Sandra Peters

Co-Program Head, Art and Art History; Associate Professor of Art and Art History Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BFA ("Vordiplom") Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden; MFA ("Diplom“) Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden; PhD ("Meisterschüler“) Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden (Germany)

Research Areas: art in architecture, sculpture, installation, moving images, performance

Sandra Peters makes art that engages the architecture of the specific exhibition site in a contrapuntal dialogue, unlocking experiences that call in question preconceived beliefs and entrenched habits of seeing, hearing, and being and moving in a space. Her sculptures pick up on historic sculptural and architectonic paradigms, which she modifies and places in constellations such that the presence of the works is interwoven with glimpses of past cultural formations. Addressing the beholder's bodily reality, her art sustains a situated experience, while also charting fields of associations that have bearing on his or her position, actual as much as imagined, in the world. Peters pursues these concerns both in sculpture strictly conceived and in a range of other media, exploring a variety of formats (sound installation, moving image, film, performance).

In 2009–2012, Peters undertook extensive studies into the oeuvre of Rudolph Schindler, an endeavor that bore fruit in a number of works that take inspiration from the architect’s buildings. In 2013, she began to probe various questions that had arisen during her work on these projects. With the sculpture Interface No. 1, realized in 2012, she embarked on a multifaceted investigation of the form of the cube as such. A little later, she gathered initial ideas for a translation of Interface No. 1 into acoustic structures that the audience would experience in an installation with the title SonicCube (2014–). In the course of her examination of the form of the cube, Peters has devoted particular attention to its eleven nets, permutations that served as the point of departure for the sculptures Pandora’s Box (2016) and Untitled (Blaue Blume) (2017–18).

Works such as Tango (2013–16) and Zabriskie Point (2013) have a basis in architecture, while also reflecting specific cultural or historic contexts. They are conceived as situations to which the viewer is encouraged to relate by contemplating or moving around them. Both works are composed of different elements whose arrangement in the space conveys an impression of a cohesive ensemble, addressing itself not just to the eye but also to the sense of touch and sensorimotor experience.

The artist has had several solo exhibitions, including at Kunstmuseum Bonn (Zeichnung heute V, 2007); Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen (Modification—constantly climbing stones, 2009); Kunstsæle, Berlin (Interplay, 2011); Galerie Aanant & Zoo, Berlin (Bilateral, Diagonal, Cubical, 2012); and the Arts Center Project Space at New York University Abu Dhabi (Pandora’s Box, 2016).

Since 2007, Sandra Peters’s work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions in Germany and abroad, including at Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin (Zeigen. An Audio Tour through Berlin by Karin Sander, 2009); the MAK–Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Vienna (Envisioning Buildings. Reflecting Architecture in Contemporary Art Photography, 2011); Daimler Contemporary, Berlin (Conceptual Tendencies. 1960s to Today. Part II. Body, Space, Volume, 2013); and the Maraya Art Center, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Collectivity. Objects and Associations in the UAE Art World, 2017).

The monograph PER/TRANS. Performing the Cube, Transforming the Cube. Works by Sandra Peters 1998–2017 was released by Verlag für moderne Kunst (VfmK), Vienna, in January 2018. The book contains numerous illustrations, notes by the artist on all series, and thematic essays by Fiona McGovern, Michael Ned Holte, Gregor Stemmrich, and Peters herself.

Sandra Peters studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Art; and the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, where she was a Master’s student from 2002 until 2004. She was a visiting professor at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, in 1999–2000, and at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California, in 2011 and 2012. Since 2014, she has taught at New York University Abu Dhabi. The artist lives and works in Berlin and Abu Dhabi.

Courses Taught