Brigitte Huck

  • Friedl Kubelka vom Gröller

    In the 1970s and ’80s Viennese art world, a republic of princely painters, to succeed as a female photographer was no mean feat. That’s probably why Friedl Kubelka vom Gröller and her interrogation of her primary medium remain under the radar, esteemed by connoisseurs and revered by alums of her influential schools for photography and film but hardly mentioned in the annals of international Conceptual art. Yet that’s where she belongs, as this remarkable exhibition, “Friedl Kubelka vom Gröller: The Self in the Mirror of the Other. Photographs and Films, 1968–2018,” makes clear. In photography

  • Julia Haller

    Just when it seemed that we would never emerge from the widespread mild depression caused by two months of lockdown, Julia Haller jolted us awake with her exhibition “Knights.” At long last, a light at the end of the digi-tunnel! The choice of artist for Meyer Kainer’s reopening sent a clear signal: The special qualities of Haller’s work demand a live encounter, which nothing can replace. How else would we feel the energy and rhythm of a hanging or the reverberations of a particular piece, its feedback sound?

    “Knights” was the artist’s third solo show at the Viennese gallery. The inception of

  • Bunny Rogers

    “Thinking is linear; emotions are space,” said the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. His acclaimed Kunsthaus Bregenz was the setting for an extraordinary exhibition by Bunny Rogers, who turned the cast-concrete cube into a mausoleum. Her sprawling show, “Kind Kingdom,” consisted of four allover environments, one on each of the gallery’s floors. The immersive tableaux could be taken in with all senses: Scent, sound, even room temperature enhanced the visual dimension. Rogers’s art speaks loud and clear—evoking themes of loneliness and loss, kitsch and garbage, melancholy and paranoia, Lady Diana

  • Elke Silvia Krystufek

    Elke Krystufek is back! Though from now on, she’s Elke Silvia Krystufek. For many years, she was the Austrian art scene’s most dependable bad girl. That art and life are inextricably intertwined was her credo, so she took us along as she tore through her private life. She expertly toyed with our voyeurism in her spectacular and scandalous early performances and shocked her audiences with trashy videos and risqué selfies. And she painted irresistibly alluring portraits that put us on notice that women are the better painters after all. A combative debater on female self-representation, porn,

  • Mladen Stilinovic

    Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016) was one of the most important Croatian artists and is today widely recognized as one of the main figures of international Conceptual art. His widow, the critic and curator Branka Stipančić, remains the leading authority on his work. For this exhibition, “Smiles,” Stipančić put together a show as exciting as it was emotional. It drew us into the Zagreb of the 1970s, when Stilinović was writing poems and publishing them in the literary magazine Republika. Together with friends, he founded the amateur film club Pan 69, whose discussions and artistic productions operated

  • VALIE EXPORT

    Depend on VALIE EXPORT, the provocatrice passionnée and icon of international feminist art, to mess with the cherished format of the Advent-season gallery show. As the glühwein was flowing at the Christmas market outside Thaddaeus Ropac’s elegant showrooms next to Salzburg’s Mirabellgarten, Austria’s most radical artist demonstrated inside the gallery that the fires of rebellion, indignation, and courage are still burning bright.

    The controversial work EXPORT produced in the 1960s and 1970s has lost none of its fresh energy and sharp edge. Developing a rich set of themes, ideas, and aesthetic

  • Nedko Solakov

    The tailcoat is the traditional costume of the magician, who is the artist’s alter ego. The mannequin sculpture A Magician’s Nightmare, 2016, clad in the aforementioned garment, is, like everything by the Bulgarian turbo-conceptualist Nedko Solakov, rife with mystery and rueful humor. Solakov’s art is highly personal but also political; spirited and witty, humorous and ironic, it unites critique with self-criticism—and sometimes glimpses of something darker. Some writing on the linen straps hanging from pockets hidden in the tailcoat reveals the wearer’s hidden hostility: I HATE PEOPLE, IN

  • Anita Leisz

    Visitors were greeted with an open view, free of dividing walls. Anita Leisz had even covered the large gallery’s single window to turn the chamber into a blind white cube: high ceilings, volume, pure space. It had been a long time since Galerie Meyer Kainer presented itself full-width and so maximally receptive. The gallery pulled out all the stops for this solo show by perhaps the most rigorous and unrelenting among its artists. And she rewarded them with an unprecedented mise-en-scène, tempestuous and suspenseful, sparse and unsparing. Sculpture has rarely been thematized with more self-reflexive

  • Nick Oberthaler

    “We turn around in the night, consumed by fire.” The Latin palindrome “In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni” had as powerful an impact on the sensibility of Guy Debord and the Situationists as it did on the German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten. The sentence delights the Austrian artist Nick Oberthaler, too. If you ask him about it, he’ll enthusiastically start elaborating on German Romanticism, Heidegger, eternity, seduction, and the dangers that arise when a person wants to touch the sun. “The highest form of artistic expression is writing,” he declares. Maybe that’s why he’s pulled

  • Brigitte Kowanz

    Morse code is a method of transmitting letters and digits via acoustic or radio signals, by translating them into a sequence of mechanical or optical impulses. Over the years, many artists have taken up this tool, with a focus on its communicative side: for instance, Cerith Wyn Evans, who has relayed everything from philosophical treatises and excerpts from novels to poems via light-transmitting objects, such as extravagant crystal chandeliers. Others have mobilized heavier equipment; among these is Craig Morrison, who have employed laser beams to broadcast messages of gratitude to the code

  • Vienna Biennale 2015: “Ideas for Change”

    Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, the director of MAK, the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, has conceived a biennial that will engage art, architecture, and design. Pointing to premodernist Vienna’s experiments in form and reform, Thun-Hohenstein suggests the Austrian capital might be the ideal interface for fostering interdisciplinary approaches to social change in the context of “digital modernity.” Seven exhibitions will be featured in this inaugural iteration, among them a group show foregrounding contemporary practices

  • Josef Dabernig

    For his exhibition “Rock the Void,” Josef Dabernig—a Conceptual artist and filmmaker with a master’s degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna—cleaned out and tidied up MUMOK’s spaces. His display negotiated between the format of the museum and that of the movie theater—in other words, the white cube and the black box—in an exhibition architecture extending across two floors, an arrangement of staggered cubes placed before empty walls, their edges aligned with crisscrossing oblique visual axes, and lined with twenty-one sparsely stocked glass cases and a half a dozen