Maria Eichhorn

Artist in Residence (german artist)

Curriculum Vitae                                                       

Maria Eichhorn, born 1962 in Bamberg, Germany, is an internationally renowned contemporary German artist. Her artwork has a particularly unique signet: She pursues abstract themes that are to a large extent shaped by law, such as ‘property’, ‘capital’, ‘joint stock companies’, and ‘restitution’, and awards them an artistic, appellative character. This was especially apparent in her projects Maria Eichhorn Aktiengesellschaft and Rose Valland Institut, which were displayed at the documenta in Kassel, Germany, in 2002 and 2017. Rose Valland Institut, which addresses the expropriation of Europe’s Jewish population and its consequences up to present day, was a part of her research at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study “Law as Culture”. She held the Artist in Residence position and Georg Simmel Art Fellowship here from October 2018 to March 2019.

Maria Eichhorn studied under Karl Horst Hödicke at the Berlin University of the Arts from 1984 to 1990. In 1986, her first exhibitions took place. In 1999, Maria Eichhorn was Guest Professor at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Since 2003, she has been a lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts. Aside from her well-known pieces showcased at the documenta in Kassel and Athens, her works have also been on display at the Chisenhale Gallery in London (2016), the Haus der Kulturen in Berlin (2015), the Biennale in Venice (2015), the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver (2015), and the Kunsthaus in Bergenz (2014). In 2018/19, the Migros Museum in Zurich will hold the exhibit Zwölf Arbeiten / Twelve Years (1988–2018), which includes pieces from the last 30 years.

Maria Eichhorn has received numerous awards for her artistic achievements, including the George Maciunas Prize (1992), the City of Kassel’s Arnold Bode Prize (2002), and the University of Turin’s Paolo Bozzi Prize for Ontology (2018).

Maria Eichhorn was Artist in Residence at the Käte Hamburger Center "Law as Culture" from October 2018 to March 2019 and from October 2019 to March 2020.


Rose Valland Institut

The Rose Valland Institut is an interdisciplinary and independent art project. It examines and documents the expropriation of Europe’s Jewish population and its consequences up to present day. It was named after art historian Rose Valland, who kept detailed secret lists about the Nazi’s plundering that took place during their occupation of Paris. After the war, she worked for the Commission de Récupération Artistique (Commission for the Return of Art) and significantly contributed to the restitution of Nazi-looted art. 

Going beyond Maria Eichhorn’s previous exhibition projects Restitutionspolitik / Politics of Restitution (2003) and In den Zelten... (2015), the Rose Valland Institut addresses the topic of unresolved property and ownership relations from 1933 until today. The Institut prompts questions about the possession of art, land, property, assists, companies, transportable objects and artifacts, libraries, academic works, and patents that were stolen from Jewish owners in Germany and other occupied countries during the Nazi era and have yet to be returned.

With the call for papers for Verwaistes Eigentum in Europa, the Rose Valland Institut made its public debut in March 2017. With the open call for Unrechtmäßige Besitzverhältnisse in Deutschland, the Insitut was able to take its work one step further. The public was asked to research stolen Nazi property that they may have inherited and share this information with the Rose Valland Institut.   

The Institut was established on the occasion of documenta 14 and on display from June 10th to September 17th, 2017, at the New Gallery in Kassel.

During her second research stay at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study “Law as Culture” at the University of Bonn, Maria Eichhorn continued working on her piece Rose Valland Institut.

Exhibitions and Publications

A complete overview of Maria Eichhorn’s numerous exhibitions and publications can be found here (PDF).