Kathrin Schiffbauer

geboren 1965 in Essen, lebt und arbeitet in Köln



1986 - 87
Accademia di Belle Arti, Rom

1978 - 81
Kunstakademie Münster

1991 - 93
Städelschule, Frankfurt a.M., Raimer Jochims
Diplom, Kunstakademie Münster

Meisterschülerin von Ulrich Erben






Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venedig

Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Maine USA

Senat für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur, Berlin

Künstlergut Prösitz
Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt Art IT








City Rumble, Overgaden- Institut für Gegenwartskunst, Kopenhagen, DK

Raumflucht, Künstlerhaus Dortmund

Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin

Modell für Grimma, Klosterkirche Grimma

U 9 Zwischendeck, permanente Installation mit Zeichnungen

U 15 Installation, Installation mit Zeichnungen, Kurfürstendamm Berlin

mit Catrin Otto, Jürgen Baumann, Ruudi Beier, NGBK Berlin

Die Ausstellung, Kunsthaus Essen

Untergrund, Kulturhaus Schöneberg

andere Umstände, Kulturhaus Schöneberg

Künstlerische Entwürfe für den U-Bahnhof Alexanderplatz, Berlin

Feuerstreifen, Reservoir V-Pyrotektura, Wasserspeicher Berlin

machs gut Mensch, Zeitschrift Die ZEIT, Kunstverein Schwerte

Lucy, Menschen im Bad, Stadtbad Neukölln, Berlin

New Nasuby Gallery, Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Asian Fine Arts Factory, Berlin

Aggregatzustand-simple construction-, Umspannwerk Berlin

Alpraum, empty rooms e.v., Berlin

Paintallation, Kabinett Kunsthaus Essen

Kühlkammer, Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben, Berlin

Vorhang, Städtische Ausstellungshalle am Hawerkamp Münster

Galerie Münsterland Emsdetten

Galerie Forum Alte Werft, Papenburg

Skowhegan School of Painting, USA

Kunstakademie Münster

Städelschule Frankfurt

Spuren, Galerie Kosmos Essen

Galeria Nuova Internazionale, Rom









Kathrin Schiffbauer situates her artistic interventions in peripheral locations.
The sites used are often marginal or neglected spaces. These could be passageways, storage or loading areas. In all cases, the sites have a significant connection to the urban, socio-economic texture of the surrounding area. They often have undergone changes of use. Kathrin Schiffbauer directs the    gaze
to spaces off the beaten track, picking apart and exposing their history, finding connotations and even hidden agendas.


Kathrin Schiffbauer’s work is always site-specific. The placing, content and form of her work
are intrinsically entwined together, making her interventions the opposite of ‘drop sculptures’. She makes large, three-dimensional drawings to comment upon and alter the public spaces or urban sites, re-working their dense fabric of changes in use and meaning.


Kathrin Schiffbauer approaches any chosen location like an archaeologist. She collates past uses, significant tools, and architectural changes. Research into each site’s history and present status yields visual imagery, which is then developed into collages and large-scale models. She describes her mode of working as ‘creating drawings the viewer can walk into’. Architectural features are juxtaposed with cut-out-drawings depicting fictional elements of a location’s past and present use. Traces of human habitation are visible, tools and clothing are strewn about, but the owners seem to have just left.


The installations are temporary. The fragility of the materials employed conveys this: they are large cutouts of paper or cardboard, that are drawn upon with broad charcoal- or brushstrokes to show smudge marks and other traces of production. The drawings are mostly black and white, with a focused and sparse use of color. Reduced to their characteristic features, the drawings provide an element of dead-pan humor.


The interdependency of actual space and cut-out drawings playfully contradict traditional notions of perception. Kathrin Schiffbauer fuses two seemingly contrary methods for rendering spatial perspective. Actual, ‘real’ space is treated as if it were a flat surface, imposing a law of linear perspective, the focus on a vanishing point; obversely, ‘flat’ drawings are positioned as if they were bodily objects. In addition, the installations employ frequent changes of scale and varying points of view.


The cut-out-drawings often depict objects hugely enlarged or shown from a child’s perspective. This multi-dimensional approach contributes to the impression of a three-dimensional scene laid out as in a comic strip. Even so, there is no linear narrative, so any “stories” are created only in the mind of the observer. Kathrin Schiffbauer unfolds each site-specific installation like a stage onto which the observer is invited to step. The space is presented as a storyboard-set, and the viewer is invited to explore a real and simultaneously imaginary site.


Hannah Kruse