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English summaries June 4 - 16

translated and summarized by: Liz Wollner-Grandville, 18.06.12

WAGNER:WERK Museum Postsparkasse der BAWAG P.S.K.
A Clear Vision - Jena Glas, Bauhaus and the Kitchen as a Laboratory

15.05.2012 – 18.08.2012

Glass Luck
By Iris Meder

The material was predestinated for the Bauhaus style: transparent, easily malleable, low-priced – and heat-resistant. Walter Gropius' initiative to bring designers such as Gerhard Marcks and Wilhelm Wagenfeld together with the progressive entrepreneur Erich Schott resulted in a productive entity of art, handicraft and industry for the benefit of consumers. Consumers could now place the aesthetic glass pot in which they prepared food directly on the dining room table.

Bauhaus-member László Moholy-Nagy’s advertising campaign and his photographs of Jena Glas are testimonials of a life-long fascination of dematerialization, reflection and transparency. It was hard to believe that behind the seemingly weightless everyday life objects of the thirties - the glass coffee-maker and Wagenfeld’s stereometric tea-pot, Hitler was already lurking: the "fireproof serving form" was depicted against the backdrop of the Berlin Olympic stadium in a brochure published in 1936.

Moholy-Nagy emigrated to the USA, and at the end of the war there was an exodus of the glass industry to the West. Heinrich Löffelhardt and the industrial photographer Albert Regner-Patzsch worked together with Wagenfeld at the new Schott-venue in Mainz. But Jena was able to win one of the best designers in the GDR: Ilse Decho. The collection of Jena Glass household items, complemented by advertising graphics and film material, fits perfectly into the glass counter hall of the PSK. What a pity that the production was discontinued in 2005.

WAGNER:WERK Museum Postsparkasse der BAWAG P.S.K.
1018 Vienna, Georg-Coch-PLatz 2
www.ottowagner.com
Opening hours: Mon - Wed, Fri 8 - 15, Thu 8 - 17:30, Sat 10-17 hours



Hilger Contemporary
Vasilena Gankovska

31.5.12 – 21.6.12

City as a display for mankind and clichés
By Gesche Heumann

Sometimes one can watch tourist holding a camera with their stretched arm as if they were a dog following its owner. While they stroll around Vienna, they film the city and see Vienna in the camera display, in which it appears smaller and preserved. At home, these tourists will presumably often look at these images of Vienna and possibly forestall the hardship of travelling anew.

Vasilena Gankovska also walks around cities and afterwards paints compiled views located in Rome or in a coffee shop or in a park – the figures reminding of the pseudo-private photo albums of peripatetic Facebook friends. “The Photographer 2” (2010) depicts a young woman with her camera at hand, looking into the left corner over her shoulder, as if there was something she might have forgotten to snap a shot of. Her posture implies the hardship of tourists not to miss anything. Her attire is practical; her shoes are flat and she schleps a huge camera – reminiscent of Scarlett Johansson in “Vicky Christina Barcelona”.

Silhouette, attire and the minimal facial expression of the figures in all of Gankovska’s current works were painted with a permanent marker or stencilled in Banksy-style. The background landscape is held in colour. The colours are subdued and appear in a calculated dimmed manner. The paint application is planar and there are no stains, drops or any other hints that her paintings were created by hand. Leaves on trees or bushes are fabricated by artfully outlining an empty space with green colour. The artist mainly focuses on an elegant and extremely reduced style, comparable with Roy Liechtenstein and, with regard to the compositions, also with Tim Eitel.

Hilger contemporary
1010 Vienna, Dorotheergasse 5
Tel.: +43 1 512 53 15
Fax: +43 1 513 91 26
Email: Ernst.Hilger@hilger.at
www.hilger.at
Opening hours: Tue - Fri 11 - 18, Sat 10-16 hours



Galerie Lisi Hämmerle
Djinni in a Bottle – Materialization and Mediality

16.05.12 – 30.06.12

Technologically up to date
By Wolfgang Ölz

“Djinn in a bottle – Materialization and Mediality” is the title of the new exhibition in the Gallery Lisi Hämmerle in Bregenz. The show is a project by the faculty of the Department of Digital Art at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna and includes 16 positions representing the outcome of “Rapid Prototyping”. “Rapid Prototyping” is the 3D print of digital models made of plaster, plastic or metal. In “Moment_02” Tommy Schneider focused on different time levels. It took him 13 minutes to take a 360-degree shot of grated horseradish; the computer processed image was then used to print the work with a 3D printer within 95 hours in ABS. ABS is an artificial material and goes by the full name of Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer. The process of taking a computerized shot of an object that will be printed in 3D is the basis of the entire exhibition.

Not only artists were invited to the exhibition: curators and theoreticians including Romana Schuler or Roland Schöny (together with the artist Hand Newidal) also worked on their hybrid artefacts. Other artists involved were Wolfgang Fiel and Sophie-Carolin Wagner, Margarete Jahrmann, Nicolaj Kirisits, Peter Kogler, Bernd Kräftner with Ashley Holwell, Martin Kusch, Jan Lauth, Lydia Lindner, Max Moswitzer, Niki Passath, Tommy Schneider, Ruth Schnell, Veronika Schnell, Franz Schubert, and Stefanie Wuschitz.

Ruth Schnell, head of the Department of Digital Art, initiated the research project. 3D print technology was introduced in the same way in which videos were introduced to art in the 60’s and 70’s. Art presents itself as technologically up-to-date, while the downsides of progress are not factored out, but – on the contrary – represent a major theme.

Galerie Lisi Hämmerle
6900 Bregenz, Anton-Schneider-Strasse 4a/I
Tel.:+43 5574 47 319
Fax.: +43 5574 47 319
Email: galerielisihaemmerle@tele2.at
www.galerie-lisihaemerle.at
Opening hours: Wed – Fri: 14 – 18, Sat 10 - 12 and 14 - 16 hours



Bank Austria Kunstforum
My Private Passion – The Hubert Looser Collection

26.04.12 – 15.07.12

Common thread with considerable willpower
Margareta Sandhofer

The Swiss entrepreneur Hubert Looser has collected art for the past 50 years. Initially he mainly collected works by Swiss artists including Kurt Seligmann, Serge Brignoni and André Thomkins, but later his interest in these surrealistic trends shifted to Abstract Expressionism and Arte Povera.

In his collection, Looser focuses on an “extended field of experience”. His endeavour to position the individual works in a dialogue is also reflected in the exhibition currently shown at the Bank Austria Kunstforum. Lucio Fontana’s bronze sculpture “Concetto Spaziale, Natura Nr. 7” is juxtaposed with Günther Uecker’s “Weißer Schrei” (White Scream). Positioned opposite – in accordance with the colour used in the other two works - is Anselm Kiefer’s “Weiße Vlies” (White Fleece) providing a clear reference to the mythical depth of his presentation and the materials used – something lacking, or actually obsolete, in Uecker’s and Fontana’s work which leaves incomparably more room for imagination through their puristic, non-didactic aesthetics.

Room for imagination can also be found in Giacometti’s “Annette assise”. With a spiritualized stare directed into nothingness, that is, at the same time everything, the sculpture constitutes an energetic resistance to the emptiness of its surroundings – positioned directly next to Kiefer’s powerful painting.

Carefully balanced is the compilation in the next room: Richard Serra’s “Finkle-forge” is a remarkable work made with black oil crayon on paper. Robert Ryman’s “Manager” created on canvas with white oil colour on a rust proof grounding is a pure picture experience per se that escapes any further interpretation, and Ellsworth Kelly’s “White Triangle with Black” is what it is.

In the main room of the Kunstforum, Looser’s faible for Willem de Kooning is obvious. As soon as Looser “felt the chance and the will” to acquire a stately number of paintings and bronze sculptures by de Kooning he did so. Juxtaposing these works with John Chamberlain’s car wreck sculptures is appealing. In another room, Pablo Picasso’s “Sylvette”, a portrait on sheet metal, creates a dynamic moment in the lyrical dialogue with sketches by Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse.

The compilation of works by one and the same artist does not necessarily guarantee an exciting situation – this is clearly proven in the Cy Twombly room. But maybe this has to do with time in which his works were acquired, because his fascinating paintings were then no longer on the market or unaffordable. In any case, the collection leaves the impression that it was acquired “to be on the safe side”, i.e. established names could exclude the risk connected to a bad investment. The thought that at one time or another the decision was not made based on intuitive passion but rather based on (market) experience. But who should take offence of these deliberations made by a Swiss entrepreneur? And – after all – Hubert Looser’s collection is remarkable, personal preferences are visible as a common thread - providing the collection with individuality and homogeneity.

Bank Austria Kunstforum
1010 Vienna, Freyung 8
Tel.: +43 1 537 33 26
Email: office@bankaustria-kunstforum.at
www.bankaustria-kunstforum.at
Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 10– 18 hours, Fri: 10 – 21 hours

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