English summaries February 13 - 27

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart Michael Majerus 26.09.11 – 6.04.12 If we are dead By Daniela Gregori Michel Majerus once said the it would be a pleasure to produce art work in the 90's because it was then possible for the first time to go after a work that didn't compulsively have to stay in one place for any length of time. It was exactly this decade that was granted to him as an aspiring artist until the 35-year old died in an air crash in Luxemburg in 2002. Majerus completed his studies under K.R.H.Sonderborg and Joseph Kosuth at the State Academy in Stuttgart in 1992. Exactly a decade for an early, main and late work and somehow this verve appears appropriate for an oeuvre that is often posthumously more highly praised than it was during the artist's lifetime. Because of the comprehensive show, the large formats and possibly also the gesture, the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart has turned itself upside down for the duration of the exhibition. The rooms on the ground floor and basement where once, prior to the construction of the Art Museum, skaters romped in an underpass, have been made free to accommodate the large format works, and place has been made for additive arrangements and extensive visual axis. The permanent collection of Modern Art will, without further ado, be presented in the cube, which is directly opposite, something that is very beneficial for the collection. Majerus, however, proves himself to be an uncompromising sampler, quasi as a pioneer of a procedure that is common practice today. He avails himself of the highs of classical art history and contemporaries, and the lows of the youth and everyday culture. Dürer and Warhol meet in ever-greater formats with Super Mario and the features of a colourful consumer world. Regarding the “better, bigger, brighter” Michel Majerus was a child of his time. What remains will be revealed over the next ten years. One of the most spectacular works, "If we are dead, so it is“, was completed by the deceased in the year 2000 in the Kölnische Kunstverein. A gigantic half-pipe, 42 m long and 10 m wide, which invited the scene of the time to utilize it during opening hours. The work was reconstructed at the Sevilla Biennale of 2004 and as of March 15, 2012 the children will be allowed to use it at the Stuttgart Schlossplatz. Almost two weeks later, the verdicts will be declared in the case of the air crash of November 2002. The artist's father is indifferent; that wouldn't bring his son back. Kunstmuseum Stuttgart 70173 Stuttgart, Kleiner Schlossplatz 1 Tel: +49 (0) 711 - 216 21 88 Fax: +49 (0) 711 - 216 78 20 E-mail: info@kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de www.kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de Opening hours: Tue, Thu to Sun 10-18 hours, Wed and Fri: 10-21 hours Startgalerie im MUSA Sarah Pichlkostner – Quite. Dissolving the unformed 27.01.12 – 01.03.12 Dazzling grey By Wolfang Pichler Although she works with a very reduced and above all, chilly colourfulness, the 1988-born artist manages to create a very intensive atmosphere. An iron construction takes a prominent place in the room, which appears like a never-finished dressing room bench, albeit without hooks and places to sit. Next to this, a "blackboard" with a yellow "sponge" on the shelf beneath it. Her installations in grey and a very vapid-looking neon yellow, create a strange and fusty atmosphere reminiscent of a classroom and gymnasium changing room. But if one looks further in the exhibition, one is reminded of Richard Serra's "lead sculptures" with objects of transparent synthetic material and which appear to be stuck to the floors and walls in a separate area of the gallery. Likewise, one can hardly think about anyone other than Joseph Beuys when viewing the parts of some works created from grey felt paper. This postmodernism, and its conditions of continuous self-reflective features in Sarah Pichlkostner's work, find their climax in the ever-recurring small pictures on the walls that appear as cuttings from the shown environment. That the work shown here is about a great "whole" and not about single objects can be ascertained from the "List of Works" which, in this case includes a room plan with numbers. But this shows a section of the room and what is in it rather than objects distinctly separated and independent from one other. Incidentally, the above-mentioned pictures function wonderfully as individual artistic works. Startgalerie in the MUSA 1010 Wien, Felderstraße 6-8, next to the Town Hall Tel: +43 (0)1 4000 8400 E-mail: musa@musa.at www.musa.at/startgalerie Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Fri: 11:00-18:00 hours; Thu 11:00-20:00 hours; Sat 11:00-16:00 hours Kunsthaus Bregenz Yvonne Rainer – The language of trees 04.02.12 – 09.04.12 Creating dance history with a flag By Wolfgang Ölz The icon of postmodern dance, Yvonne Rainer, born 1934, proves to Bregenz that, as in the past, she continually demonstrates the highest artistic quality. Film material of the impressive early works coalesces partially with material shown for the first time from the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and dance recordings, which extend into the immediate, present at a world class level. The latest coup of the Bregenz Kunsthaus is the co-operation with the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. The first solo retrospective in Europe for Yvonne Rainer can be viewed until April 9, 2012 in Bregenz, after which it will move to Cologne from April 28 to July 29. While Kuehn Malvezzi created the exhibition's architecture for Bregenz, in Cologne, Heimo Zobernig will develop an "illuminating subtext" together with works, movement by the visitors, and films. In Cologne, Yvonne Rainer will also be honoured as an individual who has paved the way for performative tendencies in contemporary fine arts. The opening of the exhibition "Room, Body, Language" took place in the Vorarlberger Landestheater and included the two dance works "Spiraling Down" (2008) und "Assisted Living: Good Sports 2" (2011). The incredibly dense choreography – the one dealing with a jogger, the other circling around passion and virtue – did not only left the Vorarlberg dance scene exultant. In the Kunsthaus itself, the 50 years of work of the New York dancer and film-maker, Yvonne Rainer, can be seen on three floors. The first floor is divided by a curtain into two cinemas where works that were presented at the Dokumenta 2007 are shown. On the second floor, the archives of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles have been opened up – they include many historical photos never seen by the public before, together with original notebooks and a score by John Cage. A photo from 1966 shows Yvonne Rainer together with Andy Warhol and Barbara Rose in Frank Stella's studio. Like Andy Warhol's mass products - such as the famous can of soup - which were declared works of art, or Roy Lichtenstein who gave comics art status, Yvonne Rainer introduced daily movement into theatrical dance, thereby significantly influencing the style creation of generations of dance companies. Apart from this, ten rarely shown documentary films of performances during the early years are to be seen; there's even a film – the existence of which the grande dame of modern dance didn't know about - of a performance given on the October 24,1964 by Yvonne Rainer with Robert Morris in the auditorium of the State Academy of Art. Absolutely spectacular is the performance of "Trio A With flags". It shows Yvonne Rainer and her dance company dancing naked, except for using the US flag as an apron, when she was protesting against America's repression and censure of that time. On the third floor, seven films can be seen which Rainer made between 1972 and 1996. Seven small flatscreens with stools and headphones are available, and a White Cube was erected in the middle of the museum room, featuring a different one of the seven films every day in large format. One of these seven films is called "Lives of Performers", and details the fight between two women over one man. Self-experience is intertwined with fiction and predefined dance steps meld with the production of a film to form a work of art, which is both authentic and aesthetic. Kunsthaus Bregenz 6900 Bregenz, Karl Tizian Platz Tel: +43 5574 48 594-0 Fax: +43 5574 48 594-8 E-mail: kub@kunsthaus-bregenz.at www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10-18 hours, Thu 10-21 hours Kunstforum Bank Austria Herbert Brandl 26.01.12 – 15.04.12 Perception – both emulated: good painting By Gesche Heumann Painting is an art that our shaggy ancestors mumbled, muttered and spoke about when they invoked it in their caves. It has always been a sociable, tender art since that time. Even when practised with a broom-sized brush, it is evident that one can also be tender whilst wielding such an implement. Brandl needs 20 minutes for his larger pictures; they are, so to say, reportages of a sporty comeliness. An impressively large, 3m high and 5m wide, landscape format with apparent fluorescing wide stalks arising out of a mud bath is to be found in the Bank Austria Kunstforum (Untitled, 2009, oil and varnish on canvas). If one were to hang these broom-wide stalk trails next to the Great Piece of Turf by Dürer, the latter would look small and fiddly, somehow only minimalistic endearingly planned. Not bad, but as opposed to Dürer's, Brandl's XXXL stalks are nimbly sublime, genealogically more elegant – Dürer can't help that. Dürer didn't have a continually heated, bright hall in which to run riot with his pictures and Dürer was German and was not permitted to use as much yellow as Brandl, because no German has yet been able to produce a lemon yellow in his paintings that didn't hit one in the eye. But Brandl has. Brandl's work seems to have emerged from a mimetic understanding, which operates the abstract and the representational equally. When Brandl paints a mountain, he also paints where the air becomes thinner. Brandl says of himself that he's a mountain observer and not a mountain climber; how, then, does he know when the air gets thinner ? Apparently he's able to imagine it and to emulate his idea so that we can see it: and that's the astonishing thing about mimetic painting and about Brandl's painting. Astonishment is a wonderful feeling. The mimesis in painting is a surplus always lacking in a photo, and also in Gerhard Richter’s works. Brandl's work has this surplus - it's visible: that's good news. Bank Austria Kunstforum 1010 Wien, Freyung 8 Tel: +43 1 537 33 26 E-mail: office@bankaustria-kunstforum.at www.bankaustria-kunstforum.at Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10.00-18.00 hours, Fri 10.00 - 21.00 hours

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