English summaries March 25 - April 7

Alte Pinakothek Brueghel. Paintings by Jan Breughel the Elder 22.03.2013 – 16.06.2013 With the finest stroke of a brush By Matthias Kampmann Jan Breughel the Elder's paintings provide ample evidence that one can create great liveliness within the confines of a small space. His “Large Fish Market” (1603) is one of numerous examples. A wonderful exhibition in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich offers the opportunity to discover the microcosms in his paintings. The cliché that Pieter Brueghel the Elder, his father, was the real star of this Antwerp painters’ dynasty was invalidated. The exhibition clearly shows that Jan, who lived from 1568 to 1625, administrated the heritage in a more innovative manner than his older brother Pieter, who primarily copied his father’s works. The exhibition presents 130 works and graphics. Alone 47 paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder originate from the Bayrische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. According to director Klaus Schrenk this is the world’s largest collection. Among the 60 pieces in the Pinakothek are paintings from the Louvre, the Uffici and from the Prado. The aim was also to publish newest research findings. Ten works were restored specifically for this exhibition. The adventurous journey into the smallest part of the figure-world did not start before Jan returned from his travels to Italy in 1596. Only then does Jan’s detachment from his father become apparent. At that time, the old masters in Antwerpen often worked as a team. And the city was one of the largest art centers in Europe. Rubens and Brueghel's “Madonna in Floral Wreath” shows that both painters were stars of their time, yet each with a completely different style: their teamwork was successful because Brueghel worked on the richly detailed wreath of flowers while Rubens took care of the figures. The artist is versatile. His ink drawings are almost naturalistic. He includes architectural clichés into his landscapes e.g. when suddenly the St. Peters Cathedral shows up in the “Large Fish Market”. Small wonder that in 1613 he was bestowed the privileges of a court painter. And his work was also highly esteemed in Italy. Finally, through this exhibition, his work no longer stands in his father’s shadow: it bears testimony to an autonomy never seen before. Alte Pinakothek 80333 Munich, Barer Straße 27 Tel: +49 (0)89 23805 216 email: presse@pinakothek.de www.pinakothek.de/alte-pinakothek Opening hours: Tue from 10 to 20 hours, Wed – Sun from 10 to 18 hours Galerie Hilger NEXT Wien 10 Pors & Rao 23.03.2013 – 25.05.2013 Under the sign of the disco “Gummibär” By Roland Schöny It's a fine, subtle irony. Here and there, the material looks as if it has been fed by cartoon or animation film classics. Association with any sort of film scenes could crop up there. Looking at the 2-meter long red telephone, THE UNCLE PHONE (2004). What happened there? Dial and handset are so far apart from one another that one person could, indeed, dial the number but at the same time, a second person would be needed to pick up the handset and speak. Additionally, the thing actually functions. One can make a phone call. The slim, sometimes wobbly sculpture, DRIFTER, HEAVY HAT (2008) by the Indian-Danish artist couple, Aparna Rao und Søren Pors – in short, Pors&Rao. hits you in the eye in this exhibition. A line drawing in the room. Resembling design. A figure standing on its head, no, standing on the melon. Metal, synthetic material, nylon. The most important things are there: shoes, gloves. Almost like in a Disney cartoon where everyone also wears gloves? At all costs, the world turned upside down! The object begins to wobble when you approach it. The nearer one gets, the more it wobbles. Standing on the melon to circle around. Like a group of white screens on the wall PYGMIES (2006) decorated with small, black mobile elements – mounted on the edges that suddenly disappear as soon as the public draws near. Uuuuh, what happened??? Also a black spot a little further on, the floor object SUN SHADOW (2009) which is drawn up the wall only to fall down again. Above everything, TEDDY UNIVERSE (2009), the disco-globe version of space Gummibären (jelly bears). The first impression: funny. But if only this were just a play on the surface. Interestingly, it's not quite so easy then to warm towards these wobbling objects. It shows Pors&Rao consciously playing with the sentimental, by reactivating the memories of popular culture, of film, of perhaps stories taken along, thus appealing to the biographically stored constellation of feelings. But in the end, it boils down to a very rigid concept of sculpture and installation that is reminiscent of the expanded from the post-medial era. It's a sculpture, but at the same time decorated with media art body sensors. It thematises the picture in the art room and then tumbles into another dimension. Whoops-a-daisy! Both deny that their art is i n t e r active, "but the objects are responding". They are made of synthetic materials, of nylon, rubber, but also of metal, whereby different electronic components are built in without their existence even appearing to be evident. Highly interesting how this new art room positions itself for the kick-off in what is, after all a traditional, important Viennese gallery with an extremely wide spectrum. Highly up to date with a trans-medial art that manifests itself on the tied-back material and has the courage to be formally aesthetic, and that isn't afraid to touch the citation. Hardly leaping upon the long-exhausted, discursive current, although it should be noted that Pors&Rao (*1974&*1978) have been at several large exhibitions such as the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial or were represented within the framework of Indian Highway, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. If this is to be understood as a programmatic statement, it can surely be said that the Brotkunsthalle with its 400 m2 space adjoining the new art room Hilger NEXT Wien 10 can become a fascinating, experimental field. Galerie Hilger NEXT Wien 10 1100 Vienna, Absberggase 27 Tel: +43 1 512 53 15 Fax: +43 1 513 91 26 E-mail: ernst.hilger@hilger.at www.hilger.at Opening times: Wed-Sat 12-18 hours Konzett Wien A Tribute to Franz West 22.03.13 – 25.05.13 Homage to the catalyst By Margareta Sandhofer "Je näher man ein Bild ansieht, desto ferner blickt es zurück" (“The closer one looks at a picture, the more obscure becomes its meaning”) Herbert Lachmayer was quoted in his brilliant speech on the occasion of the opening of the exhitbition “A Tribute to Franz West.” Strangely enough this quote has more relevance in connection to the large Franz West retrospective in the mumok than to the exhibition in Philip Konzett’s gallery. Franz West’s museumised pieces remain in their untouchable clean order that the institution might require – in any case, unreachable in the distanced manner that one would refrain from accrediting the deceased – and thus the whole thing is rather inanimate. It is a wonderful paradox that despite – or because – there are almost no originals by West, but tributes by 71 artists reflecting the gist of Franz West’s personality in their differentiated commonality – and thereby complementing the museum exhibition with the essential aspect that is missing there. Not only the unconventional implementation of intellectual writings, i.e. philosophical and psychoanalytical texts, manifest themselves in West’s work. His anarchist attitude towards “good judgement of taste” in a bourgeois classification system primarily transports irony that is elegant and striking as well as inimitably amusing in its subversive presence. The lightness with which he attempted to pervert the dogma of authorship and was able to positively formulate it into the unexpected other, is for example, shown in his contribution for the Biennial 2011: in his Para Pavilion in the Arsenale he presented nothing but his own collection of works (by artists that were dear to him), mounted on the walls of his studio kitchen. Anton Herzl, who accompanied West for many years, curated the exhibition. West was a catalyst in a network in whose center of attention stood an art term that was practiced as a life-overarching discourse. Hence, Herzl assembled works from artists that were close to him: they include works by his widow, Tamuna Sirbiladze, Rudolf Polanszky, Marina Faust, and Songül Boyraz, just to name a few. In addition, several original pieces displayed in a historical glass closet and early photographs from West’s private and professional life round the panopticon off. Through neglecting any classification scheme, the arrangement of the works is completely non-didactic and non-hierarchic. Herzl orientated himself on West’s strategy to disqualify a common aesthetic value judgement thereby giving other judgements space. The reference to West is more apparent in some works and less in others; the more pronounced the more banal. Artistic emphasis dominates the atmosphere and liberates a tension-filled dynamic which potentiates the heterogeneous impression. West’s posthumous pulse is markedly palpable. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue. (1) The quoted words have been often used in different contexts. They are based on Karl Kraus: “Je näher man ein Wort ansieht, desto ferner sieht es zurück.” (Die Fackel, Heft 236, 1911, Page 44). Konzett Wien 1010 Vienna, Spiegelgasse 21 Tel: +43 (0)664 34 01 677 Fax: +43 (0)1 513 01 04 email: gallery@artkonzett.com www.artkonzett.com Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 10:00 - 18:00 hours, Sa: 11:00 - 16:00 hours Freiraum / quartier21 Dive and Run 07.03.2013 – 24.04.2013 Contemplate and pause By Stanislaus Medan The current exhibition in the Quartier21 “Dive and Run” deals with the essential topic of slowing down and pausing in a society that is becoming faster and faster in many different ways. The title of the exhibition is not to be understood as a series of athletic activities but much more as an imperative – as if one actually tries to run under water. Artists, mainly German, were invited to present their work which focused on the topic of contemplation, but only one of their pieces was explicitly created for the exhibition “Dive and Run”. Therefore, the contextual link to the topic has to be artificially created, which gives the entire exhibition an artificial character. And this has a negative affect on the, in general, exciting positions, e.g. Robert Jacobsen’s drum sculpture or Ingerborg Lüschers video. However, there are some highlights that make “Dive and Run” worth seeing, but one is well advised not to view its thematic space in a narrow context. Thereby contemplation attains its actual importance. Freiraum / quartier21 1070 Vienna Museumsplatz 1 www.quartier21.at Opening hours: Tue - Sun 13.00 – 19.00 hours

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