Pictures about Pictures: Discourses in Painting from Albers to Zobernig, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria

Poul Gernes, Zielscheibenbild / Target B, 1966-68

Opening: March 25, 2010

Curated by Renate Wiehager, “Pictures about Pictures. Discourses in Painting” – is the Daimler Art Collection’s exhibition title for the Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna. About 130 works ranging from Classical Modernism and the post-war avant-garde via European Zero and Minimalism to international contemporary art are being presented. The exhibition is structured into thematic fields, each of which presents discursive references to historical and current positions: Bauhaus and De Stijl, Hard Edge and New Color School USA, Constructive and Concrete Tendencies, European Zero avant-garde, Minimalism and design aspects, Neo Geo and contemporary positions. The show brings together about 75 artists from roughly twenty countries, and the works cover a time span of one hundred years, from 1908 (Adolf Hölzel) to 2010 (Andreas Schmid).

As already suggested by the exhibition title – “Pictures about Pictures. Discourses in Painting” – this show is not showcasing a museum-style sequence of styles and isms. The presentation is in fact attempting to create a referential dialogue between the works and to reveal discursive links between individual formal ideas and subject matter. The intention here is to consider art history not in the sense of ‘invention’ and ‘progression’, but as an argumentative union of pictures in temporary contexts and transitional forms. Dialogue situations of this kind come about in the first place within the horizon of epochs transcribed by time and rendered visible by the exhibition – European avant-garde movements before 1939; re-adoption and reformulation of abstract tendencies in Western art after 1945; analytical deconstructions, remakes and media cross-dressing in the direction of architecture, design and Ambient Art in Contemporary Art. But discursive references can also be discerned over and above the passage of time or developments that diverge culturally and ideologically – Simone Westerwinter and Anselm Reyle make an ironic allusions to the European Zero avant-garde; Jonathan Monk translates Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” into an endless loop; Andreas Reiter Raabe and Olivier Mosset analyse the “end of painting” topos with pictorial forms of emptiness and nothingness; Eva Berendes reconfigures the material aesthetics and formal inventory of Russian Constructivism; Jens Wolf develops rhythmic-serial cover versions of Josef Albers’s “Homage” paintings; Markus Ebner and Tom Sachs ‘repeat’ pictures by their teachers Günter Fruhtrunk and Peter Halley.

Participating Artists:
Absalon (IL) – Josef Albers (D) – John M Armleder (CH) – Hans Arp (F) – Jo Baer (USA) – Eva Berendes (D) – Ilya Bolotowsky (RUS) – Daniel Buren (F) – Andre Cadere (PL) – Enrico Castellani (I) – Krysten Cunningham (USA) – Dadamaino (I) – Stephane Dafflon (CH) – Ian Davenport (GB) – Gene Davis (USA) – Robyn Denny (GB) – Markus Ebner (D) – Maria Eichhorn (D) – Helmut Federle (CH) – Ulrike Flaig (D) – Adolf Fleischmann (D) – Günter Fruhtrunk (D) – Rupprecht Geiger (D) – Poul Gernes (DK) – Liam Gillick (GB) – Hermann Glöckner (D) – Mathias Goeritz (PL) – Terry Haggerty (GB) – Peter Halley (USA) – Al Held (USA) – Jan Henderikse (NL) – Nic Hess (CH) – Adolf Hölzel (A/CZ) – Donald Judd (USA) – Michael Kidner (GB) – Jim Lambie (SCO) – Alexander Liberman (UKR) – Sylvan Lionni (GB) – Richard Paul Lohse (CH) – Heinz Mack(D) – Almir da Silva Mavignier (BRA) – John McLaughlin (USA) – Christian Megert (CH) – Mathieu Mercier (F) – Gerold Miller (D) – Jonathan Monk (GB) – Jeremy Moon (GB) – Francois Morellet (F) – Sarah Morris (USA) – Olivier Mosset (CH) – John Nixon (AUS) – Kenneth Noland (USA) – Julian Opie (GB) – Phillipe Parreno (DZ) – Henk Peeters (NL) – Danica Phelps (USA) – Lothar Quinte (D) – Martial Raysse (F) – Andreas Reiter Raabe (A) – Anselm Reyle (D) – Gerwald Rockenschaub (A) – Ugo Rondinone (CH) – Tom Sachs (USA) – Pietro Sanguineti (D) – Eckhard Schene (D) – Oskar Schlemmer (D) – Andreas Schmid (D) – Oli Sihvonen (USA) – Ferdinand Spindel (D) – Katja Strunz (D) – Jean Tinguely (CH) – John Tremblay (USA) – Georges Vantongerloo (B) – Gerhard von Graevenitz (D) – Simone Westerwinter (D) – Jens Wolf (D) – Michael Zahn (USA) – Heimo Zobernig (A)