The Albertina Museum exhibits works by two Austria-based artist duos

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The Albertina Museum exhibits works by two Austria-based artist duos
Muntean / Rosenblum, Untitled ("There is so much..."), 2020. Pastellkreide, l und Acryl auf Leinwand. Berkson Collection Muntean/Rosenblum. Photo: Courtesy of Muntean/Rosenblum.

VIENNA.- The Albertina Museum presents two Austria-based artist duos who have each developed their own, unmistakable styles over many years of collaboration. Peter Hauenschild and Georg Ritter have been producing their monumental drawings together since 1989. Markus Muntean and Adi Rosenblum have collaborated in the creation of their artworks since 1992. These two collectives now feature in a two-part retrospective at the ALBERTINA Museum in which major works by each, some of them from the museum’s own collection, are brought together.

The genre of drawing is considered the most individualistic mode of aesthetic expression. In this light, the collaboration of Hauenschild Ritter—which extends to the indistinguishability of two different hands—can be considered an extraordinary phenomenon. In conceiving their drawn works, which are shown in the first part of this exhibition, these two media artists remain true to their other output in that they compose scenes digitally and design individual objects on the computer before subsequently hand-sketching them on paper together. In successively applied layers, Hauenschild Ritter alternate in their placement of hatching upon hatching as they model their interiors, landscapes, and figures. Their drawings always arise during breaks between other projects and in situations removed from everyday life. The flood of images with which these artists surround themselves and to which they add through their own production is decelerated via the lengthy and meticulous process of drawing and ultimately forced to a standstill in the drawn result.

In the second part of this exhibition, Muntean/Rosenblum likewise respond to the present day’s overabundance of visual material. For their works, they draw on those photographic images that are disseminated in the thousands day after day by fashion magazines and social media. Time and time again, the artists encounter formal principles that also run through art history: postures and gestures, a particular facial expression, or ways of displaying physical beauty, all of which the contemporary photographic material brings into the present. Muntean/Rosenblum place figures from the most varied contexts into interior spaces or landscapes from their extensive pictorial archive to arrive at their stringently composed scenes. These depictions—largely of young people seen in leisure situations but appearing neither exuberant nor carefree, instead gazing at the observer with serious, melancholy expressions—are of a consistently ambiguous character. They are joined by captions that likewise contribute to the resulting ambivalence.

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