English summaries April 10 - 21

translated and summarized by: Liz Wollner-Grandville, 23.04.12

Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz

Car Culture
02.03.2012 – 04.07.2012

Parked and ready for the museum?
By Stephan Maier

It appears somewhat lost, as if it had been ordered and was then simply parked badly, the right hand-drive of Alicja Kwade's "Nissan (Parallel World 1 + 2)": The other half of the identically-mirrored car couple – demolished by a lunatic from the young Linz coma drinkers' scene and filmed by a mobile phone camera - is meanwhile waiting in a workshop to be reunited. Which is more than unfortunate and not a good prelude for the artistic car salon "Car Culture" in Linz's Lentos Museum.

Conceived by Peter Weibel, Karlsruhe ZKM, the exhibition appears to be thought out on a low level of ideas and execution. Where at an earlier time "Media and Mobility" was sworn, one has now lapsed into the clichéd phrase of "Car as Sculpture". The symbolized figure of motorised movement has been reduced to the formalities between body and bonnet, or also: what artists think up on the theme "in the blink of an eye" (press text).

The paint on the floor of the exhibition hall has at least partially disappeared, mainly due to the numerous presentations that have taken place here. But this does the overall impression of the show good, and lends an indeterminate charm of skittish parking in unkempt back yards. Instead of the "flamboyant coach" from the experimental laboratories of the world champions (Elmgreen & Dragset or John Chamberlain), there is an unusual regional connection in Linz which then leads to just as many incomprehensible multiple nominations. Thus, Hannes Langeder is somewhat over-represented with two of his, at best, peculiar deceleration vehicles.

Conversely, the female quota is maintained – at least in terms of figures. In addition to the zealous work by Michaela Mélian, it (would have been) above all, that of Alicja Kwade, whose "Car Culture" on the hydraulic ramp would have really led to discussion. Her automobile duo – both Nissans are driven by herself and her partner, Gregor Hildebrandt, mirrors the scuffed left and right mudguards in a completely different parallel universe to real life: love, whose loopholes and injuries revolve around a rubbish-strewn inner life.

On an ad hoc visit to the exhibition, this all leaves an impression of a rather weak performance. And also Franz Ackermann's sculpture of a VW poised for flight from the fantastic world of the RAF hangs feebly from the lobby ceiling - such a pity.
Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz
4020 Linz, Ernst-Koref-Promendade 1
Tel: +43 70 7070 36 00
email: info@lentos.at
http://www.lentos.at
Opening hours: Every day except Mon from 10-18 hours, Thu: 10 - 21 hours


Startgalerie im MUSA

Iris Nemecek – Jolly Roger
13.04.2012 – 16.05.2012

The Mediterranean and Matisse instead of the Caribbean and pirates
By Wolfgang Pichler

The first impression – and it is not belied here – is that it's all about the work of very colourful and bright pictures with great value laid on decoration. That a young artist appears to be successfully going her own way, in spite of the dangers of slipping into kitsch, distinguishes this delightful show.

Plant fragments and cutout effective shadows thickly populate her acrylic pictures in different pastel tones. Although birds, monkeys and wild beasts are not to be seen, they could well inhabit the apparent Caribbean landscape. Pirates would also fit extremely well into such a fantastic backdrop, but they too, are not to be seen. In this respect, the appropriately named exhibition plays on the skull and crossbones flag. It doesn't deter from the enjoyment that such art is to be understood not without a certain well-meaning naivety. Not without good reason does one think of Henri Rousseau and his famous jungle pictures and/or also about the early Matisse in the years around 1910.

A not insignificant parallel to Matisse is also the fact that the picture conception and talented composition are shown to great advantage and strength in the large format collages composed of coloured paper. The very impressive work is to be found in the show attached directly to the wall with drawing pins. The clear-cut borders and the unmixed colours of the coloured paper support the extremely buoyant, convivial mood of this successful composition. A pity that there aren't more of these truly convincing collages to be seen.

Only on closer inspection, does it become apparent that these works are representational paintings or collages and it's certainly not the narrative quality that constitutes these oeuvres. On the contrary: more courage with abstraction would even heighten the impact of these works.

Startgalerie im MUSA
1010 Vienna, Felderstraße 6-8, next to the Town Hall
Tel: +43 (0)1 4000 8400
email: musa@musa.at
http://www.musa.at/startgalerie
Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri: 11:00 - 18:00; Thu: 11:00 - 20:00; Sat: 11:00 - 16:00 hours


Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
Bojan Sarcevic
10.02.2012 – 06.05.2012

Necessary de-glorification
By Wolfgang Ölz

With the museum's first large exhibition of Bojan Sarcevic, the Liechtenstein Art Museum has succeeded in presenting a convincing view of an artist of the younger generation who, in his versatile work, can make the seemingly comprehensible incomprehensible.

In accordance with the exhibition's title, "A Curious Contortion in the Method of Progress", the artist, born in Serbia and living in Berlin and Paris, leads the belief in progress, the system’s apparent lack of alternatives to the prescribed economic growth, ad absurdum.

The steel rods with copper plates presented in the second room under the title "Eventuellement" make this especially obvious and amusing. The visitor immediately begins to ask himself where this galactic shelf system can be used to store books. In the era of IKEA Billy shelves, we are all children of efficient thinking and it is an artistic achievement to make this clear for the recipient.

Absolutely spectacular and hulking are the two onyx-marble blocks, "She" at 1.7 tonnes and "He" at 5.5 tonnes. Additionally, the work "Presence at Night" is stretched across a corner of the same room. It's the balance of marble art and a work beyond any classical artistic concept that shows how large the range is that Bojan Sarcevic's works span. Room 3 shows films, which visualise multi-coloured, crumpled up paper which turns on its axis at the sound of reduced tones. In the fourth room, Sarcevic presents a selection of works from his own collection. It's not surprising to find a surreal work by Giorgio de Chirico among this selection, which shows the same dreamlike reality one finds in Sarcevic’s work.

Definitely a show worth seeing that shouldn't baulk in comparison with other houses. To round off, one can also see the collection exhibited in the art museum where Andy Warhol is wall-to-wall with Joseph Beuys and similar calibres.

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
9490 Vaduz, Städtle 32
Tel: +423 253 03 00
Fax: +423 253 03 29
email: mail@kunstmuseum.li
http://www.kunstmuseum.li
Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10.00-17.00 hours, Thu:10.00-20.00 hours


Galerie Renner Prinz

Andrey Klassen, Sarah Pichlkostner
22.03.2012 – 05.05.2012

Painting as an opportunity space
By Manisha Jothady

The Renner Prinz Gallery has already had an auspicious start in January with Rowena Hughes. For her Austrian solo debut, the British artist had revised pages with silk-screen painting and drawings taken from her 50's course book on architecture and photography. The result: geometric compositions that interact intelligently with the formal structures of the original material.

Under the title "We do have a problem", the newcomers to the Vienna gallery intertwine two positions together which, at first sight, have little in common. However, Andrey Klassen (*1984) and Sarah Pichlkostner (*1988) share an interest in working with and on paper, the reason for drawing and that for different grades of abstraction.

Andrey Klassen's ink works oscillate between painting and drawing. They simulate scenic drafts for secret stories which seem to draw on myths, films, literature, fairy stories, comics, the everyday, art history, nature and religions. The artist colourfully plumbs the depths of the variegated shadows between black and white. He also commands the play with different perspectives as well as the integration of abstract elements in figurative compositions in a virtuoso manner.

Sarah Pichlkostner's installations, on the other hand, clearly go in the direction of an augmented painting concept. In this respect, the artist convinces the viewer through the usage of fragile works with classical painting utensils such as bone glue and pigments. For example, thin skins similarly hung over a steel object in such a way that it seems as if the process of shaping them is taking place before the eyes of the observer. The artist lays layers of delicate, transparent-like membranes of different materials one upon the other in her small-format collages. Here, too, the concentrated involvement with the medium of painting filters through, because Pichlkostner classifies colour against colour, form against form, and material against material.

Galerie Renner Prinz
1040 Vienna, Margaretenstraße 9 (at the corner of Schleifmühlgasse)
Tel: 0043 -676 – 3317950
email: mailto:renner@rennerprinz.com
http://www.rennerprinz.com/
Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 12-18.30, Sat: 12-15.30 hours

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