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Uncommon DenominatorNew Art From Vienna

 

  • Exhibition

  • June 2002 - April 2003
  • Galleries

In 2002, Austria’s cultural capital was shaking off a reputation for the decorative sensuality of artists like Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele (and the nostalgic merriness of composer Johann Strauss II) to position itself at the forefront of the international art scene. This renewed vitality coincided with a swing to the right in Austrian (though not Viennese) politics, an irony not lost on many Viennese artists who had to reckon with the city’s artistic and political history.

Uncommon Denominator featured works made by 15 artists living in Vienna in the five years or so leading up to the opening of the exhibition. Though some of the artists were born in Vienna, most were drawn to the city as students from other places in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, and the Czech Republic, a testament to Vienna’s continuing role as a vibrant crossroads city. The artists spanned a generation: the eldest was born in 1947, the youngest in 1970. Curiosity about the philosophical and political underpinning of design pervades this group of works, as does a sometimes revelatory commitment to beauty and craftsmanship. This art is deeply analytical (not surprising, in the birthplace of psychoanalysis); it makes inquiries and expresses reservations. The “uncommon denominator” that binds these works together like dumplings in a broth is Vienna’s fluid artistic scene.

Uncommon Denominator featured works by Herbert Brandl, Adriana Czernin, Barbara Eichhorn, Swetlana Heger and Plamen Dejanov, Johanna Kandl, Peter Kogler, Walter Obholzer, Florian Pumhösl, Constanze Ruhm, Hans Schabus, Lois Weinberger, Erwin Wurm, Otto Zitko, and Heimo Zobernig.

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