Anja Dietmann

Dietmann anja portrait photo volker renner bettina steinbruegge
Sculptures-shaped-by-language create situations of uncanny normality.

Dietmann’s current artistic practice began when she moved away from the canvasses of art school to work with different media and explore collaboration. During this shift, Dietmann and collaborators started Pfeil Magazine, a printed exhibition in the format of a magazine which invites around 25 artists to contribute to the theme of the issue. They established the publishing house Montez Press also serving as a platform for artists. Dietmann’s artistic approach is echoed in the practice of Pfeil Magazine as her works see to occupy formats that reach their audiences beyond the context of contemporary art. Her works employ a clever and inviting mix of play and tension where sculptures-shaped-by-language create situations of uncanny normality, building manifold narrative layers that delight and confuse.

Screenshot 2022 09 12 at 14 59 11
Dietmann’s perception of reality draws out the bizarre as one with the mundane.

Anja Dietmann’s works stem from her subtle perception of the bizarre and mundane everyday events. Her work with the magazine enabled her to interact sculpturally with language and her sculptures reflect that, becoming word games such as in Regenmacherbaguettes im Schirmständer or loosely translated ‘rain-making baguettes in an umbrella stand.’ Similarly clever and amusing is her work Wash and Grow a sculpture consisting of a medicinal shampoo bottle resting on a bath shelf atop a brown herringbone fabric. The label reads: «a shampoo especially formulated for Gilbert and George». It is in fact a handmade hair growth shampoo, created from two hairs from the artist collective, that were obtained in exchange for another artwork from the artist collective Fort. Perhaps a commentary on the ‘art is life, life is art’ take on the iconoclastic duo, Dietmann’s works embrace humorous contradictions. It is unsurprising then that an important inspiration for Dietmann is the music of Prince. Prince excelled in creating surprising structural arrangements which nonetheless followed a narrative arch and dramaturgy. He was not an artist who felt the need to stick to one style and neither is Dietmann. Dietmann allows her ideas to guide her works, their medium only becoming apparent when the idea has been worked to completion.

Text by Constance Chester

Portraits by Volker Renner

Among the representatives of Dada, I appreciate the writer and poet Daniil Charms. His stories take unpredictable turns and are at the same time humorously paradoxical.

Anja Dietmann

Anja Dietmann1

During my studies I spent almost 10 hours a day in front of the canvas. When I started to question this time alone in the studio, I would say that I then came to art.

Anja Dietmann

Dietmann anja nicorette performance bettina steinbruegge
Biography Anja Dietmann

born 1982 in Münsingen, Germany


2013 Diploma at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg, Germany

Exhibitions/Performances/Magazine launches (selection)

Aus Rotwein Mach Weißwein, Easterfield Festival, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany
Magazine, Montez Press Radio, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany

Nicorette, performance as part of Acts of Potentiality, Kunstverein Bielefeld, Germany
Montez Press Radio, Printed Matter, Los Angeles, United States

Pfeil Magazine Launch #10, Pogo Bar, Berlin, Germany
Nicorette, performance as part of Staging Realities, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany
Pfeil Magazine Launch #9, VIS, Hamburg, Germany
Pfeil Magazine Launch #8, Kunstverein Salzburg, Vienna
Musikinstrumentenausstellung, Il Caminetto, Hamburg, Germany

Pfeil Magazine Launch #7, Mathew Gallery, New York, United States
Along Those Lines, Hansa Rowing-Club, Hamburg, Germany
Pfeil Magazine Launch #6, Harlekin Bar, Berlin, Germany
Barsoi, concert at Golem, Hamburg, Germany

Incertitudes, Goethe Institute, Marseille, France
Sequenzen aus 50 Millionen Konstellationen, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg, Germany


2021 Zukunftsstipendium, Behörde für Kultur und Medien, Hamburg, Germany

2020 ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg, Germany

2016 Kunstbeutel, Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Germany

2015 Hamburger Arbeitsstipendium, Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Germany

Works by Anja Dietmann

  • Dietmann anja sich selbst bewaessernde giesskanne bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2022 / Plastic / 46 x 27 x 18 cm / 18.1 x 10.6 x 7.1 in

  • Dietmann anja call me bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2022 / Shoe, leather, telephone lane / 30 x 19 x 14 cm / 11.8 x 7.5 x 5.5 in

  • Dietmann anja dauerbrot bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2014 / Porcelain, oil color, shellack / 53 x 6 x 4 cm / 20.9 x 2.4 x 1.6 in

  • Dietmann anja mix the matching shade bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2016 / Shoe creme, wooden box, shoe brushes and spoon / 40 x 37 x 20 cm / 15.7 x 14.6 x 7.9 in

  • Dietmann anja emma bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2022 / Whiskers, paper, glass frame / 30 x 20 cm / 11.8 x 7.9 in (framed)

  • Dietmann anja wash and grow bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2014 / Hair, shampoo, soap stand, tweed fabric installed on the wall / Dimensions variable

  • Dietmann anja regenmacherbaguettes im schirmstaender bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2014 / Porcelain, rice, nails, brass, bamboo / 70 x 36 x 36 cm / 27.6 x 14.2 x 14.2 in

  • Dietmann pfeil 14 bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    ongoing / Paper / 33 x 23.3 cm / 13.0 x 9.2 in

  • Dietmann anja wind of change bettina steinbruegge hamburg

    Self Watering Watering Can

    2015 / Glas, drum stand, rehearsal pad / Dimensions variable