Biography

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016

  • de.structive dis.tillation, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
  • i am armed. i am an army., Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY
  • i come to do a violence to the lie, MATRIX 174, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
  • Introspective: Vanessa German, The August Wilson Center for African America Culture, Pittsburgh, PA

2015

  • The Ordinary Sacred, Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Bitter Root, Northcutt Stelle Gallery, Montana State University Billings, Billings, MT
  • Bitter Root, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT

2014

  • Citizen Artist, Concept Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Bitter Root, Montana Museum of Art & Culture, Missoula, MT

2013

  • Homewood, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, New York, NY

2012

  • Emerging Artist of the Year, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA

2011

  • Are You A Good Woman, Gallerie Chiz, Pittsburgh, PA
  • HOME: HOMEWOOD Artist Residency, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

2010

  • Tar Baby, Mendelson Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop: Everything Useful For Your Modern Household, 709 Penn Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017

  • Female\Feminist/2017, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, CT
  • New Installations: 40th Year, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Supernature, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY
  • Innovative Approaches, Honored Traditions, Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY

2016

  • AFRICA FORECAST: Fashioning Contemporary Life, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
  • Platform, Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, KS
  • Storytelling: The Georgia Review’s 70th Anniversary Art Retrospective, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • Tomorrow Never Happens, Samek Art Museum, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
  • Conjurers: Artists Imbue the Ordinary, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VA
  • State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, Jepson Center for the Arts, Savannah, GA

2015

  • Black: Color, Material, Concept, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
  • Re:Purposed, Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
  • UNLOADED, Space, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Vices Peculiar to these Eclectics: Contemporary Collage, Dr. M.T. Geoffrey Art Gallery, St John’s University, Queens, NY
  • Performing Blackness :: Performing Whiteness, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA
  • Some Assembly Required, Hill Gallery, Birmingham, MI

2014

  • State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
  • Pittsburgh Biennial, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh PA
  • SOFA: Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design, Chicago, IL
  • Cabinets of Wonder, Children’s Museum of Art, New York, NY
  • Afrotechtopia, Samek Art Museum, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

2013

  • Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

2012

  • To Be A Lady: Forty-five Women in the Arts, curated by Jason Andrew, 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery, New York, NY
  • Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center, The Duam Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO
  • The Art of Storytelling: Lies, Enchantment, Humor & Truth, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
  • Ill Perceived, Curated by Kristin Rogers, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
  • African American Art 1950-Present, Smithsonian Institution and David C. Driskell Center, College Park, MD

2011

  • Material Witness, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY

2010

  • Responding, Future Tenant Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2010, Pennsylvania State Museum, Harrisburg, PA
  • Art For Life, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow, I.P. Stanback Museuem, Orangeburg, SC

2009

  • Visionary Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Associate Artists of Pittsburgh 99th Annual Exhibition, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

2008

  • Black Clay in PA: A Dialogue in Flux, August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh, PA

2007

  • Objectification, Callerie Chiz, Pittsburgh, PA

2005

  • Gestures: An Exhibition of Small Site-Specific Works, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA

PERFORMANCES

2014

  • Creative Summit, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
  • B.U.S. 9, Bricolage Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

2013

  • Homewood, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY

2011

  • Pittsburgh Biennale Gertrude’s/Lot, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, PA
  • Too Shallow for Diving: the 21st Century is Treading Water, American Jewish Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Material Witness, Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY

2010

  • TEDx MIT, Cambridge, MA
  • Reading on Mars: American Shorts Reading Series, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

2009

  • Black Clay, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (Feature performance), Erie, CO
  • Testify, Multiple venues (Feature performance)
  • Women in Politics, Chatham College (Feature Guest Performer), Pittsburgh, PA

2008

  • SNAP!, Science, Nature, Art and People Conference (Feature performance), Boulder, CO
  • Testify, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts & PFM Biennale, Pittsburg, PA
  • Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship International Conference (Keynote Poem and performance), Boston, MA

2007

  • Pittsburgh International First Voice Festival, August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • PopTech!, Camden, Maine

2005

  • She Said: Words by Women, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh, PA

COLLECTIONS

  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, AR
  • David C. Driskell Center, Collage Park, MD
  • Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI
  • Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH
  • Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
  • Girls Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • IP Stanback Museum, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC
  • The Progressive Art Collection, Cleveland, OH
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
  • Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, IN
  • Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
  • Wadsworth Antheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT

AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS

  • Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant
  • Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, Creative Development Grant
  • Heinz Endowments
  • Sprout Fund
  • Ronald H Brown Leadership Award for Community Leadership, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
  • National Organization for Blacks in Law Enforcement Community Leadership Award
  • Women and Girls Foundation Award
  • Inaugural August Wilson Center Fellow
  • Inaugural Green For All Fellow
  • Center for Victims of Violence and Crime Fellow
  • Founding member August Wilson Center Theater Ensemble
  • Community Leadership Initiative Fellow
  • Creative Capital Flight School Fellow

APPEARANCES AND TALKS

  • Creative Mornings, Association of American Museums, Washington, DC
  • Creative Summit Crystal Bridges, State of the Art Spotlight, Bentonville, AR
  • TED Women
  • National Association of Children’s Museums, Arlington, VA
  • ART TABLE, New York, NY
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Marshall University Birke Fine Arts Festival, Huntington, WV
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Rochester University, Chicago, IL
  • Ball State University, Muncie, IN
  • Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
  • SUNY Cortland, New York, NY
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
  • Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA
  • Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH
  • Clarion University, Clarion, PA
  • La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Women and Girls Foundation Annual Meeting
  • Jones Summer Dance Intensive
  • Shuman Juvenile Detention Center Guest Artist
  • Green For All Academy, Oakland, California
  • Fed Ex Headquarters Women’s Month
  • Western PA Writing Project Writers Renaissance
  • Billy Strayhorn Birthday Celebration
  • Pittsburgh Pride
  • Magee Women’s Hospital Diversity Day
  • Let Freedom Sing Urban & Suburban Choir
  • TED x MIT, Cambridge, Mass
  • ROOT, August Wilson Center
  • ROOT, Vineyard Playhouse Martha’s Vineyard
  • ROOT, AIR Kelly Strayhorn Theatre

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2016

  • Jessica Stafford Davis, "10 Female Artists of Color on the Rise," The Root, March 22, 2016

2015

  • Zoe Donaldson, “A Sculptor Creates a Bright Spot in a Struggling Community,” O, The Oprah Magazine, September Issue
  • Marcia Davis, "Six years after the fire, Peggy Cooper Cafritz has a new home and collection," The Washington Post, September 24, 2015

2014

  • "This Sculptor Is Using Trash To Inspire One Of Pittsburgh's Toughest Neighborhoods To Make Art,” Huffington Post, October 7, 2014
  • Julia Halperin and Pac Pobric, “New York Fairs Let the Outsiders In,” The Art Newspaper, March 2014
  • “In Blue-Chip Precincts, a Shout-Out for the Undersung,” The New York Times, March 6, 2014
  • Mary Thomas, “Art Notes; An art-filled Saturday – Pick Between Two Major Exhibitions,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 2014

2013

  • “30 Black Artist Under 40 You Should Know,” Huffington Post, February 26, 2013
  • Diana Nelson Jones, “Fighting the world view that ‘nobody cares’”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 31, 2013
  • Rachel Wolff, “The New Collage,” ARTnews, December 2013

2012

  • Thomas Micchelli, “City of Women,” Hyperallergic, October 12, 2012
  • Nadine Wasserman, Art Review, Pittsburgh City Paper, October 10, 2012
  • Geoffrey Himes, “Agony and Ecstasy,” City Paper, Baltimore, October 10, 2012
  • Michael Amy, “Vanessa German,” Sculpture Magazine, June 2012
  • “Artist Vanessa German’s Blessings,” Locally Toned, March 19, 2012

2011

  • Anna Venishnick, “My Generation / Female Power: Vanessa German,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 6, 2011

2010

  • Bill O’Driscoll, “Words and Worth,” Pittsburgh City Paper, May 2010
  • “In the Frame: Artists in Their Own Words,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 26, 2010
  • Mary Thomas, Art Review, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 18, 2010

EXHIBITIONS

PIECEWORK: VANESSA GERMAN, JOE LEWIS, DIANE SAMUELS, DONNA SHARRETT AND STEPHEN SOLLINS

MARCH 1 - APRIL 21, 2018

 

SUPERNATURE

JULY 13 - AUGUST 18, 2017

 

VANESSA GERMAN: I AM ARMED. I AM AN ARMY.

OCTOBER 20 - NOVEMBER 30, 2016

 

VANESSA GERMAN: HOMEWOOD

OCTOBER 10 - NOVEMBER 9, 2013

 

MATERIAL WITNESS: HANNELORE BARRON, DONNA SHARRETT, VANESSA GERMAN

NOVEMBER 17 - DECEMBER 17, 2011

 

 

 

Vanessa German

Things Are Not Always What They Seem: A Phenomenology of Black Girlhood

In association with Pavel Zoubok Fine Art

Exhibition Dates: September 7 - October 27, 2018

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Vanessa German has created a series of power figures that consider the secret lives of black girls in America.  These radiant children, richly adorned with accumulations of found objects and glittering embellishment, speak silently and clearly about the over-criminalization of black girls in our school systems.  From the over-sexualization of their bodies to the lack of protection and justice for victims of sexual abuse and violence, these powerful works embody a lived experience of growing up black and female in America.  German's figures stand united and in formation to show the ways in which black girls save their power and pain to triumph in a hostile enironment. 

 

A visual and performance artist based in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood. Homewood is the community that is the driving force behind German’s powerful performance work, and whose cast-off relics from the language of her copiously embellished sculptures. As a citizen artist, German explores the power of art and love as a transformative force in the dynamic cultural ecosystem of communities and neighborhoods. She is the founder of Love Front Porch and the ARThouse, a community arts initiative for the children of Homewood. Her work is in private and public collections including Everson Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, David C. Driskell Center, Snite Museum of Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College. German’s fine artwork has been exhibited widely, most recently at the Mattress Factory, Everson Museum of Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Studio Museum, Ringling Museum of Art and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Her work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’sAll Things Considered and in The Huffington Post, O Magazine and Essence Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, the 2017 Jacob Lawrence Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the 2018 United States Artist Grant.