Galerie Chantal Crousel presents Vienna-based artist Heimo Zobernig’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery.
Heimo Zobernig has been working in sculpture, painting, video, and performance since the 1980s, constantly questioning two fundamentals of the XXth century painting: the grid and the monochrome. Zobernig’s works offer a great variety of
approaches with precision and details. In 2013, while preparing his retrospective exhibition in the Palacio de Velazquez of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, he said: “Initially I painted wildly, in all imaginable styles, but later on I settled on radical geometric abstraction as my preferred technique. My sources back then often had nothing to do with art, which led to clear deviations from convention. Only gradually did I come to the monochrome, and from that point onward certain sources became apparent. In all the new techniques of young artists this astonishment with phenomenological painting is evident. In monochromes the ghosts and demons of the resistance movement emerge. The attempt at noncompliance, the continual failure to achieve the goal, is inscribed in the monochrome. No monochrome or empty picture that doesn’t reveal the traces of its own creation can continually deliver a historical statement.” 1
In the present exhibition, Heimo Zobernig has put together paintings originating from different series made between 2011 and 2017. All acrylics on canvas measure one by one meter. Presented chronologically, the works show the evolution of Zobernig’s painting over the last six years, testimony of the evolution of his work and the hinge between each series. Each painting marks a transition with the following series of works – result of first considerations for further image motifs. The latter are related to art history devices and text templates from various sources.
The 2011 text paintings (blue, white or ochre), with their phantom-like effect in which the pure and minimal form is no longer the privilege of the language, gradually open onto the next series. The mixed up motifs, refer to the previous ones as well as to the following ones. The complex compositions are all combined with large color fields. The pixelated surfaces of the 2014 paintings recall the pixels of low resolution 1980s video screens. The paintings are more about surface than about color. Through their texts, their digital palettes, their coarse pixellation, they affirm their relationship to the moving image in a way which is at once explicit and playfully elusive. Finally, from the more formal grid paintings to the more gestural broken grids and winding paintings, the tape used is cut roughly by hand with words emerging such as: THIS.
About the artist
Heimo Zobernig’s (b. 1958 Mauthen, Austria) notable solo exhibitions include Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2015), Mudam – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany (2014), Kunsthaus Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria (2013), Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (2012), Essl Musem, Vienna, Austria (2011), Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2011), CAPC, Bordeaux, France (2009), Heimo Zobernig and the Tate Collection, Tate, St. Ives and London, UK (2008-2009), Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (2005), MUMOK, Vienna, Austria (2002), Der Katerlog (with Ernst Stroubal), MAK, Vienna, Austria – House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic – Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria – Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster – Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (1999). He also participated in the 56th Venice Biennale (Austrian Pavilion), Italy (2009), Busan Biennale, South Korea (2006), Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2004), Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (1992), documenta 9 (1992) and documenta X (1997). His works have been acquired by a number of institutions, including Mamco in Geneva (Switzerland), Mudam in Luxembourg, Museum Ludwig in Cologne (Germany), CAPC in Bordeaux (France), Centre Pompidou in Paris (France), SMAK in Ghent (Belgium) and Kunsthaus Graz (Austria). Heimo Zobernig has served as a professor of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna since 2000 and has been awarded the 2016 Roswitha Haftmann Prize in recognition of his sustained and diverse production and compelling body of work.
Several solo exhibitions are planned for 2018, at Museo de Arte do Rio, Brazil and at Sharjah Arts Museum, U.A.E..
1. Interview by Beatrix Ruf, in Kaleidoscope, Winter 2012/2013.