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Rose III

Isa Genzken | New York

Rose III by Isa Genzken image Rose III by Isa Genzken image


Zuccotti Park, One Liberty Plaza
165 Broadway
New York, NY 10006

Rose III (2016) is an eight-meter-tall rose created by German artist Isa Genzken, now a permanent installation at Zuccotti Park in the heart of Lower Manhattan. Rose III is on long-term loan to Brookfield from art collector and long-time Isa Genzken supporter Lonti Ebers.

Throughout the four decades of Isa Genzken’s career, the subjects of architecture, urban space, and their impact on the social life of cities have been central to Genzken’s singular, multifaceted art practice. Outdoor public sculpture has been a key element of this practice, which Genzken sees as a way of reflecting, complementing, or commenting upon the specific character of a given site’s architectural and historical surroundings. The landscape of New York City, and Lower Manhattan in particular, has long been a source of inspiration and investigation for Genzken, who has made multiple bodies of work dedicated to New York City. Genzken has stated: “To me, New York had a direct link with sculpture…. [It] is a city of incredible stability and solidity.” The installation of “Rose III” at Zuccotti Park marks Genzken’s latest foray into public space, in a city for which she cares deeply.

Standing eight meters (26.2 feet) tall and forged from painted steel, Genzken’s yellow rose is rendered with vivid, meticulous detail. It is based on an actual rose that the artist picked and developed for production with her foundry Kunstgeisserei in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Enlarged to monumental size, the rose poses questions of scale, perspective, and viewership in the public realm. Its tall, narrow proportions suggest the proportions of the skyscrapers that make up Manhattan’s iconic skyline, and which have inspired so much of Genzken’s work. Also iconic is the symbol of the rose itself, for all its complex literary associations throughout history. For Genzken, also of interest is how these shifting meanings relate to shifting values: how roses were once a rare luxury item, and are now a widely available, nearly ubiquitous commodity.


Isa Genzken (b. 1948, Bad Osloe, Germany) has exhibited widely for more than four decades. Major institutional exhibitions include “Isa Genzken: Retrospective”, organized by Sabine Breitweiser and Laura Hoptman at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2014) and the Dallas Museum of Art (2014-15); a solo presentation in the German Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale (2007); “Models for Outdoor Projects”, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, 2016; “Mach dich hübsch!”, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015), which traveled to Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2016); “Sesam, öffne Dich!”, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, which traveled to Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (both 2010); Skulptur Projekte Münster (2007, 1997, and 1987); Secession, Vienna (2006); and “Jeder braucht mindestens ein Fenster”, Renaissance Society, Chicago, which traveledto Portikus, Frankfurt (both 1992). In 2017, Genzken was awarded the prestigious Goslarer Kaiserring (or the “Emperor’s Ring”) award.