Karla Woisnitza

Karla Woisnitza (born 16 August 1952) is a German artist.

Karla Woisnitza
Born1 August 192
EducationDresden Academy of Fine Arts


Woisnitza was born in Rüdersdorf. Before she went to art school, she took part in a drawing group in her hometown led by the artist Erika Stürmer-Alex. She studied set design from 1973 to 1979 at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In her core curriculum, she studied with Günter Hornig, who was an inspiration to a number of influential performance artists in East Germany[1] and who gave his students room for creative experimentation despite the conservative climate of the academy.[2] During her studies, Woisnitza brought together women artists and founded loose networks.[1] These included her fellow students and upcoming artists like Christine Schlegel, Marie-Luise Bauerschmidt, Sabine Gumnitz, Monika Hanske, Cornelia Schleime, Angela Schumann. They realized a number of collective events together.[1] These informal performances involved body actions, such as Face Painting Action (Gesichts-malaktion, 1978–1979).[2]

In 1991, Woisnitza received a diploma in painting and graphic design from the Academy. In 1992, she received the Marianne Werefkin Prize [de] from the Berlin Women Artist Association [de]. From 1993 to 1995, she painted seven large frescoes for the Virchow-Klinikum campus of the Charité hospital in Berlin. In 1994, Woisnitza received the Käthe Kollwitz Prize from the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 2002, she created a fresco for the church hall of the Evangelical church in Rüdersdorf.[3][4]

Woisnitza was encouraged by two artist/teachers, Gunther Hornig and Erika Sturmer-Alex to do non-conformist conceptual art. She developed "an artistic activation of the body in the interest of female self-assurance and empowerment"[2] and would call "into question traditional representations of femininity as well as the basic difference between internal and external perception."[2]


  1. ^ a b c Performance art in the second public sphere : event-based art in late socialist Europe. Cseh-Varga, Katalin,, Czirak, Adam. Oxon. ISBN 978-1-351-75708-9. OCLC 1022784997.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ a b c d The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain. Culver City, California: Wende Museum. 2019. p. 206.
  3. ^ "Woisnitza, Karla" (in German). Galerie Elfenau.
  4. ^ "Karla Woisnitza". Clara Database of Women Artists.