Born 1957 in Bensberg, Germany.

Lives and works in Berlin.


1989–1990 Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum, New York, NY
1981–1987 Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart


2014 Rome-Prize of the German Academy in Rome, Villa Massimo, Italy
2011 Hans-Thoma-Preis, Großer Landespreis für Bildende Kunst Baden-Württemberg, Germany
1996 Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, France
1993–1995 Grant of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany
1994 Rubens-Förderpreis der Stadt Siegen, Germany
1993 Villa Romana Prize, Italy

Solo Exhibitions (selection)

2017 Zeigen. An Audio Tour through the collection of the GfZK, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (GfZK), Leipzig
Karin Sander. Identities on Display, Kunstmuseum Villa Zanders, Bergisch Gladbach
2013 Identities on Display, Humboldt Lab Dahlem, Berlin
Museumsbesucher 1:8, Lehmbruckmuseum, Duisburg
2011 Kernbohrungen, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
2010 Gebrauchsbilder und Andere, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
Labor, K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
2009 Zeigen. An Audio Tour through Berlin, Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin
2002 Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
1996 Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
1994 Projects 46, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Group Exhibitions (selection)

2017 Mentally Yellow. High Noon, The KiCo Collection, Kunstmuseum Bonn and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
MEXIBILITY, Casa del Lago – Goethe Institute, Mexico City
2016 Mixed Media – Karin Sander & Dieter Roth, Safn Berlin
BRD, Fahrbereitschaft – Haubrok Foundation, Berlin
2015 Artists’ Rooms, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
I got to have one of those, Contemporary Art Collections of the Lenbachhaus and KiCo Foundation, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
2014 Solides Fragiles, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM), Luxemburg
Waywords of Seeing, Le Plateau, FRAC Île-de-France, Paris
When Now is Minimal, Museion, Bolzano
Lens-Based Sculpture: The Transformation of Sculpture through Photography, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
2012 1980–NOW, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
2010 Contemplating the Void. Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum’s Rotunda, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

Karin Sander works with situations, their social and historical contexts, involving interventions in existing structures and institutions. The medium the work is realized in is painting, sculpture, electronic media, science, architecture; in brief: each medium is available for working out its specific potential. The intersection of work, recipient and institution, of what is found and what is added, of presence and absence, is emphasized and exhibited. Her Mailed Paintings (begun in 2004), for example, standard-sized and primed canvases of various shapes, are sent to exhibitions without any kind of protection; while being on display constantly, they collect and display traces and marks of their journey. At n.b.k. – Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2011), one work consisted of piles of crumpled-up waste paper, post-it notes, tossed-out magazines etc. accumulating on the floor, the material originating from the offices of the institution, located directly above the exhibition space. Karin Sander had 30-centimeter wide holes drilled through the ceiling of the exhibition space, the floor of the n.b.k. offices above, in places where originally waste paper baskets were located and instructed the staff of n.b.k to use these holes in the floor just as they would normally use the bins.


Sander is also known for her highly polished Wall Pieces (ongoing since 1986) as well as for her 3-D bodyscans of the living person (ongoing since 1997). As Harald Welzer noted about the latter series: „Since most of these people are also actors in the field of the arts, now as artworks in the context of exhibitions they gain a certain degree of self-awareness.“