English summaries February 11 - 24

21er Haus Photos – Austrian photography from the 1930s until today 30.01.2013 – 05.05.2013 Loose concept, successful exhibition By Manisha Jothady Portraits next to still lifes next to abstract works, history next to present-day, concept next to documentation next to experiment, analogue next to digital, black-and-white next to colour. The curators Severin Dünser and Axel Köhne generated an exhibition that doesn’t attempt to offer a chronologic overview spanning Austria’s photography over the past 80 years nor does it stringently cling to specific topics or genres. And that is a good thing. The exhibition display by Clegg & Guttmann manages to tame the random distribution of the works and allow the leitmotifs man, objects and media to take shape. Grandiose: Gottfried Bechtold’s portrait-in- portrait-in-portrait titled “Georg 1972, 1974, 1978”. Remarkable also Robert F. Hammerstiel’s colourful large-format depicting a still life of plastic fruits: here the photo becomes a copy of reality, which one no longer trusts due to its artificiality – an aspect that has a radical form in Dieter Huber’s digital world of plants. Works by Norbert Becawar, Michael Schuster and Werner Kaligowski are also worth mentioning. Inge Dick and Günther & Loredane Selichar focus on light as the primal substance of photography. With his photograms, Michael Part, a representative of the younger generation, refers back to the technical beginnings of photography. Works by Part have been incorporated in the Belvedere collection, as have those by Kati Höfer, Nadim Vardag and Barbara Kapusta. This generation of artists, all born in the 1980s, lets us imagine how multifaceted the potential in collecting Austrian photo art in the 21st century is. 21er Haus 1030 Vienna, Schweizergarten/Arsenal Strasse 1 Tel: +43 1 795 57 0 Email: info@belvedere.at www.21erhaus.at Opening hours: Wed – Sun 10.00 – 18.00 hours Neue Galerie Graz Maria Lassnig – The location of pictures 17.11.2012 – 28.04.2013 The alert gut By Nora Theiss Where are the pictures and how are they expressed? Two questions that paraphrase Maria Lassnig’s oeuvre. In any case, two leading questions that the current exhibition in the Neue Galerie Graz focuses on concerning Maria Lassnig’s works. This compact and intelligently arranged show, assembled with a lot of feeling, contradicts those who believe that – in the post Peter-Weibel-era - there are no longer any extraordinary exhibitions in Graz worth mentioning. Newest findings and movements in art science form the framework with which the aspects of seeing and perceiving art are freshly evaluated and analysed. The scientific theses by W.T.H. Mitchell or Hans Belting can be applied perfectly to Maria Lassnig’s oeuvre. However, Lassnig’s works speak for themselves and are able to withstand all criticism – especially in this exhibition. At the beginning is a self-portrait dating from 1945 that contains everything which constitutes Maria Lassnig’s oeuvre: the conflict with her own image and the colourfulness; the turbulent appliance of colour is still in the style of that of her teacher, Herbert Boeckl, but it is clear which questions Lassnig is dealing with. The term “body feeling” repeatedly emerges – not to express feeling from the gut, where it comes from, but from the head. And when Lassnig - in order to understand the body feeling in the best possible way - lies down to paint, is close to Actionism – even if she is not part of this movement. The majority of the works shown at this exhibition have never been presented before, because Lassnig confined them to her studio. Lassnig deals with her main topics so consequently and has, to this day, lost none of her alertness. Chronology is not important because her tireless attempt to locate her pictures will never lose their relevance. But it is remarkable how intensive the colour of her most recent works is! Neue Galerie Graz 8010 Graz, Joanneumsviertel Tel: +43 316 8017-0 email: joanneumsviertel@museum-joanneum.at www.neuegalerie.at Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10.00 – 18.00 hours Landesgalerie für zeitgenössische Kunst Rudolf Goessl – Transformations 16.02.2013 – 12.05.2013 Freedom, Colour, Seduction By Margareta Sandhofer At last – a retrospective exhibition in extensive surroundings which does justice to the pictorial works of Rudolf Goessl (born 1929). His works – from his "first picture" in 1945, through continually changing, ever-developing oeuvres - are presented by the curator, Andrea Jünger, in the Schedhalle St. Pölten, one of the locations for "Zeit Kunst Niederösterreich". Examples from the post-war era demonstrate the fundamental narrowness of the domestic art scene under the domain of a few great personalities such as Boeckl or Wotruba. The conflict with the principles of cubism can be read in Goessel’s' small-format early drawings and oils. A completely different challenge results from his trip to America in 1967 and the meeting with American painters. The experience opens the young artist's eyes to the perspective of the – until then unknown – possibilities of artistic and colourful autarchy. Goessl's formats expand into large, abstract paintings. This short phase is featured in an adult self-awareness, freedom of colour and joy in the large shape. A very personal internalisation of the newly-created values and qualities emerges. Goessl successively approaches a monochromy, which is rather unique at that time. In the 1970’s Goessl shows some nuance-rich sensitive colorism (“Convolution" or "Spatial Stage Pictures"), but in the 80's, Goessl's colour spectrum has darkened, the delicate vibrations of the tones are strengthened and open up the flecks of colour. Goessl develops a new kind of sentimental space, which offers possibilities for meditative experiences far beyond the limits of the pictures. As a pictorial epos of waxing and waning, the 26-part cycle Great Litany (2000-2005) suggests a metaphysical content. Immersive colour spaces contrast with strong accents. With the Golden Way (part of the Great Litany), Andrea Jünger presents an impressive, fittingly displayed, final chord to the exhibition. A line has been drawn under Rudolf Goessl's works completed up to now: "Following this résumé, I'd like to present something new. I am convinced that I'll succeed." (1) The latest works exhibited – such as "In the Room" (2012) - leave no doubt about this. Perhaps at 80, Goessl will succumb to the expressive seduction of bright colours? 1) The citation has been taken from the catalogue: Rudolf Goessl talking to Alexandra Schantl, October 2012 (page 15). Landesgalerie für zeitgenösssiche Kunst 3100 St.Pölten, Kulturbezirk 5 Tel: +43-2742 90 80 90 E-mail: office@zeitkunstnoe.at www.zeitkunstnoe.at Opening hours: Tue-Sun 09.00-17.00 hours Haus der Kunst The rise and fall of apartheid: Photography and bureaucracy of everyday life 15.02.2013 - 26.05.2013 "We dreamt of a Rainbow Nation" By Matthais Kampmann "I was completely perplexed when I arrived in South Africa in 1950", recalls the photographer, Jürgen Schadeberg, describing his impressions. The German, who had learnt his handicraft from the bottom up at the dpa, had grown apart from his mother country. He'd seen it all: the deportation of the Jews – and he knew about the concentration camps. At 19, he wanted to get out. Because his mother had emigrated there, South Africa seemed the obvious place to go. "It was a strange situation which I did not understand at the beginning. It seemed idiotic to me. "White Laundry" was written on a notice board. I asked myself whether there was a separate one for black laundry? At any rate, I jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire." The well-known photographer-journalist describes his perception of his early days in the country, which was enough reason for him to become involved in the fight against racial segregation. Through their photographs, he and his colleagues fought against apartheid, which had come into force following the election of the National Party on the 26th of May 1948. And that's what the gigantic exhibition (ca. 500 photographs) in Munich's House of Art, "The rise and fall of apartheid: photography and bureaucracy of everyday life", is all about. Videos by William Kentridge, works by Adrian Piper or Hans Haacke reveal glimpses of the inner regions of an artificially divided society. But the pictures and documents are not just a kaleidoscope of horror – and that’s what intensifies the project. It’s the horrifying magnitude of contempt for mankind in everyday life that becomes apparent. Gisele Wulfsohn (1957-2011), a South African photographer, photographed a white mother with her three children on the beach. In between them, stands a black housekeeper with folded arms, gazing at the sea. The attractive, suntanned woman smiles at her attendants. Whilst the white people in the picture are recognisable as individuals, there's nothing individual to indicate the identity of the servant. Only her dress indicates her low status in the unequal society. That's the language of a picture, which couldn't be more explicit in spite of all its subtlety. Schadeberg, born 1931, has long been working for Drum, an illustrated magazine by whites for black South Africans, founded by an English adventurer with idealism to show apartheid for what it was; the expression of a fascist regime with contempt for mankind. "Until Drum came, there was no illustrated magazine in South Africa", said the photographer who still shoots present-day happenings with his Leica. His courageous reports on the partisanship of those excluded, and also portraits of artists such as the great singer, Miriam Makeba, made Schadeberg a target for suspicion. "In 1964, the special police were chasing me and so I emigrated again – even though Germans were actually treated with caution. But I pre-empted them." In the end, Schadeberg remained overseas for 20 years, photographing extensively for Time Magazine. On his return in 1985, he and his wife made films for the BBC. Was he happy in 1990 when the end of apartheid finally came? "We were so stupid", he reflects. "We dreamt about the Rainbow Nation, but reality soon showed itself in a different light." The exhibition also evidences the civil war – the bloody rivalry between the ANC and the Inkartha Freedom Party (IFP). Not only are videos of the Nelson Mandela Freedom Concert shown but also the sensational speech given by President Frederik Willem de Klerk in 1990 when he pardoned the black politician. The "Bang Bang Club" consisting of the photographers Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich, Ken Osterbroek and João Silva documents the violent unrest in the townships between the years 1990 and 1994. Another master and former assistant to Schadeberg, Dr. Peter Magubane, who was imprisoned and spent 586 days in solitary confinement, says: “the world wouldn't have believed what was happening if it hadn't been made public.” He never had any difficulty in selling his pictures. The exhibition displays the history of apartheid chronologically and documents attest to the high degree of publicity given to the theme at that time. In the magazine Look, Robert F. Kennedy writes about his experiences in South Africa: "A country with great promise and potential, ambition and achievement but also a land of oppression and sadness, darkness and brutality." This exhibition is a must-see this spring. Memories will be evoked when you see pictures such as Peter Magubane's The Green Car from 1976. In this "horror vehicle", the police drove through Soweto on the day of the revolt shooting randomly at black passers-by. And then the period of peaceful resistance based on the example of Mahatma Ghandi, when the lives of the blacks were completely bureaucratized. Passports were burnt as a result, but the civil defiance didn't help. The exhibition shows the horrific massacre in Sharpeville in the 60's. And it also shows the Boers at the so-called "Kruger Day" in 1988 in the photographs by Gideon Mendel. Your blood runs cold when you see the swastika-like flag and the smirking of the girl holding it out of the car window. Haus der Kunst 80538 Munich, Prinzregentenstrasse 1 Tel: +49 (0)89 21127-113 Fax: +49 (0)89 21127-157 email: mail@hausderkunst.de www.hausderkunst.de Opening hours: Mon – Sun 10.00 – 20.00 hours, Thu 10.00 – 22.00 hours

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