Biography of Judith Hopf
German artist Judith Hopf has been working since the 1990s on developing an entirely unique artistic language. Inspired by post-painting practices, her work is based on a hybrid between objects and installations and concepts and performance. Using a variety of mediums, including sculpture and film, her work transforms everyday materials and settings into an analysis of human experience, either by employing a critical stance or parodying what she calls “the stupidity” of contemporary life. Judith Hopf addresses social and political issues often using foolish or slapstick humor to imagine an improved future.
Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1969, Judith Hopf moved in 1992 to the newly reunited Berlin to study at the University of the Arts. She began her career against the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and cites this as the reason for her dedication to political themes. Judith Hopf’s most iconic and celebrated work is Flock of Sheep, a group of concrete casts of cardboard boxes with cartoon sheep faces. She uses sheep here, a symbol of senseless herd behaviour, as the embodiment of her notion of stupidity. This work mocks the absurd structures and behaviours that we are faced with in social situations and the way we all seem to follow each other.
Animals are a common motif in her work and are often abstracted and made using everyday materials. The artist uses such motifs and humor to liberate both herself and her viewer from the behavioural expectations that are placed on both society and the art world. This notion of subverting expectation using light themes, is carried through to Judith Hopf’s films, such as Some End of Things: The Conception of Youth. In this slapstick work, a man dressed in a giant egg costume tries and fails to fit through the doorways of glass office buildings.
As well as making art, Judith Hopf continues to work as a teacher and is a member of the faculty at the Städelschule art school in Frankfurt. Her works have featured in the Liverpool Biennial, and she has also had solo exhibitions at the Neue Galerie, Kassel and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Several of her sculptural projects have been displayed in public spaces across Europe including her work A Line which was displayed in front of the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden.