Fri 16 Sep 2022 to Sat 29 Oct 2022
At Fasanenstraße 31 a juxtaposition of new work by Vincent Fecteau and Florian Pumhösl is on view, a reconfiguration of the artists’ earlier exhibition of the same name, held at the Schindler House / MAK Center for Art & Architecture in Los Angeles in the fall of last year. For this exhibition we present a new catalogue published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.
MAK curator Bärbel Vischer writes in the introduction of the catalogue about the exhibition project:
“The making of this exhibition at the Schindler House was a work in progress following the visible and invisible lines of the architecture and history of the building. The venue, the urban mapping of West Hollywood, the conversations with the artists Vincent Fecteau and Florian Pumhösl, staying and working together at the Fitzpatrick-Leland House during the installation of the show have been interfolding.
The architect Rudolph M. Schindler (1887-1953), a scholar of Otto Wagner and follower of Adolf Loos, emigrated from Vienna to the United States in 1914 and later worked for Frank Lloyd Wright. Schindler has contributed to modernism with experimental concepts and social-utopian ideas. The Schindler House on Kings Road, designed for two families with a sequence of rooms which alternate between private and communal, was the home of Rudolph and his wife Pauline Schindler (1893-1977), an art and architecture critic. They initially lived here with Marian and Clyde Chace. In this building, the architect has combined a unique and personal formal language, hybrid international vocabulary, and visions of Los Angeles and California.
Staged within this unique cross-section of modernism’s currents, this exhibition examines the relationship of images, objects, and legacies of abstraction. Together, the artists Vincent Fecteau and Florian Pumhösl orchestrate a dialogue between pictorial and three-dimensional work, studio production, and the architectural setting of the Schindler House as it relates to aspects of materiality, surface, pattern, color, and light. The layout of the exhibition plays with volumes, structures, and interrelations between the artists’ works developing a visual rhythm and sound.
In her novel The Hour of the Star, Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) mediates the act of writing as a work in progress. The title of the exhibition, ‘I hear the ancient music of words and words, yes, that’s it.’, is a quote, echoing the intimacy she generated in her writing and corresponding to space, moods, and history. Lispector emigrated with her family from the Ukraine to Brazil in 1922. In The Hour of the Star, written in the year of her death, Lispector shines a light on the connection between language, music, and time – her personal instruments for writing. She creates literature as a collage, a painting or a sculpture with contemporary icons and secret meanings. In the fictive introduction to her book she notes the music of Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, and Schönberg as inspirations – Schindler himself perceived architecture as music.”¹
Vincent Fecteau in conversation with Florian Pumhösl, discussing his approach to the installation at the Schindler House:
“It was immediately clear, especially after I saw the house in person, that we couldn’t approach this as we would any other exhibition. The house has such a strong presence and history that any small gesture is amplified and also so clearly alien. I’m not sure it was really interested in having house guests. So, for me, that became the primary challenge: how to be respectful but engage with the architecture on terms that were true to the way I thought about domestic spaces. When I found out that Pauline Schindler painted her whole wing pink, it really opened something up for me: of course this icon of modernist architecture was ‘decorated’ by the people that lived in it.
Also the scale is quite extreme. The ceilings are very low and the spaces aren’t large. It’s hard to imagine furniture in there, let alone sculptures on pedestals. It seemed important to me that the work wasn’t hostile to the space but it didn’t have to be obsequious. We also talked about looking back: abandoned projects or pieces that we hadn’t quite finished or ideas that had been percolating for some time. I immediately thought about a collection of found photographs that I’ve had for years but never quite knew what to do with, and similarly, a collection of tabletop frames bought from various thrift stores. Once I realized I would combine the two, using photoshop to alter the photographs and adding elements to some of the frames, I knew I could make sculptures that might be able to engage with a domestic space on its own terms.”²
1 Bärbel Vischer: Introduction, p. 5
2 Vincent Fecteau / Florian Pumhösl, Conversation, p. 63
both in: Vincent Fecteau / Florian Pumhösl “I hear the ancient music of works and works, yes, that’s it.”, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, 2022
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)