Vienna1. COLOR 2. HOLE AND 3. JOKE
Selected Works on Paper
Amelie von Wulffen
and Heimo Zobernig
Drawing became fashionable in the 18th century, when it left the confines of the artist’s studio to enter a broader field of discourse, culture, politics, and social life. This transformation was most evident in France, where drawing was significantly and influentially repositioned and reconceptualized. This exhibition traces the emergence of the modern understanding of works on paper in multiple senses—as an autonomous form of expression, an index of the artist’s style, an object of aesthetic contemplation, and an epistemological tool. By exploring the artists’ interactions with paper rather than simply their use of the material as a basis, the exhibition considers works on paper as a means of conceptualization as well as a visual mode of thinking in and of itself. Focusing on the power of contemporary works on paper, this selection of work looks at how artists use drawing to examine themes including identity, place, and memory, thereby pushing the boundaries of the medium. The constitutive influence of Pop Art on their work is shared by all the artists represented in the show. Building on the achievements of Dadaism, the Pop artists began to parody the society on which their reactions were based. The Pop Art movement then sought to solidify the idea that art can draw from any source, that there is no cultural hierarchy to disrupt this. Presented in a fine art setting, the line between “high culture” and the quotidian becomes blurred. To assess the permanent conceptual impact on contemporary drawing, we must bear in mind some of the characteristics of contemporary art after Pop Art: Appropriation of cultural icons; use of vibrant, bright colors, irony, and satire; as well as innovative techniques like print, mixed media, and collage that reference its graphic nature.
Courtesy of the artists and Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna. Photo: Marcel Koehler