Rubica von Streng

lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Studies of Arts | Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe | Ernst Caramelle
2014 Studies of Arts | Universität der Künste Berlin | Mark Lammert
2018 Studies of Art History | Freie Universität Berlin
2018 Graduate of Arts | Universität der Künste Berlin
2018 Master of Arts | Universität der Künste Berlin

The view into the future plays a central role in Rubica von Streng's oeuvre – whether it is intuitions that break through, or fact-based fears that she expresses in many of her paintings. The inescapable, the truths we must confront, include the consequences of environmental degradation, the effects of the climate crisis, the division of society, and the loss of freedom as a result of political upheaval. Topics that are current today and will probably remain so for a while – certainly not easy fare.


Nevertheless, especially in the paintings of the „PortLand“ cycle, which she has been working on since 2018, von Streng manages to give the gravity of the subjects treated an unheard-of lightness. „Substance becomes atmosphere [in these paintings]; stone becomes light,“ wrote Dutch curator Jurriaan Benschop in an essay on her „Limits of PortLand“ series. This is partly due to the particular use of color and form, and partly to the sophisticated, filigree painting technique with which she manages to make the complexity of the world and the burning questions of the present comprehensible for the viewers – perhaps even a little more bearable.


A special form of entropy is at work in von Streng's pictures, that rather unfortunate physical-chemical condition which is responsible for the fact that everything strives for the state of greatest possible disorder, however much we may long for orderly states.

„Viewed on a cosmic scale, we have no chance at all of stopping this trend toward chaos,“ she states, referring to physical certainties. Such findings and the corresponding scientific discourses have long preoccupied von Streng; her private library on these topics measures several shelf meters. „To understand how the world ticks,“ she says, „it's helpful to fathom its mechanisms as best I can. I prefer to look deeper into the matter instead of settling for superficialities.“


Fortunately, the Second Law of Thermodynamics exists, which she makes use of in her artistic work: „On a small scale, such as in a closed system of canvas and paint, I can trick entropy and create order in chaos.“ This results in predominantly abstract expressionist works that oscillate between inner and outer worlds, between chance and necessity. Emotion and reflection meet, wrestling for dominance. The result of this clash is not predetermined and often arises intuitively. „The painting process takes a lot of energy,“ she admits. But the energy-sapping battle for composition is worth fighting, especially since it repeatedly produces quite astonishing paintings that sometimes overwhelm the vocabulary of art criticism. In other words: Anyone who wants to sort Rubica von Streng's works into art-theoretical categories will have a hard time. It is not necessary anyway.


Frank Lassak, ARTMAPP 2/2023

Awards and Grants


Phönix Art Award | Long List | Eurobuch-Verlag | Starnberg


Color – Shape – Space Award | 1st place | Cross Currents Gallery | Philadelphia

Publicaction Grant | PArt Künstlerbuchstipendium
Publicaction Grant | Spiegelberger Foundation


Media Coverage


Cover Story | “Women Art | Collect Art Magazine | Vol 43 | Tbilisi

Interview | Landscapes | Collect Art Magazine | Vol 42 | Tbilisi

Article | PortLand in Umbria | Collect Art Magazine | Vol 41  | Tbilisi
Article | Von der Ilm an die Havel | kulturexpresso | Brandenburg
Article | PortLand – Anatomie der Zukunft | ARTMAPP | Spring Issue
Interview | Artist Talk zum Weltfrauenmonat | Art in Berlin Magazine

Article | Grace and Valor | exhibition review | Art in Berlin Magazine
Article | Rubica von Streng’s PortLand | Art Market Magazine | Tel Aviv

Cover Story | 8:37 Prologue – Facing the Future” | Get Inspired Magazine | Rotterdam

Interview | “Artist Feature: Rubica von Streng” | Cross Currents
Gallery | Philadelphia



Portrait | “About Rubica von Streng” | Artmagazineium 34 | Istanbul

Article | „Raus aus der Comfort Zone“ | Art in Berlin Magazine
Article | „Totentanz – Malerei und Skulptur“ | „Totentanz Aktuell“ 266 | Europäische Totentanzvereinigung
Portrait | “About Rubica von Streng” | Suboart Magazine 13 | Lissabon
Article | Der Totentanz“ geht in die zweite Runde | Ostsee-Zeitung
Article | „Ausstellung Totentanz | Art-in.de Magazine

Review | Museum Schloss Mitsuko „paper works“ | Art in Berlin Magazine

Interview | with Spiegelberger Stiftung | Hamburger Unternehmer Magazin

Feature |Totentanz“ in Stralsund | NDR Kultur

Interview |Totentanz“ in Stralsund | Ostsee-Zeitung

Portrait |Jenseits aller Kategorien“ | ARTMAPP | Spring 2023



Interview | with Ludwig Graf Westarp | Kunstleben Berlin

Portrait |Rubica von Streng porträtiert Landschaften“ | MAZ

Interview |Die Stimmungen der Zeit festhalten“ | Art in Berlin Magazine

Review | „Limits of PortLand im Musee Dezentral“ | Art in Berlin Magazine



Portrait | „Über Rubica von Streng“ | Tagesspiegel

Review | „Wie Farbe berührt“ | taz



Article | „Natur verschlingt Mensch“ | Rheinische Post

Review | „Wenn der Mensch aus der Platane schlüpft“ | WZ



Cover Story | „Totentanz Aktuell“ 233 | Europäische Totentanzvereinigung

Catalogues and Books


Vol. 5 of the book series “101 Contemporary Artists and More”, published in spring 2024 by Collect Art, Tbilisi, Georgia, contains a feature about my work cycle “PortLand”, alongside stories about 100 other artists from around the world.




The 100-page catalog accompanying the exhibition "Totentanz" at St. Jakobi Cultural Church contains reproductions of all works in the cycle as well as texts by Alexander Badrow, Gabriela Ivan, Frank Lassak, Luisa Rittershaus, Dirk Schleinert, Gerd Franz Triebenecker and Jörg-Peter Vögele. It is published by Isensee-Verlag, Oldenburg, and is available in bookstores everywhere or directly at Isensee. Price: 28 euros. ISBN: 978-3-7308-2022-3

The exhibition "paper works" brought together diverse positions of international artists at Museum Schloss Mitsuko from September 30 to October 31, 2023. What they have in common is a passion for works on and made of paper, as well as a penchant for minimalist, naturalistic approaches to themes and materials. The works of the 18 participants as well as introductory texts by curator Ralph Tepel are published in an 80-page catalog.

The book “Limits of PortLand” was published in September 2022 as a high-quality illustrated book in limited edition. In addition to more than 40 reproductions of the paintings and sculptures, the book contains an essay by Dutch curator Jurriaan Benschop as well as an interview in which the artist talks about the creation of the works, her motivation and intention.


ISBN: 978-3-00-073275-1


2019 marked the publication of the first volume of the “PortLand” book series, called “Towards PortLand”. It describes in great detail, how the “PortLand” work cycle started and which ideas and motivations it is based upon. Meanwhile, two editions of the book are sold out, its contents, however, will be re-edited and included in an upcoming collected edition that will cover the complete work cycle, planned for 2025.

“In a world full of conflicting interests and beliefs, how do artists root themselves? Where do they find their sense of direction? These questions underlie the exhibition Taking Root. ... The eleven artists presented ... did find some roots. They have developed a focus in their practice and in their interests, and that is what gives their work depth.”
Excerpt from foreword by Jurriaan Benschop, freelance curator, for KIT (Kunsthalle) Düsseldorf, 2019/2020.