130114: Neue Galerie Graz - Günter Brus – Franz Graf: In contre-jour

Neue Galerie Graz Günter Brus – Franz Graf: In contre-jour 19.09.2013 – 09.02.2014 Enlightening discourse By Margareta Sandhofer Günter Brus and Franz Graf, two distinct artistic personalities in Austrian contemporary art, are both considered to be great artists with unmistakable styles. The real intention of the Joanneum director, Peter Pakesch and curator, Roman Grabner, to initiate collaboration between Günter Brus and Franz Graf, was unfortunately not able to be realised due to extenuating circumstances. But perhaps this constellation was exactly the determining factor for the stimulating result. A cross-section of the work of Günter Brus is thematically divided, which Franz Graf penetrates with very new works. He stretches his paintings with figural, scriptoral or ornamental portrayals in scaffolding tubes or discarded fitness machines. They occupy the room with gloomy significance and stand on the walls as complementary foils to the historical exhibits of Brus, his drawings, early informal paintings, photos of his actions and the "picture poems". In this collaboration, no heterogeneous accords developed within individual works, but rather a vibrant discourse. In the intensive opposition of both the artistic positions, a sort of dialogue developed. With Brus' "Purposeful Sketch", it leads almost allegorically into the exhibition, establishes itself on the ascending terrain of the narrow corridor together with Brus’ oil crayon drawings, right up to the top of the central installation by Franz Graf, the pink "Body Machine" sets a powerful counterpoint. At first, these discarded fitness machines irritate, they perturb and then reveal themselves as a concentration of arguments from Brus' surrounding drawings, collected in their body-like presence. They embody exertion, sexuality, violence and injury, and touch the inevitable - such as death - and the unfathomable. Both artists reveal a sentiment in their works which touches existential borders. The exhibition develops like a noncommittal conversation oscillating between statements. Answer or contra-statement, together with theme change and halt – an artistic trade-off. In this dialogue situation, Graf's interventions appear like energetic centres in which those of Brus' invoked thematic are bundled, expanded and very personally intensified, addressed to the observer; sometimes aggressive, sometimes taken back, introverted and sensitive, and also somewhat sentimental. The strength of Brus' works is memorable, the installations by Franz Graf not less, his sensitive, reflective dealings with the work of the elder man incomparable, full of respect and without competition, without hierarchy. The individual structure is the benchmark of both artists. At all events, the hanging and assembly is successful, the work of the one artist recharges the work of the other one. The liberated resonance pervades the entire room so that a many-faceted, sensitive field with a great dynamic develops. Neue Galerie Graz 8010 Graz, Joanneumsviertel Tel: +43 316 8017-0 E-mail: joanneumsviertel@museum-joanneum.at http://www.neuegalerie.at Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10.00 – 18.00 hours

Neue Galerie Graz
8010 Graz, Joanneumsviertel
Tel: +43 316 8017-9100
Email: joanneumsviertel@museum-joanneum.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di-So 10-17 h

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