Monday, March 14, 2011


Christoph Meier in -Polis-Pollis-Politics- @ Das Weisse Haus

And the beat goes on...

Currently Das Weisse Haus has two exhibitions The Borders of Drawing in the main rooms and –Polis-Pollis-Politics- in the project room. P.P.P. is a smart and tautly curated group exhibition that (in the version I saw) hung an Ute Müller vertical blind sculpture as its center piece conceptually while creating rotating slices of the show as one moves around the room.

The Borders of Drawing in its generic title suggests something not generic, but rather at the edge of drawing in an expanded field. The show is in fact a pragmatic and conservative survey of drawing that is largely architecturally based and uniformily black and white. But where the The Borders of Drawing largely fails in the testing of borders it succeeds in reaffirming that drawing is exactly what you think it is. Some may find comfort in the inviolable border of our own imaginations.

Jonathan Quinn in –Polis-Pollis-Politics- @ Das Weisse Haus

That said there are some standout works. Namely the balloon drawing “machine” by Nikolaus Gansterer that has echoes of Warhol in the silver balloons that move with the circulation of air (our bodies viewing the sculpture) and create drawn images from the bottom of their strings onto a paper on the floor.

Birgit Knoechl in The Borders of Drawing @ Das Weisse Haus

There are three artists at Das Weisse Haus that have cardboard/paper sculptures that are heavily reminiscent of the work of Austrian artist Tillman Kaiser (among others)  who recently had a fantastic show at the Belvedere. Birgit Knoechl is one of these artists but her black sculptures grouped together on wall shelves are more constructivist and pedestal bound than Kaiser. Combined with her assertive small drawings the work benefitted from the context of the exhibition and helped to answer the question of where drawing begins. Das Weisse Haus has mounted an exhibition that allows one to consider the parameters of drawing today - a nice show to see.

Tillman Kaiser

The UK artist Gavin Turk at Galerie Krinzinger glad-hands his way through half of art history since the 1960’s. His original proposed paradigm shift just feels old even while some of this too full exhibition feels new. It is impossible not to think of the artist Elaine Sturtevant and her relation to the artist’s artwork she makes. Bruce Hainley writes a review of Sturtevant from 2000 that concisely explains the complexity and double entendre of this artist. Turk lacks this complexity. His fingerprints are on everything, everything is Turked, but nothing transcends the stale premise. What does have a significant impact is the dramatic room of sculpted heads, part of a social experiment that feels alive and curiosity driven. These are a notable departure from the rest of the exhibition.

Gavin Turk @ Galerie Krinzinger
Born in 1930 Kurt Hüpfner has mounted his first exhibition at Galerie Dana Charkasi, consisting largely of figurative mixed media sculptures (wood, terracotta, Xerox drawings, etc.) Previously he had just a handful of exhibitions and the work feels from a bygone era, but not dated in a derogatory sense. The work wears the patina of age well. This is interesting because while there are a few works that pre-date 1990 the majority were made after 1995.

Anyone interested in Austrian art should take a peak at this show. And frankly this is candy for people who primarily collect Austrian artists (we know you’re out there!). The works are modest in scale and price and this is bound to change as Hüpfner receives greater attention. And he will.
Kurt Hüpfner @ Galerie Dana Charkasi 

 One of my favorites is Ein Sommertag, 1978, a bit of an anomaly in the show but a real gem. The installation of the pieces is a bit disorganized but work for work it works!

I have spent my fair share of time as a student and teacher in various Universities and art schools and I am ambivalent of both experiences. So I was proud that I dragged myself over to the open house for the students of the painter Judith Eisler at the Angewandte. There is no critique or insight beyond that I was struck by the preponderance of portraiture and an earnest effort to put their best feet forward. 

HAUSHOCH Magazin Berlin

Slightly off the Vienna gallery beat I discovered BERLIN HAUSHOCH an annual magazine in its third year that focuses district by district in Berlin. The current issue is on Charlottenburg and can be found online and in hard copy. It is a gorgeous way to peruse the city even if you are sitting in Costa Rica, Singapore or Vienna for that matter! 

Student work at the Angewandte

Kurt Hüpfner@ Galerie Dana Charkasi

Kurt Hüpfner@ Galerie Dana Charkasi
Das Weisse Haus

Ute Müller @ Das Weisse Haus
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Installation view @ Das Weisse Haus

Students at the Angewandte

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