Monday, February 7, 2011


Christopher Wool

A friend was on a quiche kick this week and I was first in line to try both versions. Scrumptious! We then headed out to the galleries on this bright and sunny Saturday afternoon and I expected lots of people would have the same idea. But no, it was pretty empty in those art galleries. 

Galerie Winiarczyk was closed but the window was completely open! Blown out from the crazy winds and a clever cowgirl could have lassoed a sculpture out but we decided to alert the gallerist instead. Next door at Galerie Meyer Kainer all the glass was in tact but the walls were being jostled by the large blocking of paper, fabric and paintings of Heimo Zobernig. I was not a fan of his last show at this gallery so I carried a sort of anticipatory dread of disappointment with me before entering the exhibition.

Instead these art historically drenched works succeed in exuding the bitterness of the artist self-indulgent or ridiculous enough to make art in the first place. Not unlike Christopher Wool’s Fool painting, where as the audience we must decide if we are in on the joke or part of it.

The huge expanse of wall covered in blue paper functions as a cyanotype and the paintings affixed over like a badge or stigmatic place-holders. Personally I find it exhausting when yet another keen minded artist gives the finger to art by making it and saying ‘fuck you’. But Zobernig has a way of doing it so smartly that we become aesthetic gluttons for punishment.

Over at Galerie Mezzanin a group of figurative paintings by Katrin Plavcak were on display. A bit cutesy and less fantastical than some other works I have seen by Plavcek. The paintings suggest grand scale illustrations for a text in progress and are not offensive to find in a gallery on a Saturday afternoon in Vienna. The accompanying video however was installed so poorly and though funny for a while, was such a blatant rip-off of Tony Oursler that it was difficult to take seriously and only diminished the possible impact of the paintings.

Per Dybvig of Norway showed a suite of small black and white pencil drawings on paper, some very large drawings with color and two video/stop animation projections at Christine Koenig Galerie

In some ways Dybvig’s works are on well-worn territory. Artists like Marcel Dzama, his art collective The Royal Art Lodge may lead the pack visually but even a painter like Scott Reeder might compare in pathos. So what sets Dybvig apart is a really beautiful hand for drawing and an idiosyncratic sense of humor. Image making today is often computer manipulated, cut & copied, projected and recycled that we are rarely burdened with having to think about the observational hand in art. Dybvig with a sly smile reminds us and he seems to enjoy it. A pleasure and relief.

Dybvig at Christine Koenig Galerie

Dybvig at Christine Koenig Galerie

Heimo Zobernig at Galerie Meyer Kainer

Heimo Zobernig at Galerie Meyer Kainer

Pre-gallery quiche made by a friend. Amazing!

No comments:

Post a Comment