290908: Kunstforum der Bank Austria: Fotografis – Collection Reloaded

Kunstforum der Bank Austria: Fotografis – Collection Reloaded Treasure trove in black-and-white It is the rule rather than the exception that a corporate collection is carefully planned from the start, and that those considerations made at the beginning are systematically pursued. As Anna Auer and Werner H. Mraz started the collection Fotografis for the Länderbank (Bank Austria's predecessor), they already knew what they wanted. They therefore not only collected photography, but they also organized symposiums in which internationally renowned experts took part to communicate the importance of photography as a medium of art. The current exhibit at the Bank Austria Kunstforum brings those treasures to the light. It truly offers an overview of historical photography, even if most of the photographs are more recent, and are therefore less valuable. They are all here: Bourke-White and Weegee, Talbot and Atget, Horst and Fenton, Steichen and Stieglitz, Man Ray and Rodtschenko, Cartier-Bresson and Strand – and of course the Pictorialists such as Kuhn. Famous works including the portrait of Meret Oppenheim by Man Ray, the leap frog man” by Muybridge, Diane Arbus’ giant or Paul Strand’s “White Fence” alternate with works by less famous artists, but who turn out to be true discoveries. Among them Felice Antonio Beato, with his incredibly clear and sharp image of the pyramids behind the village of Gizeh or Leslie Krims with his series “Human Beings as a Piece of Sculpture” (1969): a man without legs sitting on a pedestal, or a pregnant woman blowing huge soap bubbles – scenes, which pre-empt Erwin Wurm’s works. While the rather conservative hanging is comprehensible, it seems superfluous to have added contemporary works. While Erwin Wurm’s, Andreas Gursky’s and Margeritha Spiluttini’s large format works loosen up the show, they do not offer a new perspective and seem to – in the context of the numerous black-and-white photos - assume an air of too much importance. Kunstforum der Bank Austria 1010 Vienna, Freyung 8, until 29. 10. 2008 www.kunstforumwien.at

Bank Austria Kunstforum
1010 Wien, Freyung 8
Tel: +43 1 537 33 26, Fax:
Email: office@kunstforumwien.at
Öffnungszeiten: Mo-So 10.00-19.00 h
Fr 10.00 - 21.00 h

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