Residency location: TBD
Anna Diehl (1986) lives and works in Basel. Her work develops in the field of tension between abstraction and figuration, subjective experience, and its social context. She is interested in the discourses around themes such as power, violence, identity, but also vulnerability and intimacy. The subject matter of Diehl’s paintings has therefore often been physical objects that contain seemingly contradictory thematic or material characteristics and thus open up an ambivalent space of thought. For example, steel chains embody something violent, hard, and restrictive, but simultaneously are characterized by their flexibility and their ability to connect things. These topics find expression in large-format paintings that often develop from essential aspects of painting such as color, material composition and surface.
Diehl studied Sociology at the Universities of Basel and Vienna, and Fine Arts at the Institut Kunst Basel and the Athens School of Fine Arts. In 2019 she was the recipient of the art grant of the Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden and in 2023 she received the Alexander Clavel-Foundation-Prize. As part of an Atelier Mondial residency fellowship, she was living and working in Berlin for six months in 2021. Her work has been shown in France, the UK and Singapur, as well as in many institutions and art spaces in various regions of Switzerland (including Kunsthalle Basel, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Forde Geneva, Salts Birsfelden, Kunsthalle Appenzell).
For a while now Diehl has been interested in glass with its material as well as symbolic qualities. For her, it embodies characteristics of fragility but strength nonetheless. It seems vulnerable, but in its production it goes through processes of great heat and pressure. The residency at the Shanghai Museum of Glass (SMOG) will be a great opportunity to immerse herself in working with such a complex material and to learn about the different processing and manufacturing forms. Furthermore, the museum is networked with local artists and will thus provide her with access to the vibrant Shanghai art scene. Thrown into a different symbolic order, she will be very fascinated to see how and if power relations, identity discourses, or the handling of intimacy in Shanghai, differ from the ones she knows.
(Photo by Jürgen Buchinger)