251010: Stadtmuseum Graz The Art of Assimilation. Styrian artists betwixt tradition and propaganda during National Socialism

Stadtmuseum Graz The Art of Assimilation. Styrian artists between tradition and propaganda during National Socialism 15.06.10 - 02.01.11 New standards It is a real challenge as to how one should exhibit paintings and plastics, which originated during dictatorships. An answer was given in 2008 in the exhibition "Political Sculpture" in Linz's Landesgalerie even though in this project only a single "Nazi artist" –Josef Thorak – was represented. Nevertheless, the presentation and art of contextualizing can be considered as standard. The Neue Galerie Graz is now also setting new standards with Günther Holler-Schuster's self-curated exhibition, "The Art of Assimilation. Styrian artists between tradition and propaganda during National Socialism" which, because of extensive alterations to the Joanneum, is being presented in the Stadtmuseum Graz. Those apparently harmless landscapes hanging at the beginning of the exhibition (painted on the occasion of a Rosegger anniversary) ultimately represent the mainstream of NS art production: namely monumental propagandistic painting (such as one by Karl Mader) or sculpture (Hans Mauracher, Wilhelm Gösser). The exhibition has been cleverly divided into chapters – so you don't only devote yourself to the subject of the landscape but also to the sexist division of roles in National Socialism, the glorification of the heroes, the super-elevation of work. And one should also not forget to document the continued post-war existence of some pictures – for example, until 1949, Mader's "Mother" served as cover picture of the Mother’s Day edition of the "Stryrian News". Open to scrutiny, too, are isolated male artists – and surprisingly enough, many female artists – who continued to work after 1945: some suddenly painted abstract (inexpertly to some degree). However, not only the content but also the arbitration has been approached with great sensitivity: the pictures haven't been hung at eye level – there, on a broad red stripe, detailed information is given about the artist and the art. The respective works are to be found above or below the stripe; the first glance falls on the factual level, after which one is confronted with the painting or drawing. Such a configuration can, perhaps, be perceived as didactic; however, in this case an intelligent solution has been found for the problem where others have failed. Everyone who ventures to present such an exhibition project in the future should reflect seriously upon this diligently thought-out show. And everyone else, too, as a matter of fact. By Nina Schedlmayer Stadtmuseum Graz? 8010 Graz, Sackstraße 18 Tel: + 43-(0)316 - 822580 email: stadtmuseum@stadt.graz.at http://www.stadtmuseum-graz.at Opening hours: Tue: 10.00 - 21.00, Wed – Sat: 10.00 to 18.00 Sun and Holidays: 10.00 to 18.00

Stadtmuseum Graz
8010 Graz, Sackstraße 18
Tel: + 43-(0)316 - 822580
Email: stadtmuseum@stadt.graz.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di 10.00 bis 21.00 Uhr, Mi bis Sam 10.00 bis 18.00 Uhr, So und Fe 10.00 bis 18.00 Uhr

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