o.T. (Frauenbüste), 1998
Paper, gouache, wax
30 x 38 x 40 cm
In her three-dimensional, sculptural representation of humans Saskia Niehaus frequently concentrates on the head and bust; in her representations of animals, by contrast, she focuses on the entire form. Her main attention is turned towards the expression: the minimalised physiognomy and sign language. What is clearly important for her is the haptic quality, the association of skin and physicality. Apart from the yellowed, stained newspaper, wrapping paper, baking paper and tissue paper, which she soaks with paste in order to shape it, she also uses mud and clay, which she kneads and models in similar fashion. In the next step she paints the paper and then finally covers it with layers of wax, sometimes wafer-thin and sometimes in thick, lumpy layers. Saskia Niehaus frequently contrasts the aesthetic of beauty with her aesthetic of the ugly, the cruel, the whimsical and the almost repulsive. The layers of wax seem to dematerialise the sculptures in a curious way, imbuing them with something ephemeral and transient.
Saskia Niehaus was born in 1968 in Essen, she lives and works in Cologne.