English summaries February 25 - March 10

Kunsthistorisches Museum Kunstkammer Wien 01.03.2013 – 31.03.2013 Come and be amazed By Daniella Gregori It was a superlative-filled week for the minister: in Los Angeles she rejoiced over the two Oscars for Austria, and, after almost an entire decade, she finally inaugurated the Kunstkammer (Art Chamber) in the Art History Museum. For Sabine Haag, the director of the Art History Museum, the re-opening of the Kunstkammer was a very emotional moment. An entire generation grew up without knowing this wonderful "venue of knowledge, amazement, and exciting learning”, Haag said. Indeed, those who had the chance to visit the Kunstkammer as a child will remember the amazement it triggered: the ostrich eggs with their elaborate ornamentation, bezoars and other bizarre pieces. To make it short: the endeavor was a complete success, not least because the objects were chosen very carefully. Among them the Saliera, which was given a special status because it was selected as one of 20 “room regents”, each of which take on a visual-didactic patronage for the respective room it represents. The architect HG Merz, who works in Stuttgart and Berlin, was challenged to create a design positioned between “humility and delicatesse” – his showcases, that replaced those by Clemens Holzmeister of the 1930's - are the best voucher for this characterization. Ultimately the objective was to bring the installations in accordance with the historical building structure. And one can easily assume that the lighting in a museum environment, which was conceived for daylight, presents a particular challenge. Light fixtures will always be perceived as alien elements, and by calling on Olafur Eliasson, didn’t make matters any better. But that is the only thing one can criticize. Kunsthistorisches Museum 1010 Vienna, Burgring 5 Tel: +43 1 525 24 0 www.khm.at Opening hours: Tue - Sun 9.00-18.00 hours Sotheby’s Vienna Artist Quarterly: Fabian Patzak – Splendor 18.01.2013 – 29.03.2013 Naked Rooms By Wolfgang Pichler A unique and very private atmosphere characterizes the rooms at Sotheby’s Vienna where the works of Fabian Patzak are presented. After the first glance at his paintings it is obvious that the title of the exhibition: “Splendor” must be regarded as an ironic insinuation towards the venue (the baroque Palais Wilczek). An oriel with a helm roof in Theresianumgasse or the the entrance to a house in Kaisermühlen are portrayed in a reduced but unbelievably clear and precise manner, using only a few shades of grey. And similar to a good portrait, the focus is not on the superficial reality but on what is hidden behind it. In contrast to the baroque shapes of the exhibition room the unframed small formated works appear almost naked and unprotected. And yet it's not the absence of frames or other accessories that create an effect of nakedness, but much more the fact that one has the impression of being able to understand the essential essence of things – concretely said, the architecture. The phrase “stripped bare” characterizes the working method of the artist who was born in 1983 and who lives in New York and Vienna - this way he gets to the bottom of things, frees them of their protective shell and uncovers what is essential. His small and mid-sized formats are the most convincing in this exhibition. That fact that houses, which commonly represent a kind of protective shell turn into fragile or even questionable objects in our imagination, is responsible for the attractiveness of these oil and acrylic works. Sotheby`s Vienna 1010 Vienna, Herrengasse 5 Tel: +43-1-512 47 72 Fax: +43-1-513 48 67 www.sothebys.com Opening hours: Mon –Fri 9.00 – 17.00 hours Kunsthaus Graz Berlinde De Bruyckere – Incarnate 15.02.2013 – 12.05.2013 In the flow of life By Nora Theiss With Berlinde de Bruyckere, the Belgian representative at this year’s Biennale in Venice, the Kunsthaus Graz presents an artist that is everything but loud and pompous, but rather silent and unpretentious – personal, and immersed in her work. “Incarnate”, as in corporeality, which is intrinsic in this artist's sculptures, on the one hand sounds like Christian idealization, but on the other, like something very earthy, corporeal, that which constitutes De Bruyckere’s work. The flowing, which is a specific aspect of the exhibition, appeals to curator Katrin Bucher-Trantow. Onlookers seem to glide along the wall that winds through the room – black here, white there - from one sculpture to the next. Cross references and clues to our cultural history can be discovered in the sculptures that are made of stacked parts of exact casts of human and animal body parts as well as plants that – in their de-construction – are transformed into an entity. Piled on a pedestal resembling an altar, one finds Actaeon, the young hunter from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, whose random encounter with Artemis led to his death. The deer antlers are not only an expression of life but also of death. The reference to the material plays an important role in De Bruycker’s work. In the wall’s crevice, protected as if in a cave, her work “The Wound” is presented – a hanging sculpture that focuses on the wounded bodies of female cancer patients. Photos, films, books, art works – all of these are starting points for Berlinde De Bruycker’s touching sculptures. The vehemence of two horse bodies piled on a rusty scaffold – “Le Deux” is amazing; one senses the war, the wasting away and the suffering. This exhibition is not measured in large by its quantity, but it is measured in large by the quality of the work presented. Berlinde Du Bruyckere creates a universe of human existence in the flow of life and death. Kunsthaus Graz 8020 Graz, Lendkai 1 Tel: +43/316/8017-9200 Fax: +43/316/8017-9800 email: info@kunsthausgraz.at www.kunsthausgraz.at Opening hours: Tue - Sun 10-18 hours, Thu 10-20 hours Leica Store und Galerie Robert Capa – China 1938 13.02. 2013 – 13.04.2013 Towards death By Susanne Rohringer The beginnings of the Japanese-Chinese War in the 1930s seen from the viewpoint of the photographer Robert Capa are currently shown in the Leica Gallery; in commemoration of his 100th birthday. Robert Capa, the famed (war) photographer travelled to China with a film team in January 1938. Capa was the camera assistant for the film “The 400 Million” and hired to shoot photos of the Chinese resistance against the Japanese aggression. Director of this project was the Dutchman Joris Ivens; John Fernhout was the cameraman (the film is also shown in the Leice Gallery). The timing for this adventurous undertaking was precarious - both for Capa personally as well as in a world political sense. Capa had lost his partner in life, Gerta Taro, in July 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. He was devastated by her death. Capa, born as Andre Friedman, lost his companion who had a similar story, a similar political background and was also a photographer. The film team arrived in China immediately after the Japanese massacre in Nanking and at first, the team stayed in the provisional capital of Hankou. Ivens wanted to show the collaboration between nationalist China under General Chiang Kai-Shek with Red China; the movie was planned to be a kind of propaganda film. But soon the director was faced by numerous difficulties and Capa began to feel the influence of Chiang Kai-Shek’s wife, who was anxious to present her husband and the national Chinese troops in a positive light, making free photography or filming impossible. In order to finance his stay in China, Capa took photographs of the Chinese General and his wife that were later published in the magazines “Life” and the “Picture Post”, although he secretly sympathized with Red China. The small exhibition gives a very good impression of the content and form of political photo reporting in the 1930s. It shows a war zone that is unfamiliar for most Europeans. It shows the delusions and crimes committed by the national Chinese propaganda. And it shows China’s imperial war, which, in 1941, turned into a world war in the far east after the USA intervened. It also shows the work of a photo reporter, who had first-hand experience of the world political atrocities of the 20th century and who developed a deep sensitivity for injustice and crime. And it shows the view of a man who had lost the love of his life. Leica Store und Galerie 1010 Vienna, Walfischgasse 1 Tel: +43 1 236 74 87 www.leicastore.at Opening hours: Mon -Fri 10.00 -19.00 hours, Sat: 10.00-18.00 hours

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