Johanna Strobel

Strobel johanna portrait by dominik bindl gregor hildebrandt
Johanna Strobel Portrait 2

Johanna Strobel working in her studio.

Johanna Strobel’s work often begins with a particular interest, idea or question; which she uses as a springboard for rhizomatic research, interdisciplinary speculation and associative investigation. Strobel’s works explore aspects of unwieldy concepts such as language, the perception of time, the creation of meaning and the construction of subjectivity and objecthood. She bridges pathways of connection between a multitude of structures and objects of our shared reality and culture and examines possibilities of the creation and attribution of meaning and how that meaning can be suspended and upended through certain qualities of objects, their relationships to subjects, syntax, ordering and methods of manipulation.

Strobel’s practice is informed by studies in Information Science and Mathematics. She processes her ideas both logically and associatively, through repetition, recursion and modularity but also through humour and personal memories across a wide variety of media, including video, installation, painting and sculpture. Like this, Strobel appeals directly to her audience, activating various lenses through which to access her works, from humour, consumer aesthetics, to desire and memory and by piquing the viewer’s intellectual curiosity.

Strobel’s works feature a number of elements, not composed as a narrative arch but which are held together mutually as multitudinous thought experiments offering a glimpse into the artist’s surreal and idiosyncratic world.

Strobel’s work Pas un Poisson is a clock with a second hand that ticks backward. Loosely referring to Duchamp’s roto relief Poisson Japonais, Strobel has incorporated an image of a dolphin into the mirrored clockface, an allusion to temporal perception that expands via the clock’s motor system that rotates twice per minute clockwise in counter to the backward ticking second hand. As time ticks by and back, the dolphin swims around the face, and the viewer is left pondering.

Strobel draws her recurring motifs from a pool of everyday objects, like clocks, mirrors, hands, bananas, or doors. In a body of work from 2019 Strobel painted in oil and modeled out of terracotta, pairs of identical mirrored hands frozen in one of two gestures. Her installations featuring those hands access the precise and multi-faceted nexus of what Strobel strives to create: a deliberate confusion of ordinary perception to unlock new chains of thought. Depending on how the hands are installed or painted in relation to each other, their gestures, mood and linguistic power alter between letting go and grasping, reaching into and obstructing. In each encounter, the line of enquiry shifts, and Strobel’s wish is met, at the intersection of suggestion and transparency.

Text by Constance Chester

Biography Johanna Strobel


born in Regensburg, Germany


Education

2020 MFA Studio Art (New Genres) at Hunter College, New York City, USA

2017 Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, Germany / Painting and Graphics, Class Prof. Gerhard Merz and Class Prof. Gregor Hildebrandt

2016 Master Scholar («Meisterschülerin») of Prof. Gregor Hildebrandt

2010 Mathematics / Art Education (First State Examination) at University of Regensburg, Germany

2009 Information Science / Fine Art and Esthetical Education (B.A.) at University of Regensburg, Germany


Exhibitions (selection)

2021
Supermarkt Frische Lieferung, Group Show, Rewe Premium Munich, Germany

2020
Jahresgaben, Kunstverein Munich, Germany
Hunter College MFA Thesis Spotlight, Hauser & Wirth, New York, USA (online)
The Immigrant Artist Biennial, New York, USA
Thresholds, 205 Hudson Gallery, New York, USA
Assemblage, Olympia Projects, New York, USA (online)

2019
Jahresgaben, Kunstverein Munich, Germany
ON HOLD ON, Municipal Gallery Cordonhaus, Cham, Germany (SOLO)
IN TURN IN, Gallery Isabelle Lesmeister, Regensburg, Germany (SOLO)
Mostly Fine Adults, Pfizer Building, Brooklyn, USA
Nico : Wie kann die Luft so schwer sein an einem Tag an dem der Himmel so blau ist, Institut für Moderne Kunst, Atelier- und Galeriehaus Defet, Nuremberg, Germany (as Kitti & Joy)

2018
Debutant Exhibition of the Artist Union Munich (BBK), Galerie der Kuenstler, Munich, Germany (as Kitti & Joy)
Act I, Scene II, 2nd Floor Gallery, 205 Hudson Street, New York, USA
The Bogart Salon, 56 Bogart Street, New York, USA

2017
Cosmic Latte, Gallery Isabelle Lesmeister, Regensburg, Germany
Somewhere it’s still last night, Raum49, Munich, Germany (SOLO)
Another world is possible, Institut of Moderne Art, Zumikon, Nuremberg, Germany

2015
Kamp Kaya, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (as Kitti & Joy)
Home, Gallery MZ, Augsburg, Germany (SOLO)
Munich Contemporary Art, Aki Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan


Grants, Scholarships & Residencies

2021
NARS Foundation Residency, New York, USA, 2021
La Pera Projects Residency at Neue House, New York, USA, 2021

2020
P.Art Fonds, Spiegelberger Foundation
Catalogue funding, LFA Foerderbank
Project Grant, Erwin und Gisela Steiner Foundation
Spring 2020 Master’s Theses Support Grant, Hunter College, NYC


Selected Bibliography

Geometric Times, Linguistic Spaces, Hammann von Mier Verlag, Munich, Germany, 2020 (solo catalogue)
Assemblage Journal, NYC, 2020
Kunst für Kinder, Quivid – the Art in Public Space Program of the City of Munich, Germany, 2019
NICO – Wie kann die Luft so schwer sein an einem Tag an dem der Himmel so blau ist, Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Wien Austria, 2019

Bildschirmfoto 2021 01 20 um 22 17 33

All photos by Dominik Bindl.

Works by Johanna Strobel

  • Strobel johanna pas un poisson light blue gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Pas Un Poisson

    Laser engraving on acrylic glass mirror, clockwork, electric motor, spray paint / 25 x 25 x 5 cm / 9.8 x 9.8 x 2.0 in / €650

  • Strobel johanna pas un poisson silver gregor hildbrandt muenchen

    Pas Un Poisson

    Laser engraving on acrylic glass mirror, clockwork, electric motor, spray paint / 25 x 25 x 5 cm / 9.8 x 9.8 x 2.0 in / €650

  • Strobel johanna pas un poisson gold gregor hildbrandt muenchen

    Pas un Poisson

    Laser engraving on acrylic glass mirror, clockwork, electric motor, spray paint / 25 x 25 x 5 cm / 9.8 x 9.8 x 2.0 in / €650

  • Strobel johanna on hold on arme gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    On Hold On

    Ceramic / Dimensions variable / €550

  • Strobel johanna on hold on arme tennisball gregor hildebrandt

    On Hold On

    Ceramic, imprinted tennis ball / Dimensions variable / €650

  • Strobel johanna on hold on arme scheibe gregor hildebrandt

    On Hold On

    Ceramic, plexiglass / Dimensions variable / €630

  • Strobel johanna on hold on arm spiegel gregor hildebrandt

    On Hold On

    Ceramic, acrylic mirror / Dimensions variable / €470

  • Strobel johanna agenda h gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Agenda h

    Oil on canvas / 101.6 x 76.2 cm / 40.0 x 30.0 in / €3,150

  • Strobel johanna blindside gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Blind Side

    Ceramic, aluminum blind / Dimensions variable / €1,600

  • Strobel johanna pas un poisson rosegold gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    Pas un Poisson

    Laser engraving on acrylic glass mirror, clockwork, electric motor, spray paint / 25 x 25 x 5 cm / 9.8 x 9.8 x 2.0 in / €650

  • Strobel johanna ohne titel maske gregor hildebrandt muenchen

    If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes

    Laser engraving on acrylic mirror / 23 x 15 cm / 9.1 x 5.9 in / €410