Gallery Run: Drawing Attention to Art

On The Town | Natascha Eichinger | July / August 2013

"Drawing is visual thinking" writes artist Deanna Petherbridge in her book The Primacy of Drawing – for generating ideas and solving conceptual problems, for training and for gifts, but also for recording life and capturing character, it has been central to western art since the 15th century. And while painting and sculpture have long held greater prestige in the public eye, drawing is being reconsidered today as the heart of the matter.

In Vienna, for the past three years, drawing has been promoted by the three-day gallery event Zeichnung Wien. With openings held 20-22 June, galleries across Vienna will continue to display drawings and sketches throughout the summer.



Drawings often trigger images of female reclining nudes, still life studies or picturesque landscapes.

Displayed at Konzett Galerie until 27 July are drawings and sketches by some of the most influential and controversial figures of modern art; rebels of their time.

An especially wild anatomical red ink drawing on a large cloth banner depicting the front, back and side-view of the human form, by Hermann Nitsch, captivates the scene in the first room of the gallery.

A fleshy, glowing, deep red face in the centre appears to protrude from the image.

Nitsch is legendary for his live, ritualistic performance art involving animal slaughters and in 1964 founded Viennese Actionism together with Günther Brus and others.

A series of pen and ink drawings by Brus, with dots and criss-crossed streaks apparently haphazardly jotted on wrinkled baking paper, line the adjacent wall of this gallery space.

Behind a vitrine in the far corner of the last room lies an unassuming collection of notebook sketches and a drawing depicting the top half of a horseman and carriage by Marcel Duchamp, a leading figure of Conceptualism and Dadaism. As if in response to Duchamp, a cryptic note written by Joseph Beuys for a Neo-Dadaist Fluxus event on the other side of the room reads "Beuys: Marcel Duchamps’s silence is over-rated".


Konzett Galerie

1., Spiegelgasse 21

Tue. – Fri. 11:00 – 18:00

Sat. 11:00 – 17:00

(01) 513 01 03


Linie – Zeichen - Zeichnung

The stitched red outline of gazing, smiling and yawning profiles, packed together into a pyramid stands out in the show at Galerie Lang through 31 July, stretching our traditional definition of drawing.

This technique by the South Korean artist Kye Hee Yoon, is rarely included among works of art and is often still considered "mere" embroidery.

Christine Pillhofer’s lined and dotted drawing, resembling a Chinese character combines diverse drawing emulsions in red dots of ink, a stroke of enamel paint and black streaks of dispersion paint.

An equally striking, more conventional pencil drawing by Peter Neuwirth, shows the headless torso of a woman emerging from the paper, in only a corset and garters, victorian and fragile.

The exhibition brings together abstract, geometric and figurative drawings and each artist has their own distinct style and technique. "The time of the -isms is over. Nowadays art is about the quality and style of each individual artist." explains Manfred M. Lang, owner of Galerie Lang and founder of the event Zeichnung Wien.

"I personally consider this a good development in the art world, even though drawings remain underappreciated and works on paper continue to sell less well than works on canvas or even sculptures."


Galerie Lang Wien

1., Seilerstaette 16

Tue. – Fri. 12:00 – 18:00

Sat. 11:00 – 16:00

(01) 512 20 19


Zwei Tröge, Wasserinnen

For Walter Pichler, a leading artist of Austria’s post-war Avant-garde, drawings made up a fundamental part of his drafting process.

During the last 40 years of his life, Pichler mostly worked on pencilled designs for a series of sculptures kept in his farmhouses in Sankt Martin an der Raab in southern Burgenland.

On display until 5 October are his drawings for construction of a gutter system, a model of which stands between the gallery’s two rooms.

Each drawing is carefully crafted with technical precision and detail in the form of architectural plans and designs including measurements and mathematical calculations. Two large cylindrical containers with an adjoining shaft are analysed from side angles and bird’s-eye view, sometimes all on the same page in a busy brainstorm.

Two unusual drawings depict a coarsely etched, almost skeletal figure of a man standing ominously beside two wide columns. This sinister, dark and psychologically laden human form is a re-occurring theme in Pichler’s work, which he calls his "dream drawings".

Pichler became internationally renowned in the 1960s, for construction plans designed in collaboration with the Austrian architects Hans Hollein and Raimund Abraham, that focussed upon the functionality of buildings devoid of embellishment. This showing of Pichler’s work is one of the first to be held after his death in the summer of last year.


Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman

1., Seilerstaette 7

Tue. – Fri. 12:00 – 18:00

Sat. 11:00 – 18:00

(01) 512 08 40


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