Giese und Schweiger; Atelier H + K; Lukasfeichtner Galerie

Gallery Run: This month’s pick of who’s hanging what at Vienna’s venues

On The Town | Saleha Waqar | September 2011

19th- and 20th-century Austrian art at Giese und Schweiger-Kunst Handel

Founded in 1980, Giese and Schweiger prides itself on the authenticity and quality of its collection. Led by a team of art historians and experts, the gallery selects well-preserved works of historical significance. "Top-condition is a priority," says curator Sonja Menches, listing the gallery’s special expertise in Impressionism, Jugendstil/Art Nouveau and the interwar period.

The current exhibition spans the Baroque, through the Romantic and Biedermeier to Realism and the Impressionists, and includes great names like Rudolph von Alt, Friedrich von Amerling, Georg Waldmüller, Ferdinand Brunner, Gerhart Frankl, Joseph Holzer and Ernst Huber. They also publish catalogues on George Merkel, Louise Merkel Romee and Karl Gunsam, among others.

Giese und Schweiger, Kunst Handel

1., Akademiestrasse 1, (01) 513 18 43


Peter Kolin at Atelier H + K

Tucked away neatly beside Moulin Rouge on Walfischgasse, there is a gem: Atelier H + K, the personal gallery of Viennese artist Peter Kolin. Though hidden, once you find it it’s hard to look away.

Kolin’s paintings are like strange, forgotten fairytales, ephemeral and other-worldly, in a style inspired from the late realist phantastics: Thin, exaggerated nymph-like figures of men and women are wrapped around objects, flowers painted in painstaking detail sprout in haloes of colour from the background, fingers and facial features are elongated, and all depicted with painstaking detail through fine brushwork, an extensive colour palette, and a large number of objects in every painting. Most canvases are small, yet incredibly detailed.

After studying stage design at the Angewandte Kunst, Kolin turned to painting and has been selling his works for almost 40 years. "I try to tell a story through each of my paintings," he says. The gallery also exhibits other artists, currently including the Russian Sergey Lukyanov. New work will be hung as of mid-October. Highly recommended.

Atelier H + K

Mon.-Fri., 13:00 – 18: 00, Sat., 10:00 – 13:00

1., Walfischgasse 9,  (01) 512 04 60


David Smyth at Lukas Feichtner Galerie

The huge glass display windows and wide-open door beckon you towards the Lukasfeichtner Galerie if you are walking down Seilerstätte on a hot summer day. Presently, what catches your eye first are bold splashes of brilliant colour on giant canvases hanging on the walls, staring out through the windows and almost daring you to walk in. Instead of the curator, I find the artist: David Smyth.

Educated at the Art Institute of Chicago, Smyth has exhibited in Vienna several times. His work is part of the collections of museums around the world, including the Stadt Gallery in Klagenfurt.

At the Lukasfeichtner Galerie, known for its interest in innovative art, 20 paintings of various sizes are displayed in this special summer presentation. Smyth has been called a "metaphysician" by The New York Times, in that he "contemplates the cosmic muddle without trying to explain or order it."

The paintings display an adventurous use of colour and collage from everyday objects and patterns. At the entrance, "The Tailor Talks" is put together with sewing patterns. "The Mozart Sonata" has notebook paper with words meshed into the notes of the melody.

Further inside is a painting that is part of his "Master" series. It features actual blue blinds covering part of a collage showing Kennedy’s face and depicting the Bay of Pigs incident. He flips the blinds open, and then closes them again - demonstrating that his paintings physically allow you to see whatever you want to see.

In all, one is reminded of De Kooning and Kandinsky with a street-art twist and new tools: Layers of paint and patterns, interspersed with textures inspired from every day life, scribbles on note book paper, but a sense of overall symmetry in the organization behind each piece.

This exhibition is a must-see for the freedom of perception and its fine balance between wanton intuition and controlled equilibrium.

The gallery’s next opening is Sept. 29 (see Auctions & Openings), with photography and design by Austrian artist Robert F. Hammerstiel.

David Smyth

Through Sept. 17

Lukasfeichtner Galerie

Tue. – Fri., 10:00 – 18:00,

Sat., 10:00 – 16:00

1., Seilerstatte 19, (01) 512 09 10

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