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“It is impossible not to be entranced with Cosima von Bonin’s playful works. Her huge, floppy stuffed animals, outsized rockets, and large-scale textile ‘paintings’ exude a certain seductiveness and absurdity though one shot through with sardonic wit."

Meredith Malone, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum 

headshot of Cosima von Bonin in black and white

Cosima von Bonin (b. 1962, Mombasa, Kenya) lives and works in Cologne. In 2010, the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria presented The Fatigue Empire, a comprehensive one-person exhibition of the artist’s recent works. It was shortly followed by von Bonin’s Lazy Susan Series, A Rotating Exhibition, with venues at the Witte de With Rotterdam (Oct. 2010-Jan. 2011); Arnolfini Bristol (Feb.-April 2011); MAMCO, Geneva (June-Sept. 2011); and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (July-Oct. 2011).

Von Bonin’s first major U.S. survey, Roger and Out, opened in 2007 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Other institutional one-person exhibitions have taken place at MUMOK, Vienna, Austria (2014); Artipelag, Gustavsberg, Sweden (2013); Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis (2011); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2011); Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva (2011); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2004); Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany (2001); Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (2000); and Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland (1999). In addition, von Bonin has participated in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Les Abbatoirs in Toulouse, France; and Documenta XII in Kassel, Germany, among many others.

Her work is included in many notable collections worldwide, including the Tate Britain in London; the Museum für Neue Kunst im ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany; and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. 

Installation view of von Bonin's show at MUMOK featuring three large hanging stuffed birds, each wearing colorful scarves. Two patch-work cloth "paintings" hang in the background.

Hippies Use the Side Door, MUMOK, 2014

Installation view

Installation view from documenta 12 featuring two of von Bonin's rorschach test fabric paintings. One is pink and purple with the white rorschach blob appliquéd on, and the second is light and dark blue with the white rorscah test appliquéd on. The paintings are hanging from the ceiling, below them are small white bleachers and in the background are white cubes on platforms and a large gray stuffec bulldog on a white platform.

documenta 12, Kassel, Germany, 2007

Installation view

Installation view from the Stedelik Museum of three stuffed dogs. One is a gray Saint Bernard with a brimmed fabric hat on a white platform. Behind it is a stuffed gray bulldog on a platform and off to the side is a yellow stuffed flappy-eared dog. Hanging on the wall in the background is a fabric painting.

JUMP INTO THE FUTURE: ART FROM THE 90'S AND 2000'S, Stedelijk Museum, 2018

Installation view

Installation view from Kunsthaus Bregenz in 2010. Eight textile paintings hang on two perpendicular walls. All are different colors and feature white gloved hands embroidered on them.

Cosima von Bonin- THE FATIGUE EMPIRE, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2010

Installation view

Installation shot from CvB SIngles Uptown Remix at Petzel's Uptown location. A multicolored octopus sculpture is in the center of the room. on the left-hand wall is the purple and pink rorschach text painting. on the back wall is a textile painting with an animal in a red hat embroidered on it. the street post with a cigarette is standing in the right hand corner.

CvB Singles Uptown Remix, Petzel Gallery, 2015

Installation view

Installation shot from CvB SIngles Uptown Remix at Petzel's Uptown location. A multicolored octopus sculpture is in the center of the room. on the back wall are two textile paintings and on the right hand wall is the pink and purple rorschach test painting.

CvB Singles Uptown Remix, Petzel Gallery, 2015

Installation view

Installation view of WHAT IF IT BARKS? at Petzel in 2018. The image features eight plastic fish and two fabric killer whales in a large circle with a giant aluminum cat food can hanging from the ceiling.

WHAT IF IT BARKS? featuring AUTHORITY PURÉE, Petzel Gallery, 2018

Installation view

Installation image of a killer whale soft sculptures with three plastic mackrel sculptures in the background. Each mackrel is robed in gingham fabrics, one has a ukulele and another has a white electric guitar.

WHAT IF IT BARKS? featuring AUTHORITY PURÉE, Petzel Gallery, 2018

Installation view

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