bubble wrap– instead, they are declared color, texture and line.
Unexpected dynamics and stories emerge from these translations when the physical objects that entail all that we constantly surround ourselves with are deconstructed and formalized. Freed from payload and function, common associations recede into the background, making way for potential alternatives of meaning and being.
Grath's signature tension-filled constructions are each in dialogue with one another: belly-to-front lattice bars squeeze a blue down comforter against the wall. Fragmented elastic garments, of which little more than their cohesive seams remain, compete – rigorously and punishingly stretched on nails – with other loosely hanging works (MAB, SNOOZE). Forcibly neutered beyond its original use as (sports) apparel (GNES, YBILL, IRM), the materials can be understood formally as drawing, a planned arrangement of lines. Yet, they can also be seen as a stand-in for the human body, resulting in an exhibition space whose scenery hosts a demonstration of extreme adaptation.
Anna Grath's works have been shown at the Falckenberg-Deichtorhallen Collection, the Kunstverein Bremerhaven, the Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, the Kunsthaus Hamburg, and the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, among others. Grath was awarded the Hiscox Art Prize in Hamburg. She has repeatedly been shortlisted for the Ars Viva Prize and is a fellow of Neue Kunst in Hamburg, Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn, and the Hamburg Arbeitsstipendium. Works by Anna Grath have been acquired by the Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany and Kunsthalle Hamburg.
Since February 2022 Anna Grath presents a group of works in the exhibition "something old something new something desired" at Kunsthalle Hamburg.