Katharina Bosse

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Sand (from the series Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother), 2008 C Print 160 X 125 Cm © courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Anne Barrault
Kornfeld (from the series Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother), 2008 C Print 160 X 125 Cm © courtesy Galerie Anne Barrault
Heide (from the series Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother), 2008 C Print 160 X 125 Cm © courtesy Galerie Anne Barrault
Berge (from the series Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother), 2008 C Print 160 X 125 Cm © courtesy Galerie Anne Barrault
Neige (from the series Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother), 2008 C Print 160 X 125 Cm © courtesy Galerie Anne Barrault
Sumpf (from the series Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother), 2008 C Print 160 X 125 Cm © courtesy Galerie Anne Barrault
from the series Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mother, 2008 C Print 160 X 125 Cm © courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Anne Barrault
Quick Facts


There are few comments, few representations of what being a mother is today. Oddly enough, this basic passage, fundamental and founding, seems to be carefully left in the blind spot of a society which does not mind in the least infringing people’s private life.

This has nothing to do with coincidence but rather with a taboo. And that is why the very last series of Katharina Bosse’s photographs in which the artist performs with her own children, is surprising, amazing, frightening, terrifying.

Katharina Bosse was born in Finland in 1968, brought up in Germany, lived  in New York where she soon becomes known through various series of photographs: “Surface tension” (2001), the portraits of people or of places as so many superficial appearances; “New Burlesque” (2003), the portraits of amateur striptease artists; and last but not least “Mermaid-Waterpark” (2005) , about the Mermaids’ annual parade in Coney Island and the artificial side of water-parks.
Truth/falsehood, reality/appearance, pretence, farce : Katharina already examines and probes the strength and the deep reasons of stereotypes. This new series, “Portrait of the artist as a young mother”, a turning point in her work, for once meets her own experience straigth out. After six years in New York, Katharina Bosse comes back and lives in Germany and gives birth to two babies within four years. This double change in her life goes with her artistic working on self-portrait. In large format prints, the artist poses with her babies to show the change of identity motherhood means for a woman. Flouting all kind of modesty, she performs in the middle of nowhere, most often naked and, she confesses, “ lets herself do things that only her body could tell”.

An ode to life, she appears with her hair streaming in the wind, dancing a bacchanalian dance, diaphanous like one of Botticelli’s goddesses. A beast, she is then seen on all fours feeding her suckling like the Roman she-wolf Romulus and Remus. Provocative, she appears naked in her fur coat, her sex visible, or, in leather boots and excessively made up, pregnant in a corn field. In other pictures, pure and diaphanous, she identifies herself to a Madonna, or, modestly wrapped up, hugging her children to her bosom, to the figure of Charity. Eventually, very disturbing, there she is wrapped up in red and masked, like a devouring, diabolical figure.

This new series by Katharina Bosse, disquieting and daring, reveals, with humour and boldness, this multi-faceted, extremely complex, underestimated process : the birth of a mother.

---Véronique Bouruet-Aubertot

Katharina Bosse:

Born in 1968 in Turku, Finland
Katharina Bosse lives and works in New-York


One person exhibitions

2006  New Burlesque, Galerie Merz, Rottweil

2004 Realms of Signs, Realms of Senses
, Galerie Interieur, Lille

2003 New Burlesque, galerie Anne Barrault, Paris

2002 New Burlesque, Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago
2002 New Burlesque, Heidi Reckermann photographie

2001 Surface Tension, Kunstverein Glüchstadt
2001 Surface Tension
, Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris
2001 Surface Tension, Galerie Wittenbrink, Munich

2000 Katharina Bosse, Kunstverein Ulm, Germany
2000 L'Empire des signes, l'Empire des sens - Service communication de la Ville de Dieppe, France
Mois de l'Image de Dieppe

1999 Ten Rooms for Sex, Henry Urbach Architecture, New-York
1999 Realms of Signs, Realms of Senses, Heidi Reckermann Photographie, Cologne, Allemagne

1997 Signe, Galerie Lukas & Hoffman, Cologne, Allemagne et Kunstverein Kirchzarten, Allemagne

1996 Von aussen/von innen (from outside/from inside),
Galerie Olivier Schweden, Munich, Allemagne

1995 From outside / from inside, Galerie Foster Goldstrom, New york

1993 Ein Teil Rot (One Part Red), Photomuseum Tallinn, Estonia


Group exhibitions (selected)

2008 Ad Absurdum, Museum MARTa, Herford
2008 Die Welt im Umbruch/A Changing World Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
2008 Photography Highlights, Museum Huelsmann, Bielefeld

2007 Internationale Photo Triennale, Esslingen
2007 En Quête d'Identité, Centre Photographique d'Ile-de-France

2006 Out of Context, OMI International Arts Center, Ghent, New York
2006 Please Wait, Immanence et Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris

2005 YES YES YES YES, Differenz und Wiederholung in Bildern der Sammlung Olbricht, Museum Morsbroich

2004 Katharina Bosse, Aki Ikemura, Manuela Marques, Schroeder Romero Gallery, New York
2004 A Clear Vision, Photographische Werke aus der Sammlung F.C. Gundlach, Deichtorhallen Hamburg
2004 About Corporeality in Editions: Artist Books, Prints, Photography. Galerie Lelong, Zürich

2003 FIAC, Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris

2001 FIAC, Galerie Anne Barrault
2001 Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse

2000 New York Now 2000 - Contemporary Work in Photography, Museum of the City of New York, New York
2000 Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris
2000 Seeing Double, MoMA, New York
2000 Good Business is the Best Art: 20 Years of the Artist in the Marketplace Program
Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York
Groupshow of 20 Artists, including Anthony Goicolea, Lisa Levy, Ernesto Pujol and Lynne Yamamoto

1999 Luster, Gallery Henry Urbach Architecture, New-York
1999 In the city, Trafic FRAC Haute-Normandie, France
1999 Realm of Signs, Realms of Senses, Galerie Wittenbrink, Munich, Allemagne
1999 Insight-out, paysages et intérieurs (photographie contemporaine)
Kunstraum Innsbruck, Autriche
Kunsthaus Hamburg, Allemagne
Kunsthaus Baselland, Suisse

1998 Artist in the Marketplace - eighteenth annual exhibition, Musée des Arts du Bronx, New York
1998 Outfit, Kunsthaus Rhenania, Cologne
1998 Konstruktionen der Bilder (the constructions of images), German Academy of Photography

1997 Contemporary German Photography, publication de Taschen
1997Galerie Neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Allemagne
1997Galerie Wittenbrink, Munich, Allemagne
1997Galerie Heidi Reckermann, Cologne, Allemagne
1997Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Dresden, Allemagne
1997 Wechselstrom / Alternating Current, Galerie Ulrich Fiedler,Cologne, Allemagne
1997 Wirklich / Real, Stadtmuseum Munich (cat.), Allemagne

1996 Kunszeit (Time of Art), Zeche zum friedlichen Nachbarn, Bochum

1995 Surroundings, museum Fridericianum, Kassel (cat.)
1995 One to six-recent photography on architecture, Galerie Aberdeen Art, Ecosse

1992 Smithereens, Galerie de Fabriek, Foto-Biennale Rotterdam, Pays-Bas


Museum of Modern Art, New York
Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, France
FRAC d'Ile-de-France, Paris
L. Fritz Gruber, Köln, Allemagne
F.C Gundlach, Hamburg, Allemagne
Canadian Center for Achitecture, Montreal
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg


Surface Tension, Kruse, 2000
Strip, Steidl Publishers, Göttingen, Allemagne, 1998
L.Fritz Gruber, Könemann, Cologne, Allemagne, 1998
Contemporary German Photography, Taschen, Cologne - Lisbonne - Londres - Paris - New York - Tokyo, 1997

Les trahisons du modèle / The behayal of the model, semaines européennes de l'images, le Havre, Luxembourg, Dudelange, 2000
Mode-Körper-Mode, Photographien eines Jahrhunderts / Fashion-Body-Fashion, Photographs of a century, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, 2000
Insight Out, Editions Stemmle, Zürich - New York,1999
Signe, Galerie Lukas et Hoffmann, Cologne, Allemagne, 1997
Wirklich, Stadtmuseum Munich, Allemagne, 1997
Surroundings, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Allemagne, 1995
Babylon Photography and Architecture, Fotoforum SchwarzBunt,
Bielefeld, Allemagne, 1991

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