The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Kunsthalle Zürich Presents a Solo Exhibition by Heimo Zobernig, Key Figure in the Austrian Art Scene
Heimo Zobernig, ohne Titel, 1986. Kunstharzlack, Karton / synthetic-resin varnish, cardboard, 182 x 66 x 66 cm. © Foto Archiv HZ.

ZURICH.- The Kunsthalle Zürich launch its exhibition season at the Museum Bärengasse – where it is based temporarily until June 2012 while work is carried out on the conversion and renovation of its permanent home at the Löwenbräu Areal – with the solo exhibition «ohne Titel (in Red)» by Heimo Zobernig (born in Mauthen, Carinthia, Austria in 1958; lives and works in Vienna). This exhibition (on view until 20 March 2011) presents an artist who, based on a body of work produced since the 1980s, is viewed as a key figure on the Austrian art scene. Zobernig’s exhibition provides insight into an oeuvre that explores themes of minimalism, the historical loading of the opposing pair of “figurativeness vs. abstraction” and the problem as to what art is or can be, its outward form and function. In keeping with the rooms in the buildings of the Museum Bärengasse, which were constructed in 1670, the works selected for presentation – the exhibition includes 11 video works, cardboard and particle board objects created since 1985 – focus on the topics of “furnishing” and “light” and play with the domesticated interior of the former residential buildings. Zobernig develops a specific lighting situation for the rooms of the Museum Bärengasse: he closes the shutters on the windows of the two early-Baroque houses and submerges the exhibition space in red by means of a light installation.

In the Lexikon der Kunst 1992 compiled by Heimo Zobernig and Ferdinand Schmatz, the term “innovation” features under the letter “I”. Schmatz refers to this again later and describes it as follows in reference to Zobernig’s work: “Innovation: H.Z’s work is not dominated by the compulsion for the new; instead the question as to what became a compulsion in art and how it is investigated.” Be it as a painter, stage designer, draughtsman, sculptor, architect, designer, catalogue and book designer, poet or author of theoretical works, Zobernig pursues this question in the widest possible variety of roles and thereby questions the traditional image of the artist. The areas in which Zobernig works are as varied as his roles and are always aimed at exploring formal and substantive potential: his work is located on the interface between sculpture, space, architecture and design.

Zobernig has been sounding out the possibilities of sculptural work since the early 1980s. His sculptures – geometric wall objects, façade-like reliefs, objects and sculptures created from abstract stereometric bodies which take the form of cubes, angles, columns, pedestals, podiums, movable walls and shelving – are made of cheap no-frills materials such as particle board, cardboard, linen, molton, Styrofoam, synthetic resin, emulsion paint, fluorescent tubes and other everyday building materials. The seeming banality and everyday nature of these materials is reinforced in the reduced functional appearance and standardised aesthetic of the objects they are used to create. The objects alternate between minimalist sculpture and functional objects, between works of art and everyday objects in the literal sense, between the attribution of meaning and function. Hence, the works ohne Titel (1995), which consists of a coffee table constructed out of three pieces of particle board and covered with coloured light bulbs, ohne Titel (1999), a bar-like sculpture and ohne Titel (2006), a shelving unit that is very reminiscent of a shelving unit with a man’s name produced by a Swedish furniture manufacturer, exemplarily complete the paradigm change from applied to visual art. The artist consistently titles his works ohne Titel (“untitled”) and triggers associative thought processes in the viewer, in which the formal reality, the visibility of the reality and the associated meaning are questioned within the museum context. Zobernig’s spare unadorned formal language is reminiscent of positions in minimal art – a particle board sculpture prompts unavoidable associations with Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris – however, through conscious deviations, the artist breaks with the canon, the fetishism for fine materials, and offers ironic revision instead.

This strategy of reduction is also pursued by the artist in his video works: their presentation on black monitor boxes placed on white tables also lends a sculptural character to this medium. On a formal level the videos are characterized by static camera positions, the frequent equation of playing time and time played and the imperfect application of the chroma key technique, a video processing technique from television in which a monochrome background can be substituted by a background in a different colour (e.g. Blue Box). In terms of content, the video works are characterised by simple dramatic compositions, one-dimensional action strands and rudimentary costumes. The almost dilettantish appearance of the videos – which have been titled almost exclusively with sequential numbers since 1989 – irritates the viewer’s conventional viewing expectations. By frequently featuring himself as the protagonist, Zobernig thematicises the practice of performance and with it the ever-present possibility of the embarrassing exposure of the self. In Nr. 2 (1989), the artist totters across a meadow wearing a long blonde wig to a computer-generated soundtrack; the video Hans Weigand/Heimo Zobernig (1992) shows both artists bent over, bottom to bottom, alternatively attempting to get a chainsaw to work; Nr. 9 (1995) presents a view into an dark toilet, from which the artist calls for help for 30 minutes; and Nr. 12 (1996) shows him naked presenting a gymnastic choreography in the middle of projected views of Chicago. Through this use of his body, the artist refers not least to the pioneers of video art, for example Bruce Nauman and Vito Acconci, and hence also thematicises the artist subject. At the same time, he also refers to early video production and the possibilities it offered for the manipulation of images, for example in his graphically reduced video works Nr. 21 (2003), in which the eight colour bars of the RGB colour chart are mounted in a wild confusion of colours and tones, and Nr. 11 (1995), in which the formal concept of Zobernig’s inkblot images was fed into a computer which generates constantly changing abstract images from these images.

Following solo shows in the Kunsthalle Bern in 1997, the Kunsthalle Basel in 2003 and participation in group exhibitions inter alia in the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel in 1999, Heimo Zobernig presents his work here once again in an institutional context in Switzerland. The artist, who was represented at documenta 9 (1992) and documenta 10, was the first Austrian artist to be honoured with the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts in 2010.

Today's News

January 17, 2011

Zaragoza Exhibits the Work of French Painter Georges Rouault for the First Time Ever

An Extraordinary Display of Masterpieces Announced for This Year's Edition of TEFAF

Tel Aviv Exhibits the Recently Donated Wolloch Collection of Modern Sculpture

RM Auctions Announces Early Highlights for Debut Sale at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

Newly Discovered by Hokusai, Early Buddhist Sculpture, and Important Porcelains in Asia Week Exhibition

New York City Landlord Wants Money from Lennon Suit Auction, Sues Braswell Galleries

The Kunsthalle Zürich Presents a Solo Exhibition by Heimo Zobernig, Key Figure in the Austrian Art Scene

Beatles Memorabilia Museum with Thousands of Objects Opens in Buenos Aires

Vargas, Sundblom and Elvgren Masterpieces Anchor Illustration Art Auction in Beverly Hills

"A Serpentine Gesture and Other Prophecies" on View at Le Frac Lorraine

Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College Exhibits Work of Contemporary Tibetan Artists

Carlton Rochell Asian Art to Participate in Winter Antiques Show at Park Avenue Armory

Eight Large-Scale Oil Paintings by Los Angeles Artist Christian Vincent at Mike Weiss Gallery

de Saisset Museum Explores the Practice of Veiling through a Thought-Provoking Exhibition

Tom Lubbock, Illustrator and Chief Art Critic of The Independent, Dies

Internationally Acclaimed Design Firms Choose Glass Artist Paul Housberg for Princeton Project

Morris Museum Presents an Exhibition of an Unsung American Illustrator: Antonio Petruccelli

Steven Holl Architects' Horizontal Skyscraper Wins AIA Institute Honor Award

Thomas Paul Fine Art Presents an Exhibition of Works by the Artist, Harrison Storms

Feedback: Video by Artists Opens at the University of Richmond Museums

Video and Photographic Works by Los Angeles and Maine Based Artist Tad Beck at Samuel Freeman

Art & Design in Wolverhampton 1850-1970 Featured in Exhibition at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery

New Photographs and Video by New York and Nepal Based Artist Stuart Hawkins at Zach Feuer Gallery

Twenty-Three Black-and-White Photographs of The Fryes Home on View in Seattle

Salvaged Scotch on Display to Mark 70th Anniversary of SS Politician Grounding

MoMA Film to Present Weeklong Series of Documentaries Featuring Artist Associated with Juxtapoz Magazine

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful