Rebecca Horn: Selected Works

  • This online viewing room is dedicated to Rebecca Horn's installations, kinetic works, and her paintings. It was with works by Rebecca Horn that Galerie Thomas Schulte opened its inaugural exhibition in April 1991. 30 years and many joint projects later, the gallery continues its active collaboration with one of Germany’s most important female artists.


    Pfauenmaschine (Peacock Machine) (1982), originally displayed at Documenta 7, has been installed in our Corner Space from June 11 to August 20, 2022. This online presentation also features Kiss of the Rhinoceros (1989), which was on view at the 59th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, alongside groundbreaking works as Bee's Planetary Map (1998) which was exhibited at the gallery's 30th anniversay in 2021 and at Art Basel Unlimited (16 to 19 June 2022).

  • Peacock Machine (1982)
    Peacock Machine (1982)

    Rebecca Horn created the Pfauenmaschine (Peacock Machine) in 1982 for Documenta 7 in Kassel. The machine was installed inside a classicist temple on an island in a park. For its 40th anniversary, the artwork will be displayed in the Corner Space of Galerie Thomas Schulte from June 11 to August 20, 2022.


  • Kiss of the Rhinoceros (1989)
    Kiss of the Rhinoceros (1989)

    On display in the Arsenale at the Venice Biennale is Rebecca Horn's historic work Kiss of the Rhinoceros from 1989. The work is part of the Seduction of the Cyborg section, one of five thematic presentations that brings together works by artists and cultural practitioners from different times, geographies and movements. Seduction of the Cyborg creates a historical context for the themes and issues raised in The Milk of Dreams. After 1980, 1986 and 1997, this is Rebecca Horn's fourth participation in the Biennale di Venezia.



    Conceived during the height of the Balkan War, which forcibly displaced millions across the region, Bees' Planetary Map captures themes of dislocation, uprootedness and fractured movement. Empty beehives fill the space with the haunting buzz of a wandering swarm of bees. Honey-yellow light streams from the suspended baskets, which is in turn reflected off of round, rotating mirrors and projected across walls and ceilings. At regular intervals of two-and-a-half minutes, a stone attached to a mechanical winch falls from the ceiling and shatters one of the mirrors. Spinning splinters of mirror chase panicked scraps of light across the room. Struggling towards the center, searching for protection and security, fearing for freedom and belonging – these are the central human themes in Rebecca Horn's work.



    Rebecca Horn early in her career explored the relationship between body and space through performance. Later on, she replaced the human body with machines performing repetitive and regular movements. They are mechanical creatures made of wires. They are not perfect; like humans they quiver and they fail, they can be aggressive and tender.
  • “I like it when my machines get tired. They are more than mere objects. They are neither cars, nor washing machines. They rest, they think, they wait.”

    —Rebecca Horn

    Rebecca Horn’s oeuvre is continuously formed and reformed by intersecting and mutually reinforcing creative impulses and directions of inquiry. It is through her poetic imagination that Rebecca Horn obscures and stretches the figure into infinite depths and heights, her body being the central tool in her artistic creation. 

    In her “Body Landscapes”—airy, large paintings that correspond to her body radius—the artist measures the large papers on which she draws according to the length of her arms. Pencil-marked focal points correspond to her own body’s center and often remain visible in the final piece.

  • “I’ve often thought about how to capture soul structures, how to bring them down to a two-dimensional plane.”

    —Rebecca Horn
  • The video presents a selection of some of Rebecca Horn's most famous kinetic sculptures and lesser known, recent works together with excerpts from the artist's films. It is the result of a recent trip to Rebecca Horn's studio in Bad König in Odenwald, Germany, where the artist has lived since 1989. The former factory site belonged to her family and was renovated over the course of several years. Since 2010, it houses the Moontower Foundation with a museum and studios supporting younger artists and musicians.
  • About the artist

    About the artist

    Rebecca Horn (born 1944 in Michelstadt, Germany) is one of a generation of German artists who came to international prominence in the 1980s, practicing body art and working in different media, including performance, installation art, sculpture, and film. She has been practising her art now for fifty years, during which time she has created her own symbolically charged cosmos in which reality and fiction overlap, and dualisms such as material/spirit, subject/object, male/female are transgressed.


    Having studied in Hamburg and London, from 1989, Rebecca Horn taught at the University of the Arts in Berlin for almost two decades. In 1972, she was the youngest artist to be invited by curator Harald Szeemann to present her work in documenta 5. Her work was later also included in documenta 6 (1977), 7 (1982) and 9 (1992) as well as in the Venice Biennale (1980; 1986; 1997), the Sydney Biennale (1982; 1988) and as part of Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997). Throughout her career she has received numerous awards including Kunstpreis der Böttcherstraße (1979), Arnold-Bode-Preis (1986), Carnegie Prize (1988), Kaiserring der Stadt Goslar (1992), ZKM Karlsruhe Medienkunstpreis (1992), Alexej von Jawlensky-Preis Wiesbaden (2007), Alice Salomon Poetik Preis, Berlin (2009), Praemium Imperiale Tokyo (2010), Pour le Mérite for Sciences and the Arts (2016) and, most recently, the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize (2017). A first mid-career retrospective of Horn’s work was organized in 1993 by the Guggenheim Museum, New York. It was the museum’s first solo exhibition dedicated to a female artist. The exhibition traveled to the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Nationalgalerie Berlin, Kunsthalle Wien, Tate Gallery and Serpentine Gallery in London, and the Musée de Grenoble. A second retrospective was presented at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2005. Another retrospective took place at Martin Gropius-Bau in Berlin in 2006. In 2019, both the Museum Tinguely in Basel and the Centre Pompidou-Metz were showing major retrospectives of her work. From 2021 to 2022, The Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien celebrated her with the second comprehensive retrospective of her works in Austria. Her work was also featured at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, entitled The Milk of Dreams and curated by Cecilia Alemani.