Luminita Sabau, Leiterin der Kunstsammlung der DZ BANK, Frankfurt am Main

Dehnel's paintings and photographs are created in parallel. This clearly shows the different materiality of the surface of the photographic and pictorial image. They age very differently. This difference is not incidental, because it draws attention to the different temporalities of the two media.

Sabine Dehnel (born in Ludwigshafen on the Rhine in 1971) is living and working in Berlin. She is combining painting with directed photography as well as abstraction with concreteness.
We are captivated by the following three aspects of her work:
1. Sabine Dehnel combines painting with staged photography, creating something new, thus far unprecedented. By
cross-media technique, she links the imaginative moment of painting with the authentic documentation of photography. 2. In the current series Mona, Sabine Dehnel refers to the long tradition of portraiture in painting as in photography, because initially the staging of people was similar in both meadia . The protagonists were equipped with precious accessories and clothing. Dehnel seizes this aspect by accoutring her sitters associatively with elaborate, custom-built handmade clothing. However, she deliberately avoids the representation of the women’s faces and thus creates a mysterious aura. 3. Sabine Dehnel reflects the auratic appearance in a devotion for the icon enclosed in amulets. At the same time, she refers to the post-mortem photography, which was an important part of the mortuary cult and the memory of a dear decedent in the 19th century. The ensuing absence of the person is depicted in the photograph, which constitutes its magic. Her impressive rotating sculptures equally reflect upon this absence. Consequently, the Black Swan Linda manufactured in a complex process by means of black nylon stockings and wire, serves as a memorial sculpture and portrait in devotion to a deceased lady. Just as in the series Mona, Sabine Dehnel permits no recognizable image in her sculptures and thus creates a romantically ensouled memory of a loved one. In 2013, the official catalogue Sabine Dehnel. Reframing was published by Hatje Cantz Verlag.


  • 1993-1999 Study of visual arts and philosophy at the academy of visual arts Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • 1999-2000 Master student
  • 2000/01 MFA Program at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles


  • 2012 Studio scholarship, Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca, Spanien
  • 2010 Künstlerhaus Edenkoben der Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Kultur
  • 2006 Promotion scholarship, Parc Saint-Léger, C’entre d’Art Contemporain, Pougues-les-Eaux Society for the promotion of art and culture, Pfalz
  • 2005 Studio scholarship, Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca, Spanien; Förderpreis, Weldekunstpreis für Fotografie, Plankstadt-Schwetzingen
  • 2003 Künstlerhaus Schloß Balmoral, Bad Ems; Prize of the University Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz.
  • 2002 SCA-Art-Prize, Wien and Mannheim
  • 2000/1 Scholarship of the Rotary Foundation International, Evanston, Illinois
  • 1998 Promotion scholarship by Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz

Solo Exhibitions

2015 „Stay - Ich sterbe nicht umsonst“, e.artis contemporary, Chemnitz
2014 „Reframing – Übermalen eines Moments“, Galerie Robert Drees, Hannover
2013 „Mona“, Museum Wiesbaden „Drop the thought“, LSD Galerie, Berlin
2012 „Skirts“ (mit Heidi Lender), Richard Levy Gallery,Albuquerque, New Mexiko
2011 „Die Dinge des Lebens“, Morgen Contemporary, Berlin
2010 „playground“, Martin Asbaek Gallery, Kopenhagen
2009 „Solo Project“, 2x2projects, Pulse Miami/Art Amsterdam „Portraits“, Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, Paris
2008 „Solo Project“, MasArt Galerie, Photo Miami „Playground“, MasArt Galerie, Barcelona
2007 „undercover“, 2x2 Projects, Amsterdam „elsewhere“, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexiko „make up“, Martin Asbaek Projects, Kopenhagen „Jede Ähnlichkeit ist frei erfunden“, Columbus Art Foundation, Ravensburg
2006 „Relocated #1“, Galerie Filipp Rosbach, Leipzig „In Between“, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, Ohio „Ganze Tage in den Bäumen“, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen „Inzwischen“, Kunstverein Münsterland, Coesfeld [&] Kunsthaus Wiesbaden
2005 „Camouflage“, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles
2004 „No Holidays“, Galerie Asbaek, Kopenhagen

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