Gallery Run: Goodbye Grandeur
TVR Gallery Run looks at what’s hanging at Schleifmühlgasse 12–14, Galerie Steinek, and Kerstin Engholm Gallery
As we ring in 2013 and the Christmas lights that decorated Vienna’s streets are being taken down, many galleries have turned toward the intricate details of daily life. Free from the seasonal pomp – come February, it’s breathing time for art.
Schleifmühlgasse 12–14: Ella, Astrid, Tabitha, Laia, Alix, Anne
The intimate gallery Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 is almost hidden one block down from the more traditional art spaces on the street. Six women’s first names are written on the glass façade, alongside the gallery’s namesake address. Even at night, the space inside is fully visible, softly glowing in pinkish amber light. Looking like someone’s improvised flat, the space seems private yet on display to any passerby.
Entering, you see house slippers and party confetti carelessly strewn on the floor. A woman on the video is humming Schubert’s famed Schwannengesang, "Ständchen" – it is strange yet comforting. The curator, Lise Lendais, invited six famous female dancers, performance and visual artists from Paris and Vienna to be part of an exhibition-in-progress. Like Anne Juren, renowned choreographer and dancer for the Burgtheater, Impulstanz and Tanzquartier Wien, all are women with children. All work as artists, often meaning that maternity leave was simply an unaffordable luxury.
The exhibit raises questions about our free-market system and artists’ working conditions, but with gentle flair. While it is a rare chance to see famous dancers and artists perform in such an intimate environment, the gallery is also open on non-performing days. In addition, children’s workshops are held monthly, led by the participating artists. The last performance is with Anne Juren on 2 February at 17:00.
4., Schleifmühlgasse 12–14
Tue., Fri., 14:00–19:00
Sat., 10:00–17:00 (and on request)
0676 735 4910
Galerie Steinek: Olga Georgieva, Unverschämt Unwiderstehlich (Outrageously Irresistible)
Simple, black and white ink pen drawings cover the walls of Galerie Steinek this month. The realistic, detailed illustrations of people seem like a scene out of any dream – people, so many people, seem to be on the street, but most faces are hard to remember, some are getting undressed. A red line loosely slithers through the spaces between them, sometimes connecting them but more often resembling a hesitating barricade. In the back room, an installation of black swings made of dominoes hang from the ceiling on scarlet red strings – not saying anything, but aching to be understood.
"This must be the way the new generation works," Carol Tachdjian, curator of the show, speaks about Georgieva, a recent graduate of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. "They don’t feel the need to put in emotion nor intellectuality in an obvious way, yet nonetheless succeed in achieving a balance between the cerebral and the emotional."
The autobiographical, subdued drawings and installation on the "mixture of intimacy and distance, which we all know about," according to the artist, create a lasting resonance. The show runs through 21 February.
1., Eschenbachgasse 4
Tue.–Fri., 13:00–18:00, Sat., 11:00–15:00
(01) 512 87 59
Kerstin Engholm Gallery: Stefanie Seufert & Stefan Panhans, Objects & Items
What happens when the photographer’s camera turns to the objects and items of the ordinary world, of mundane reality, with hyper-crisp focus? Stefanie Seufert photographs found everyday objects in a displaced context – three large "portraits" of cedar trees against a stark white background hang in the forefront of the Kerstin Engholm Gallery.
On first glance they seem like queer advertising images of stripped Christmas trees – where in effect, they are merely actual standing trees the artist found, photographed against the Berlin sky. A crumpled receipt from H&M lies under an elegant candlestick, and a Chinese lantern hangs against a climbing wall in Stefan Panhans’ series of photographs, titled Items for Possible Video sets.
Curated by Maren Lübbke-Tidow, former editor of Camera Austria, the show probes a question at the ironic way we perceive the "look" of reality. Through 5 March.
Kerstin Engholm Gallery
4., Schleifmühlgasse 3
Tue.–Fri., 11:00–18:00, Sat., 12:00–16:00
(01) 585 73 37