Young Contemporaries, Fledgling Art

Gallery Run: Jul/Aug. 2012

On The Town | Nina Prader | July / August 2012

Stylianos Schico’s About the Monkey on My Back at Yoshi’s Contemporary (Photo: Nina Prader)

Every month galleries in all districts simultaneously open their doors from afternoon to evening, beckoning with wine and art for the Gallery Crawl (Gallerien Rundgang). May’s event had a youthful spirit, with many group exhibitions by young artists, fresh and rosy-cheeked out of school, ripe for the picking on the art market.

Sammlung Lenikus: Isabella Kohlhuber, Janina Arendt, Eva Kotàka, Alexander Martinz: "Studios"

Using literal traffic-like signs that subliminally guide the behavioural, Isabella Kohlhuber’s Crosswalk steers the viewer to the Lenikus gallery passage at Bauernmarkt, in the former off-space "Coco". Parallel glass storefront windows mirror each other in the Bauernmarkt alleyway. Lenikus promotes itself as "flexible, spontaneous, local, and international", a real-estate business with a keen eye for inner-city and green spaces, and a patron for the arts. Every year they collaborate with the Academy of Fine Arts, granting exceptional graduates studio space and the opportunity to exhibit.

Despite their youth, these artists have clean and polished styles. Janina Arendt’s animation at the opening was a layered choreographed dance performance. Eva Kotàka has installed a wall collage. Her Theatre of Speaking Objects was delicately pinned to the walls like Russian Constructivist butterflies. Alexander Martinz’s video showed an abstract traffic scene and related to Isabella Kohlhuber’s meticulous squiggly line drawings.

In the future, Lenikus will lend the space as an experimental exhibition space for art students at the Academy – a green light crosswalk to safely join the traffic of the gallery world.

Sammlung Lenikus

1., Passage Bauernmarkt 9, by appointment

(01) 516 31 0


Bäckerstrasse4-Plattform für junge Kunst: Borjana Ventzislavova: "Living Dreams. Dreaming Lives."

Bäckerstrasse4 sees itself as a platform for young artists to get experience between art school and the art world. For the curators, "art is a language" that all speak at all ages.

Sofia-born, Borjana Ventzislavova won the MAK-Schindler scholarship and was granted a six-month stay in Los Angeles. Showing a series of castings in the form of photographs and video interviews, she creates portraits of young actors trying to "make it" in California.

Documenting the struggle inherent in the realisation of the American Dream in the current economic crisis, she sheds light on whether the American Dream is a euphemism or merely hopeful. Portrait photographs, autobiographical texts of her subjects and video interviews at Study House #22 – a location infamous for film and fashion shootings – poignantly illustrate the actor’s struggle in the face of migration, assimilation, self-commercialisation, alienation, and earthquakes. It Shakes Everywhere is a series of photographs of people in front of their houses at night after an earthquake warning, depicting the diversity and vulnerability America’s people collectively share.

Bäckerstrasse4: Plattform für junge Kunst

1., Bäckerstraße 4

Tue.–Fri. 11:00–19:00, Sat. 11:00–17:00

0676 555 1777


Yoshi’s Contemporary Art Gallery: Norbert Brunner, Mario Neugebauer, Josephine Scianna, Stylianos Schicho, Sabrina Horak: "Face-it"

An art-showing infant at only one year of age, Yoshi’s Contemporary Art Gallery has a baby pink neon sign over the door. The first floor is a gift-shop, offering glossy art and design books, designer toys, and leather fashion-wear. The gallery itself is located in the basement and has a 1980s Batman-esque club atmosphere: Astroturf and black walls with white dots and a cocktail-bar room at the back.

On display are Plexiglas prints by Norbert Brunner, bright sculptural paintings of crowds made of wood by Sabrina Horak and the kinetic sculpture Running Sushi by Mario Neugebauer. Stylianos Schicho’s large scale, imposing portraits, such as the swift, clear charcoal strokes in About the Monkey on My Back, depicting a man in a Hawaiian T-shirt, are just as haunting as The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste by American-born Josephine Scianna. Her portraits of creepy clowns function as allegories for depression and childhood. As a group, the artists, the works and the space exude "hip and edgy", like an underground designer NY loft.

Yoshi’s Contemporary Art Gallery

1., Wollzeile 17

Tue–Sat 11:00–19:00

(01) 909 53 43

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