Isa Genzken (born 1948, Bad Oldesloe, Schleswig-Holstein) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Berlin. Her primary media are sculpture and installation, using a wide variety of materials, including concrete, plaster, wood and textile. She also works with photography, video, film and collage.
She was raised mostly in the small northern German city of Bad Oldesloe and in Hamburg. She studied fine arts and art history with Almir Mavignier and Kai Sudeck at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (1968–1971) and the Berlin University of the Arts (1971–1973). To pay her tuition, Genzken worked part-time as a model. Randy Kennedy (November 21, 2013). In 1973 she transferred to Arts Academy Düsseldorf while also studying art history and philosophy at the University of Cologne. At the academy, fellow students included artists Katharina Fritsch and Thomas Struth. Upon graduating in 1977, Genzken taught sculpture at the academy. She married German visual artist Gerhard Richter in 1982 and moved to Cologne in 1983. The couple separated in 1993.
Genzken has worked in studios in Düsseldorf, Cologne (designed in 1993 by architect Frank Tebroke); for short stretches in the United States, in Lower Manhattan and Hoboken, New Jersey; and currently in Berlin. After her divorce from Richter, she moved from the Rhineland region back to Berlin. Genzken has bipolar disorder and goes through manic and depressive phases. She has frequently undergone treatment for substance abuse.