English summaries May 6 - 20

Palais Kinsky Escape the golden cage 16.05.2013 – 31.05.2013 The space makes the art By Stanislaus Medan It is a well-known aspect of urban art that it is exploited by consumer culture and is thereby estranged. The art affair “Escape the golden cage” simply turns this imbalance around and actively takes up the presentation form of hanging and positioning, which, in general, is linked to classic fine arts. This – in its original perspective unorthodox form of presentation - transfers urban art into an unusual realm whereby it loses its fundamental nature of being directly tied to the urban and materialistic. Extracted from its natural environment, which until now initiated new observer roles, in which surprise and coincidence played a much greater role as this would ever be possible in a museum’s environment, the possibilities of these observer roles in the exhibition situation are reduced to the “object in itself”. As the ideas of fleetingness, subversion and anarchy are abandoned, these objects develop into objects that are easy to sell on the art market. Some artists approve of these positions to such an extent, that it clearly becomes apparent in the choice of their design media, e.g. in the acrylic and pastel paintings on canvas by “Mode 2”. Yet others, such as Vermibus, fail: his otherwise meaningful works - once they have been reduced to A3-size - are unable to offer the mediating image of their impressive presence in public space, This is also why the wit in Brad Downey’s works is lost - they are extracted from the randomness and surprise-evoking urban space and reduced to their art status. Dan Witz’s work “John Dyptich” is the only piece of art able to challenge the “searching eye” in an exhibition and succeeds in visualising the possibilities of the unexpected even within a set space of expectancy. Otherwise “Escape the golden cage” is an exhibition that doesn’t present urban art but rather trashy and contemporary museum art – both in the traditional and already somewhat worn sense. Palais Kinsky 1010 Vienna, Freyung 4 email: info@escape-goldencage.com www.escape-goldencage.com Museum Lianunig From the plane to room 01.05.2013 – 31.10.2013 Dialogues at eye level By Margareta Sandhofer Again, the visit to Herbert Liaunig’s private museum is an uplifting experience. Herbert and his son Peter have yet again realized a successful exhibition with the works from their steadily growing collection. The focus of this year’s exhibition is on sculpture and architecture, of course accompanied by paintings, of which quite a few museum directors could be envious. One of Maria Lassnig’s early works strikes one’s eye as does the generous horizontal format by George Matthieu. This year’s exhibition is divided into three parts. The long-stretched main room of the museum is devoted to recent contemporary sculpture as well as works by Fritz Wotruba, Josef Pillhofer or Joannis Avramidis. Liaunig mainly concentrates on Austrian art – and is in direct contact with the artists. At the entrance he confronts the visitors with a large dimensioned, peculiar ceramic work by Elmar Trenkwalder, whose bizarre, Asian and Baroque elements are piled atop each other to a surreal theatrical composition (VWZ 250). The individual qualities of the art works are marked by significant juxtapositions and develop a discursive net in a figurative form. Trenkwalder’s multi-pieced formation is set in contrast to the clear reduction of a monumental piece of art by Roland Goeschl. Julie Hayward’s subjectivist sculpture, whose sensitivity rouses the emotions, intensifies the stringent coolness of Wolfang Ernst’s work. Manfred Walkolbinger’s Traveller appears to want to enter into Manfred Erjaut’s “witty ”Container, whose spatial depth is completely covered with logo-stickers, thereby lacking content. In turn, the outer skin provides an outstanding background for Erwin Wurm’s “Liegende” (Reclining Figure). Markus Wilfling’s Spiegelkabinet (Mirror Cabinet) defines the problematic interface between architecture and sculpture more decisively in a multifaceted ambivalence of permeability and permissibility. The topic of the not always clearly divisible disciplines becomes apparent in the transverse section of the museum, where it is displayed in the form of drawings, graphics and models. Sketches for already realized buildings, fantastic aquarelles, airy drawings, visionary utopias, amusing collages and object-like constructions amalgamate to a diversified tour in an abundant open system, conceptualized according to aesthetic criteria. Amongst these is also the model for the planned structural extension of the Liaunig Museum. The promising future extension lets one bear the closing of the collection next year due to the construction work. Museum Liaunig 9155 Neuhaus/Suha, Neuhaus 41 Tel: +43 (0) 4356211 15 Email: office@mueseumlianunig.at www.museumliaunig.at Opening hours: Wed – Sat by arrangement Unteres Belvedere Hundertwasser, Japan and the avant-garde 06.02.2013 – 30.06.2013 Avant-garde washed with Hundertwasser By Goschka Gawlik In the present, every decade gives birth to its own artistic types. The painter, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, one of the best known – and in his own country regarded as one of the most controversial and also kitschy artists – was far ahead of his time and this rule in the 1950's. With his cleverly staged public appearances as a cryptical loner and "stranger in his own culture", he pre-empted an artistic type which first started to establish itself internationally in the 60's: he was a career, body, fashion and eco-conscious networker, a self-marketing genius, a visionary individualist, builder and street performer. His six-month sojourn in Japan in 1961 not only brought him intrepid artistic success but also luck in love. In all these roles, Hundertwasser tends to being a protagonist of post-war humanism, bettering the world and building a world which should be different than the rational, mass-compatible, serial and square modern. Simultaneously, the market value of his works scaled all heights. According to the catalogue authors, he came into contact in the 1950's - first in Paris and after that in Milan - with almost all the important representatives of the international avant-garde and succumbed, as many of his European and American artistic colleagues, to the influences of the Asian, and particularly the Japanese culture and Zen philosophy. His rediscovery and re-evaluation is the focus of the present exhibition "Hundertwasser, Japan and the avant-garde" in the Untere Belvedere. Its goal is to rebut Hundertwasser's image as a loner and to meaningfully and scientifically capture the symbolic value of his works. The presentation, compartmentalised into six theme areas, begins with the – for the 50's obligatory – deflection to abstraction as the expression of artistic freedom. During the occupation of Austria, one is confronted with the specific drive towards freedom and individualism in Hundertwasser's creations. This is attested in the photographic documentation of his diverse, performative actions such as "The Value of the Streets" or the simultaneously publicized manifest on "Transautomatism" and "new styles of composition”. Hundertwasser's credo "Man has to be self-creatively engaged. And that means everyone ....!!" can today, however, in the neo-liberalistic era, not solely be interpreted from a humanistic viewpoint. Hundertwasser's renowned, tectonic loop-like paintings dominate the scene in the exhibition's man entrance. Their different variations, formal as well as substantially, are presented with works – sculpture, drawings and pictures – of other avant-gardists, amongst them John Cage, Yves Klein and Manzoni, as well as Hundertwasser's Japanese artist friends such as the sculptor Shinkichi Tajiri or the painter Akira Kito. Some of the intentional parallels have succeeded – such as those with Tajiri, Constant, Corneille or Capogrossi – others – such as those with John Cage, Adolf Wölfli or Lucio Fontana – miss their intention and produced a rather contra-productive effect. Fontana's perforated picture "Concetto Spaziale“ (1949) deconstructively augments the general meaning of a picture against which the aesthetic replacement value of Hundertwasser's paintings seems modest. In them, the Austrian artist remains true to the traditional, comical structures and pre-conscious stages as a portrayal on inner values. After this, he manifests his universal ideals against the "demise of humanity" through the dictate of the straight line such as a franchise enterprise based on questionable, tasteless world embellishments in different building forms such as refuse incineration plants, motorway service areas, thermal hotels, market halls, stations, fountains or houses. Unteres Belvedere 1030 Vienna, Rennweg 6 Tel: +43 1 795 57-200 Fax: +43 1 795 57-121 E-mail: info@belvedere.at www.belvedere.at Opening hours: Daily 10 to 18 hours, Wednesdays 10 to 21 hours Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz 10 years of Lentos. A jubilee exhibition for the collection 22.03.2013 – 09.06.2013 10 years and still curious By Hannah Winkelbauer The jubilee exhibition in the Art Museum Linz delights and appeals to those not so close to art, as well as to those familiar with art, with its many "exhibitions within the exhibition". Under the title "Of birds and rats", the visitor enters a room created by Maria Bussmann which is a world of art works and non-artistic objects accentuated by the soft twittering of birds. In the plethora of pieces, one finds bird studies by Klemens Brosch, as well as traditional masks from the Congo or a large-format photographs by Lois Renner. The Berlin art duo, EVA & ADELE, chose works for the room curated by them which is all about couples. Their own series "Family Portrait" (1992), 25 photographs in which EVA & ADELE are seen in pale pink costumes with wings, holding a globe, in different locations with befriended artists and collectors, as well as works by Paul Kranzler, Maria Lassnig or Egon Schiele, can be seen here. Much more minimalistic is the room created by Nasan Tur, in which Tur's photo series of cell doors in the Dresden GDR detention centre ("Bautzner Straße", 2009) are presented. Thousands of political prisoners were incarcerated in the GDR detention centre. Very direct and easy to understand is the antithesis which the artist stresses when he juxtaposes landscapes by, amongst others, Caspar David Friedrich and Emil Jacob Schindler with the “cell”. Breadth, openness and emptiness versus locked in. Simplicity is a concept which, in the best sense of the word, goes right through the exhibition. Contemporary and classical modern works which – often thematically organized – facilitate easy access to art. Apart from the areas curated by artists with works from the collection, there are separate rooms dedicated to special themes. Director Stella Rollig wants to convey "art as a medium which helps people to find themselves." The person should stand in the centre and not unapproachable art works which can only be understood by those with a knowledge of art history. It's director Rollig's goal that the visitor "comes to grips with the art themselves and wants to discover it." Lentos Art Museum Linz 4020 Linz, Ernst-Koref-Promendade 1 Tel: +43 70 7070 36 00 E-mail: info@lentos.at www.lentos.at Opening times: Daily, except Mon, 10-18 hours, Thurs 10-21 hours

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