English summaries October 22 - November 4

Leopold Museum Naked Men – from 1800 to the present day 19.10.2012 – 28.01.2013 The absence of the fig leaves By Daniela Gregori It's nothing new: women have to be naked in order to get into a museum. And what do naked men have to do to keep up with them? They have to be heroes, the Saviour or at least divine. Adam is also such a classic but he really had nothing to put on until the fig leaf, or a strategically placed leafy twig, was introduced into images to help matters so that blushes would be spared for all and sundry. Whilst the most diverse exhibitions were dedicated to naked females, naked men were, thus far, never worthy of serious presentation in a museum. Now there's two being simultaneously presented in Austria, the theme really appears to have been in the air. In the Leopold Museum, the curator duo, Elisabeth Leopold and Tobias G. Natter, approach the theme in accordance with a strictly classical concept, which doesn't seem to hurt the exhibition. The male nude belonged to academic art education right from the beginning. The anatomically correctly proportioned body shown in peculiar poses and movements, the modelling of individual groups of muscles, the comparison with the ideal picture of the antique, all that was studied, sketched, formed, albeit only the participation of the male colleagues in the studio for nude studies served as the reason to keep women out of the Academy for Fine Arts in Vienna right into the 20th century. There were enough drawings, and later also photographs in which the male nude was shown – but never in a museum. It was only with the Vienna Modernism and its heroes such as Richard Gerstl, Egon Schiele or Anton Kolig, that the male nude became a central pictorial theme, in the case of the first two also the point of self-questioning, the production of a fully exposed id. Following a prologue with five naked men from five centuries, amongst them the "oldest nude in town" (quote Natter) an Egyptian court official from 2400 B.C., three main points were singled out, namely classicism, the modernism and the post-war development, all of which were examined as to their applicable innovation or central questioning. The exhibition isn't dissipated and doesn't lose itself, and in spite of its richness, lays no claim to completeness, shows remarkable - as well as less remarkable - splendour. Not all the exhibited positions are flawless, but the conception is almost free of reproach. What more does one want? Leopold Museum 1070 Vienna, Museumsquartier Tel: +43 1 525 70-0 Fax: +43 1 525 70-1500 email: leopoldmuseum@leopoldmuseum.org www.leopoldmuseum.org Opening hours: Wed – Mon: 11.00 – 19.00 hours, Fri: 11.00 – 21.00 hours Christine König Galerie Curated_by_vienna 2012: Thomas Kilpper, Jimmie Durham – curated by_Marius Babias 21.09.2012 – 10.11. 2012 The deep layers of things past By Susanne Rohringer In the front rooms of the gallery, Thomas Kilpper displays large-format canvases dangling from the ceiling and printed with woodcuts. The prints show well-known faces, such as that of Rosa Luxemburg or Georg Elser pictured at a Gestapo hearing. The roughly drawn lines of the pictures are partially printed on coloured strips of material. These large woodcuts are also to be seen as panel paintings – canvas on wood. We discover Jean Paul Sartre, Bertrand Russell, Michel Foucault and other, mostly well-known intellectual and political activists. Understanding Thomas Kilpper's art is essentially linked to knowing the genesis of the individual woodcuts. Some of the works shown here were carved into the floor of the former Ministry of State Security of the German Democratic Republic in Berlin. Kilpper searched for such history-charged locations, "occupied" and earmarked them. He literally stripped them and carved his view of the location into the historic ground. This also happened in London in the so-called "Orbit House" where he engraved the history of this location into a 400m2 woodcut. Once a chapel, furniture store and cinema, Orbit House in Southwark, London, is the perfect example of English living over the past three hundred years. Kilpper created a location-specific mythology, which dealt critically with the building's past and this image can also be seen in the gallery on a large-format picture with Sigmund Freud. The tenor of the pictures - which should definitely lead the viewer to questioning the political aspects - has motivated Thomas Kilpper since his youth. At that time, he was a sympathiser of the RAF and political activist, and also served time in prison. Notwithstanding, he learnt his artistic handiwork in Nuremberg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main and this can be seen in this refreshing exhibition. The themes are gloomy but the form of the depiction is not always violent. In particular, the picture of Rosa Luxemburg is carefully composed. In style and content, Thomas Kilpper sometimes reminds one of the American painter, Leon Golub. A political activist for many years, in particular a champion for the causes of the Indigenous peoples, is the American artist, Jimmie Durham. Himself belonging to the Cherokee tribe, he was UN Representative for Indigenous Peoples and has, for many years, lived in Berlin and Rome. For Christine König's exhibition, he created the eight-part work "1948" of which four framed works can be seen in the gallery. In his flat in Berlin, Durham found the remains of newspapers from 1948 and annotated them by writing his own reminiscences on the paper. This is both reminiscent of political happenings such as the founding of Israel, the Nakba WHATTY THATY????? or the founding of Hell's Angels, as well as the remembrance of familial happenings, such as his mother moving into a permanent residence. In Christine König's exhibition, Durham, a master of making references convinces through his still and poetical works. The crumpled paper behind glass reminds one of continents that expand and contract. It's the directness of the encountered that inspires Durham to think. All in all, a very successful example of an exhibition of the "curated by" series that without doubt, in addition to the artists, can be attributed to the curators Marius Babias and Christine König. Christine König Galerie 1040 Vienna, Schleifmühlgasse 1a Tel: +43-1-585 74 74 Fax: +43-1-585 74 74-24 email: office@christinekoeniggalerie.at www.christinekoeniggalerie.at Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 11:00 - 19:00 hours, Sat: 11:00 - 15:00 hours Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Studio Legend – From Spitzweg to Picasso, from Giacometti to Naumann 07.10 2012 – 10.02.2013 In the laboratory of the artist heroes By Matthias Kampmann The black-and-white photography shows a view of a completely empty room. At the far end, the picture concludes with three windows through which blazing light streams. The translucent material in front of the windows disperses the brightness. Horizontally at the bottom of the picture, an irregular square can be seen which appears to rest on the wooden floor in a mysterious manner. The answer to the riddle is: it's painted. In 1969, Jan Dibbets carried out this "Perspective Correction – My Atelier II". The well-known concept artist created possibly the most exemplary work for a theme which is displayed in numerous variations by the State Gallery Stuttgart. "Atelier Legend. From Spitzweg to Picasso, from Giacometti to Nauman" is the name of the project which has been realised in two years with approximately 200 works by over 70 artists in 2500 square meters in both parts of the building. And with this exhibition, the State Gallery is impressively reporting back under the direction of Sean Rainbird. The list of lenders is impressive. Amongst others, works have been acquired from the New York Museum of Modern Art, the London Tate, the Paris Centre Pompidou or the Washington National Gallery. Jan Dibbets' work is to be found directly opposite the reconstruction of the only 12 m2-sized Paris workroom of Daniel Spoerri. And worthy of note is the exhibition of a further installation that also fits wonderfully into the museum's space: Piet Mondrian's studio and his effort to make his three-dimensional neoplastic theory come alive, is a walk-in installation. The exhibition concentrates on the era of the 19th century when an artist's career was being newly defined. Since then, the definition of this has shown how the atelier picture presents the image of the artist in different ways. The atelier is not only a place in which pictures are painted, plastics formed, environments assembled, and concepts thought up. Here, you meet up with others, look at completely new art and also observe the genius of its creation. It is striking how many artists have dealt with their work place. Nineteenth century pictures stem from Camille Corot, Édouard Manet, John Singer Sargent or the romanticists Carl Gustav Carus or Georg Friedrich Kersting. They were all somehow outlaws, but what's with the celebrities of those times? That's a general trend of the exhibition: the “blue chips” of the market, which bring in the cash unashamedly, have no chance in this exhibition. However, it would have been interesting whether and how Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst or Takeshi Murakami would have mirrored their gigantic-manic workshops in their products. But all things considered, the exhibition is extremely well worth it. Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 70173 Stuttgart, Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse 30-32 Tel: +49 711 470 40 0 Fax: +49 711 236 99 83 email: info@staatsgalerie.de www.staatsgalerie.de Opening hours: Wed, Fr,i Sat and Sun: 10.00 -18.00 hours, Tue and Thu: 10.00 – 20.00 hours Absolute Democracy 29.09.2012 – 21.12.2012 Wide field - clear structure By Nora Theiss Politics in art and how far this functions as a changing influence, is debated in this year's “Steirischer Herbst” (Styrian Autumn). The exhibition "Absolute Democracy", curated by Oliver Ressler and Carlos Motta, is a further example of just how broad this field is and how many differing rudiments it presents. With regard to concepts by Toni Negri and Michael Hardt, which no opponent of capitalism gets past, the rudiments of the displayed works vary. Nicoline van Harskamp designed a room with an intelligent video- and audio installation in which she deals with the thematic of anarchy. The archive of the letters of the Dutch anarchist, Karl Max Kreuger, is the starting point for a collection of copied notes and quotes from the letters that one cannot borrow from the archive, as well as with staged meetings of Kruger's correspondence partners from all over the world. On the other hand, the moment of the genesis of a constitution serves Mariam Ghani as the starting point for an extensive concept which consists of a three-piece video installation about the constituent collection in a tent complex in Kabul. The development of a constitution in a country where clan rights take the highest priority, and the architecture of a location, are linked concretely to one another here. Already outside the exhibition, the visitor is greeted by the massive wall pictures of the collective work of Nikolay Oleynikov, who, with a group, within six days had not only scoured libraries but had practised sport units and kick boxing besides lectures, discussions, and reading circles. Oleynikov's comment about violent opposition in politics and capitalism shows that the radical is also latently present. Oliver Ressler, who has dealt with alternatives to the prevailing system again and again for a long time, and who describes himself as a catalyser that brings alternative projects into the public eye, impresses also in this exhibition with the selection of artists and their work as stringent thinker and artist who has a clear objective and who can also convey this with aesthetic aspiration. 8020 Graz, Volksgartenstrasse 6a Tel: 0043 /316/688306 Fax: 0043 /316/688306 Email: rotor@mur.at rotor.mur.at Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10.00 – 18.00 hours, Sat 12.00 – 16.00 hours

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