060414 : Galerie Elisabeth und Klaus Thoman: Antonio Ortega – Pale Rot

Galerie Elisabeth und Klaus Thoman Antonio Ortega – Pale Rot 08.03.2014 – 10.05.2014 Pink – between the “good” and the “bad” artist By Goschka Gawlik The Spanish artist Antonio Ortega considers himself a “teaching artist”. As such, he regularly gives lectures and holds speeches. In his recent book, he describes how the economic crisis impacts art production, especially in Catalonia. His current works with their entertaining semantic ambiguities result from these factors. Text images on corrugated cardboard, a video and an LED banner are currently displayed at the Galerie Thoman in Vienna. Antonio Ortega’s actively questions the existential and ideal situation of artists, who demand independence from public cultural institutions and politics. In his book “Demagogy and Propaganda in Art” (2013), which accompanies the exhibition, Ortega says that in today’s context not the artists directly, but mainly the “institution” serves as the communicator of art and its content. Actually, the institution does not inform about artistic approaches but rather influences the general audience regarding, for example, the promotion of cultural tourism or the protection of minorities. Priority always seems to be given to economic stimuli that are closely tied to ideological aims. In his works, Ortega attempts to counteract these propagandistic premises and to penetrate them with humour. In his text images he informs about his own personal feelings that not always comply with the image of a “good” artist, e.g.: “A.O. wrote this text in a very specific personal and financial situation” or ”It was not planned but I`m here”. In contrast to his lectures, only pictures communicate with the audience, while the creator is not present to converse with his listeners. Despite the fact that Ortega takes a close look at the chasms and conflicts of artistic practice and the meaning of artists (ranging from Peter Paul Reubens to Damien Hirst), ranging from dependency on the economic-political situation, price policy and symbolic capital to the demagogy of the institutional system, his art remains full of humour. The title "Pale Rot", a mixture of the English and the German word (Rot = Red), symbolises the conflict: he concludes that pale red probably results in pink. However, ultimately one receives more than a sense for a good balance between gloom and humour, left and right, reality and fiction. Galerie Elisabeth und Klaus Thoman 1010 Vienna, Seilerstätte 7 Tel: + 43 1 512 08 40 email: galerie@galeriethoman.com http://www.galeriethoman.com Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12-18 h, Sat 11-16 h

Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman
1010 Wien, Seilerstätte 7
Tel: + 43 1 512 08 40
Email: galerie@galeriethoman.com
Öffnungszeiten: Mi-Fr 12-18, Sa 11-15 h

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