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On her 75th birthday: Christiane Möbus, seitwärts über den Nordpol. Kunstverein Hannover + Sprengel Museum Hannover | until 24.07. + 11.09.2022

Editors’ Choice

On the occasion of her 75th birthday, the Kunstverein Hannover and the Sprengel Museum Hannover are jointly presenting a major retrospective of the artist Christiane Möbus. The exhibition, which spans two buildings and covers an area of around 2000 square metres, brings together exhibits from the early 1970s to new installations that Christiane Möbus created especially for the large-scale show.

Image above: Christiane Möbus, Snow White, 1994 / 2007, MAN truck cab, spoiler, stainless steel rods, tulle, approx. 310 x 270 x 390 cm; © Christiane Möbus / VG BildKunst, Bonn 2022, Photo: Mario Gastinger Photography, Munich.
Exhibited at the Sprengel Museum Hannover.

“seitwärts über den Nordpol (sideways across the North Pole)” brings together works by an artist who looks at everyday life and life with a humorous, sometimes melancholic eye. Möbu’s work is characterised by a broad diversity of media: From photographs to sculpture to cinematic and installation works, the show reflects Möbus’ oeuvre. The exhibition is conceived as a large course that sets works in dialogue thematically and formally. The accompanying chronologically elaborated catalogue, which will be published four weeks after the exhibition opening, goes far beyond the presentation of works in the Sprengel Museum and Kunstverein Hannover and for the first time comprehensively documents Christiane Möbus’ life’s work.

DEEDS NEWS - Christiane Moebus - 06-Nelly-Kunstverein - Foto Hans Wulf Kunze Magdeburg-min
Christiane Möbus, NELLY, 2007, taxidermied crocodile, various suitcases, bags, transport boxes, medicine balls, a pair of children’s gloves, two transport trolleys, steel, wood, 215 x 332 x 142 cm, Courtesy: Sprengel Museum Hannover, Stiftung Niedersachsen; © Christiane Möbus / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022, Photo: Hans-Wulf Kunze, Magdeburg.
Exhibited at Kunstverein Hannover.

The exhibition brings together stages of the sculptor Christiane Möbus’ work across the decades: “Over the last fifty years, Christiane Möbus has created a very consistent oeuvre that is incredibly present. It captivates with a unique humour that gets to the point not only through language but also through idiosyncratic combinations of materials. Large-format, almost monumental works have been brought together from all over Germany for this exhibition and now meet fine small works that – although they come from different decades – open up excitingly charged dialogue,” says the former director of the Kunstverein Hannover, who developed the cooperation together with Reinhard Spieler and curated the exhibition as her last in Hannover.

DEEDS NEWS - Christiane Moebus - 04-Installationsansicht Giraffe Foto Herling Herling Werner Sprengel Museum Hannover-min
Christiane Möbus, Küsse vom König (Kisses from the King), 2001 / 2007, taxidermied giraffe, metal pedestal, wire ropes, 580 x 315 x 250 cm
Chesty Morgan, 1988, metal, car paint, flashing light, 50 x 160 x 63 cm; Courtesy: Galerie Rupert Walser, Munich
Both: © Christiane Möbus / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022, Photo: Herling / Herling / Werner, Sprengel Museum Hannover
Exhibited at the Sprengel Museum Hannover.

The exhibits at the Kunstverein Hannover and the Sprengel Museum Hannover include the truck ” Schneewittchen” (Snow White), which weighs tons, a life-size floating giraffe, which Möbus titles ” Küsse vom König” (Kisses from the King), and the hay-filled fishing boats called “Rette sich wer kann” (Save yourself if you can). Christiane Möbus transfers the supposedly everyday things into new contexts by, for example, adding airy tulle fabric to the truck, taking the grounding away from the giraffe and making it float in space, and decorating the boats with bales of hay. Curator Gabriele Sand says: “Möbus analyses nature and culture, her works are as simple as they are spectacular, her work is stubborn and resistant, it refuses a hasty interpretation. Alongside artistic production, exhibiting is part of her work process, which involves constant weighing and rethinking, Sand continues about Christiane Möbus, who has been involved in the exhibition installations of both houses.

DEEDS NEWS - Christiane Moebus - 05-Rette-sich-wer-kann-Kunstverein - Foto Achim Kukulies Duesseldorf-min
Christiane Möbus, rette sich wer kann, 2001, two lifeboats, hay bales, ca. 290 x 195 x 525 cm; Courtesy: DIEHL Gallery; © Christiane Möbus / VG BildKunst, Bonn 2022, Photo: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf.
Exhibited at Kunstverein Hannover.

The curators Kathleen Rahn and Gabriele Sand state: “With this jointly conceived show of works, we are paying tribute to an important contemporary artist who deserves great attention. With a German-English publication and the extensive exhibition, we also want to draw international attention to an artist from Hanover who set important artistic standards early on, even as far as “sideways over the North Pole”.

Short bio

From 1966 to 1970 she studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig with Emil Cimiotti. Guest professorships in Hamburg and Gothenburg followed. Between 1982 and 1990, Christiane Möbus was a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, and from 1990 to 2014 at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Through her many years of teaching, Christiane Möbus was and is influential and formative for the generations of artists who followed her. Her students included, for example, Alicja Kwade and Julien Charière. Möbus’ work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad and has received awards, most recently the Hannah Höch Prize (2018).

Exhibition title

The title ” seitwärts über den Nordpol” (“sideways across the North Pole”) belongs to the poem of the same name that Möbus wrote in 1983:

30. August 1983 auf dem Weg von Ost nach West


Bei mir ist auch im Sommer Winter.
Ich arbeite seit einigen Jahren
An “seitwärts über den Nordpol”,
und es gibt
zunächst keine Hoffnung auf besseres Wetter.

30 August 1983 on the way from East to West

Summer of the century

It’ s winter for me, too, in the summer.
I have been working for several years
On “sideways across the north pole”,
and there is
no hope of better weather for the time being.


The catalogue for the exhibition “Christiane Möbus, seitswärts über den Nordpol” will be published on 29 May 2022 and presented at a matinee in the Sprengel Museum Hannover. It brings together texts by Erich Franz, Till Julian Huss, Chus Martínez, Kathleen Rahn, Gabriele Sand, Inka Schube, Philip Ursprung, Timm Ulrichs and Henk Visch. Supported by the AKB Foundation, Foundation of the Carl-Ernst Büchting Family. Editors: Gabriele Sand and Benedikt Fahrnschon.


30.04. to 24.07.2022

Tue-Sat: noon – 7:00 pm
Sunday and Holidays: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

30.04. to 11.09.2022

Tue 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Wed-Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Closed on Mondays


KUNSTVEREIN HANNOVER, Sophienstraße 2, 30159 Hannover

SPRENGEL MUSEUM HANNOVER, Kurt-Schwitters-Platz 1, 30169 Hannover

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