ViennaCurated by 2019: Florian Pumhösl
Ella Bergmann-Michel, Alan Charlton, Christian (Georges Herbiet), Anita Leisz, Henrik Olesen, Florian Pumhösl, Ad Reinhardt, Wacław Szpakowski
Among the graphic musical scores of the 20th century, such as those by Morton Feldman, György Ligeti or Earle Brown, there are certain situations to be found that come close to the intended idea of an art exhibition. Objects are arranged or layered along one or more horizontal lines, which in turn are assigned to a concept (of duration, volume, instrument, etc.). This temporal axis comprises a spectrum of possible tones, and is itself divided by perpendiculars (though not always). A notation (respectively, its horizontal planes) is always limited to the representation of spectra, that is, there are things that are within and things that are beyond these spectra. The incision on such a spectrum is the bar line, the vertical division that indicates the point in this void when something relative to something else occurs.
The musical score bears an obvious formal resemblance to what is referred to in exhibition architecture as “wall treatment”. And yet – significantly for this exhibition – it provides coordinates for something that seems both imagined and defined, and which occurs along an axis relative to the vertical divisions. The exhibition consists of a selection of pieces by Florian Pumhösl entitled Formed Speech (2016–19), in which he explores the possibilities of defining a vertical object that divides a sequence: the directions it refers to, the imagined space that could emerge in between or before, the convergence of such an object with linguistic signs or figures gleaned from architecture. These pieces form the structure for a series of historical and contemporary work. (Florian Pumhösl)
Ella Bergmann-Michel had a reluctance to be classified by doctrines but was close to Dada, Bauhaus or Constructivism. She explored many fields such as design, typography, architecture, cinema and photography. Ella strived for a fusion of biological and technical matters. By positioning a biomorphic shape in a key spot, she questions how nature can integrate into a technical world.
* 1895 in Praderborn, died in Vockenhausen 1971
2018 Retrospective, Ella Bergmann-Michel und Robert Michel, A Modernist Artist Couple, Sprengel Museum, Hannover.
Alan Charlton has, since the early 1970’s, painted purely grey, abstract paintings. The choice of grey paint stems from Charlton’s desire to use a “standard, industrial colour”, linking to the industrial landscape of his childhood in Sheffield, but also the emotive qualities of the colour. Unwavering from this rigorous format has allowed Charlton to indefatigably explore the formal qualities of the canvas and to remain free of representation, influence or interpretation.
* 1948 in Sheffield, UK, lives and works in London.
2008 Museum Kurhaus Kleve – Ewald Mataré-Sammlung, Kleve, Germany (solo) 2001 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (solo)
1997 Carré d’Art, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nîmes, France (solo)
1991 Hallen für Neue Kunst, Schaffhausen, Switzerland (solo)
Christian (Georges Herbiet)
Dada writer and artist Christian was close to Picabia, Jean Crotti and Suzanne Duchamp and involved in the publication of a number of Dada reviews. In 1923, he worked on an „Traité d’harmonie“, a global aesthetic system related to science featured in form of diagramms. He also used to paint figurative and some of his works were published by the little review in 1922.
* 1895 as Georges Herbiet in Antwerp, died 1969 in Paris
2005 Dada, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Leisz works with industrially manufactured gypsum fiberboard produced for interior construction applications. She paints their surfaces with tinting color, then washes it off so that some pigment remains in the depressions where the surface coating has been compromised by ordinary occurrences during transport and storage, leaving behind dark crevices and scrapes in the dull gray expanse. Her fixed archetype is a shallow cuboid, closed at the top, always open at the bottom, the front edge either closed or open. She operates from that starting point using scale and opposition: inside/outside, surface/volume, open/closed, large/small. For years now, viewers have thought of Leisz as a belated Minimalist. This exhibition clearly showed that her eccentricity and humor put her in a different category. (Brigitte Huck)
* 1973 in Leoben, Austria Lives and works in Vienna.
2019 Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize-exhibition , MUMOK, Vienna (solo)
2017 belvedere21/21er Haus, Vienna (solo)
2016 Anita Leisz, Hans Christian Lotz at Stadtgalerie Schwaz, Schwaz, Austria
2000 Secession, Vienna (solo)
Forms in debt: the cast of a corner, or of a milk carton, owes its material presence to having performed a form. Neither sculpture (because not autonomous) nor object (because derived), it is unworked and hard to place, a quasi-entity that has bred out of positive form and now plays the latter against itself. It is both the artwork and its double. Teeming with displaced agency, it bends time out of shape to scale space for accrued meanings. (Lars Bang Larsen, 2019)
* 1968 in Esbjerg, Denmark, lives and works in Berlin
2019 Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid (solo)
2018 Hey Panopticon! Hey Asymmetry!, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (solo)
2013 The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale
2012 Mr. Knife & Mrs. Fork – Wolfgang Hahn Preis, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (solo)
2011 Museum für Gegenwartskunst – Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung, Basel (solo)
Projects 94: Henrik Olesen – MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York (solo)
2004 Secession, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Florian Pumhösl has rigorously and cogently developed an independent abstract formal and pictorial language. His central engagement with the historical formal vocabulary of modernism and its specific thematic issues is typical of Florian Pumhösl’s work. What interests him frequently is not only the genealogical derivation of a particular form, but also its social and political setting. His projects are often preceded by lengthy and involved research.
*1971, lives and works in Vienna
2015 Haubrok Foundation, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2012 Spatial Sequence, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (solo)
2011 MUMOK – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2010 Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (solo)
2008 Stedelijk Museum, Docking Station, Amsterdam, Netherlands (solo)
2007 documenta 12, Kassel, Germany
During the 1940s and 1950s Reinhardt was a leading member of the american abstract artists known as Abstract Expressionist. He wrote and lectured extensively on art and was a major influence on conceptual, minimal art and monochrome painting.
* 1913 in Buffalo, USA, died 1967 in New York City, USA
2016 EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art
2015 Malmö Konsthall
2008 The Guggenheim Museum, N.Y.
1991 Retrospective at MoMA
Titled “Rhythmical Lines”, Wacław Szpakowski describes a series of labyrinthine geometrical abstractions, each one produced from a single continuous line. He’d begun these drawings around 1900, when he was just seventeen—what started as sketches he then formalized, compiled, and made ever more intricate over the course of his life. The drawings, he explains, “were experiments with the straight line conducted not in research laboratories but produced spontaneously at various places and random moments since all that was needed to make them was a piece of paper and a pencil.” Szpakowski never sought to exhibit his works and they were not publicly known during his lifetime.
* 1883 in Warsaw, died 1973 in Wrocław, Poland
2017 Muzeum Okręgowego, Bydgoszcz (solo)
2016 Muzeum Miejskie Wroclawia, Wroclaw (solo)
2012 Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Photography: Marcel Koehler. Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna
Christian (Georges Herbiet)
Étages des nombres/Ordre de grandeur, 1925
Pencil on vellum graph paper with 8 lines of manuscript text in black ink, signed, typed transcription of the text above
27,7 x 21,6 cm