English summaries January 27 - February 9

Mudam Luxembourg Elmar Trenkwalder 05.10.2013 – 09.03.2014 Ironic metamorphorses By Daniela Gregori How easily one finds oneself making judgements too fast. On the way to MUDAM Luxembourg, one has detected it in the glass passageway between the main building and the attached pavilion. Predominantly in a mustard yellow colour, larger than life-sized, rhythmic in sequence. The entity appears somehow far-eastern, and even from a distance one identifies it as ceramic because of the sheen of glaze. An Asian artist who is worth discovering? Findings of a religious or ritual practice, transferred into a museum context? Or an Art Nouveau exhibit after all, or even one of symbolism? On closer inspection, the rhythmic, symmetric entities turn out not to be standardised by any means, but much more as richly detailed, differentiated works by Elmar Trenkwalder. Here, forms and ornaments from architecture are cited, it's draped and flourished, added and fluted, but above all, things are eroticised. Of course, one could say that a phallus is to be seen in everything, and not every symmetrically mirrored curvature has to belong to a willing dame. Is everything only an ambiguous allusion or an ambiguous unambiguity? The gaze glides in an almost somnambulistic way over these fantastic landscapes, body parts that seem to dissolve in ornaments. In the abundance and motifs offered, it's to be understood that here, in connection with this oeuvre, you're not only occasionally handling notions such as obsession, but also subversion. The artist isn't only a master of his discipline in these definitely ironic metamorphoses. Since 1986, Trenkwalder has busied himself with ceramics and meanwhile, his work has reached dimensions that demand a considerable amount of skill and experience. The unfired clay demands its own static, the process of shrinkage during drying needs to be calculated in the multipartite works. Artistically viewed, this may be irrelevant, but it would be apparent if the technical skills were lacking. Suchlike is seen far too seldom. Mudam Luxembourg 1499 Luxembourg, 3 Park Dräi Eechelen Tel: +352 45 37 85 1 Email: info@mudam.lu www.mudam.lu Galerie nächst St. Stephan Herbert Brandl – Black River Dark Fighters 24.01.2013 – 15.03.2014 Colour current – water current By Margareta Sandhofer He would have liked to write “SAVE THE BLACK SULM” in large letters above his large waterfall painting, but discarded the idea. And it’s really not necessary- the vehemence of the white foam conveys the urgent appeal. With the exhibition “Black River Dark Fighters”, Herbert Brandl commits himself to his complicity in the fight against saving the Styrian black Sulm from greedy investors. Not depicting the water flow naturalistically, but rather creating the natural model with mighty brush strokes, characterises the untamed natural power of the wild river and thereby places the essence of the endangered natural wonder on canvas. The impulse to transform the foliage into a patchy shimmer was not provided by art history but by a computer monitor: the Sulm-defense web site was his inspiration. Despite the fact that Herbert Brandl frequently walked along the Sulm River and considers it a nourishing, substantial life companion, the paintings were based on photos. Artificiality and nature combine to a hybrid form that oscillates between representationalism and abstraction. Water current or colour current, the impression occasionally topples. Moreover: solid waterfall paintings emerge in Brandl’s oeuvre almost simultaneously next to pure colour paintings, they hang next to each other and exist in front of each other. While the first room is dominated by the recognisable waterfall paintings in which the light stream stems itself against the heavy boulders, spilling its energetic flood over them, the boisterous and dematerialised colour blaze dazzles in pure abstraction. The previously restrained colour took a life of its own and subordinated the until then dominating style to an instrument. Herbert Brandl has, once again, driven the potential of pure painting to an ecstatic phenomenon, resisting any explicative approach. Galerie nächst St. Stephan 1010 Vienna, Grünangergasse 1/2 Tel: +43 1 512 21 66 Fax: +43 1 513 43 07 Emai: galerie@schwarzwaelder.at/a> www.schwarzwaelder.at Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11 – 18 hours, Sat 11 – 16 hours Galerie bechter kastowsky Klasse Herbert Brandl – Masters of the Northern Lights 16.01.2014 – 01.03.2014 Potential from the North By Margareta Sandhofer Almost simultaneously with their teacher, five of Herbert Brandl’s students at the Düsseldorf Art Academy are exhibiting their work in Vienna. The artists present their work at Bechter Kastowsky with such a high level of professionalism and autonomy that nobody would come up with the idea that this was a “student exhibition”. Despite the fact that Brandl is renowned for his mountain paintings, Levente Szücs chose to paint mountains. Szücs’ paintings are precise portraits of mountain contours and are diametrically opposed to the ones created by Brandl. Christian Seidler experiments with oil and acrylic as if they were coal and fire; his works convey a sensual and immediate visual language. With her realistic, sensuous aquarelles and her miniature plaster models Johanna Honisch pursues a compelling conceptual procedure and Jenny Delhasse advocates classical painting with her predominantly small-format portraits. And Alicia Viebrock arrives at a significant and very spontaneous meaning of her pictures using powerful grand gestures. Set against a scenic abstract background she sets energetic markings to landscapes characterised by a grim, disturbing and at times desolate romanticism that are occasionally torn open by flaring lights. The artistic positions presented at this exhibition are characterised by a high level of professionalism that is mainly attributable to Herbert Brandl’s teaching style. This group exhibition is inspiring; a collective artistic potential, despite all its diversity, is tangibly present. Galerie bechter kastowsky 1010 Vienna, Gluckgasse 3 / Mezzanin Tel: +43 1 512 16 09 email: robert@bechterkastowsky.com www.bechterkastowsky.com Opening hours: Thu - Fri 10-19 hours, Sat 10-15 hours Landesgalerie für zeitgenössische Kunst Gunter Damisch – Fields, Worlds (and beyond) 23.11.2013 – 23.02.2014 Serial thinking of recurring themes By Marina Richter Gunter Damisch started teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1992 and succeeded his teacher Maximilian Melcher. He had his breakthrough before graduating from the Academy; his early works were strongly linked to the “New Wild” movement. Already in 1982, he exhibited his paintings, assemblages and wooden objects in, among others, the Gallery Ariadne. At that time he also started to experiment with other media. Together with Josef Danner he produced super-8 films and founded the legendary punk band Molto Brutto. The band had numerous live performances and even won a critics’ choice award in Germany. The cover designs for the two LPs that the band produced were created in cooperation with Gerwald Rockenschaub and Herbert Brandl. Fifteen years went by before this Gunter Damisch retrospective was organised - the last one took place in 1999 in the Linzer Landesgalerie Oberösterreich. The current exhibition “Fields, Worlds (and beyond) in St. Pölten includes 170 works representing every phase of his oeuvre, ranging from the five-part cycle “Der Löl” (1980) to the most recent aluminium casts, which, set closely together, form a silver-coloured forest landscape. Individual flowers, mushrooms and pinecones, freshly picked from his garden in Freidegg, cast in a silver “guise” and welded to the metal sculptures, find themselves in the company of figures that show up in his paintings and printed graphics. Imaginative titles are also recurring features that characterise Damisch’s works. The artist curated the exhibition in the Shedhalle together with the head of the Zeit Kunst Niederösterreich, Alexandra Schantel. Drawings, printed media, graphics, paintings, and sculptures – of which many are subject to the principle of series and recurring themes – are, accordingly, grouped in blocks. Landesgalerie für zeitgenössische Kunst 3100 St. Pölten, Kulturbezirk 5 Tel.: +43 2741 90 80 90 Email: office@zeitkunstnoe.at www.zeitkunstnoe.at Opening hours: Tue – Sun 9.00 – 17.00 hours

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