Apéro: Sat, March 16, 2017, 11–3 • Duration: 21.03.–20.05.2017
Günter Brus, Christian Eisenberger, Adolf Frohner, Bruno Gironcoli, Franz Graf, Zenita Komad, Elke Krystufek, Maria Lassnig, Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch, Friederike Pezold, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Rudolf Polanszky, Arnulf Rainer, VALIE EXPORT, Franz West, Heimo Zobernig
The exhibition “Austrian Masters” illustrates artist and artist-group, who have been working in an interdisciplinary fields described as “performative-provocational-aesthetics". The temporal focus is on the Vienna Actionism, as well as on contemporaries and successors of related Austrian art movements, through to current positions.
By works by Günter Brus, Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, and other Viennese artists active at that time, which included Adolf Frohner, Friederike Pezold, Arnulf Rainer oder VALIE EXPORT we will show the most important avant-garde movements.
The succeeding generation includes Maria Lassnig, Rudolf Polanszky and Franz West, who are represented in the exhibition. Many works, such as Franz West’s “adaptives”—his Passstücke and Labstücke, as well as his overall artistic concept, could never have emerged in their original, in part very “Austrian”-specific way, without the legacy of Vienna Actionism. Maria Lassnig takes a special position. Her works reflect the ambivalence between her internal reality and the external reality.
The works of Rudolf Polanszky resemble language and employ a succession or an arrangement of signs and symbols, yet without taking immediate recourse to terminology, and without claiming to provide a direction in the relationship between cause and effect, allowing the concepts of cause and effect to remain open. Reality as a principle is replaced by the performance of reality, including our capacity and mechanisms of representation interpretation. (Cem Angeli)
Christian Eisenberger, Elke Krystufek and Zenita Komad represent current positions, whose artistic approach implies an interdisciplinary and performative level. Characteristic for the work of Christian Eisenberger is his all-encompassing art concept. Subtle interventions in nature or actions in public spaces around the world are just as important in his work as painting and the insertion of his own body. With Zenita Universe, Zenita Komad succeeded in creating not only an artwork, but also a label.