Franz Thalmair

  • picks December 25, 2015

    Nick Oberthaler

    Soft, red light bathes Galerie Emanuel Layr’s anterior, and only farther in does the exhibition space return to a gallery’s traditional white-cube presentation—a mode so accepted that it almost never prompts comment. Nick Oberthaler installed the red neon bulbs in the entryway of the gallery not only to underscore the two-part architecture of the space but also to manipulate the colors of the images on view, all Untitled, 2015.

    With the exhibition title, “Distinct Features of Fast Oscillations in Phasic and Tonic Rapid Eye Movement,” the artist is referring to the field of neurology, in which

  • picks December 03, 2015

    Birgit Knoechl and Simona Koch

    Organic forms, recurring patterns and processes, all of which yield connections both thematic and formal: Birgit Knoechl’s and Simona Koch’s exhibition shows current bodies of work that couldn’t complement one another better. In the interplay between the two artists a network emerges out of drawings, silhouettes, videos and animation, and even collections of objects presented on tables. At their best, these are two installations that both impress and threaten the observer, in equal measure.

    Birgit Knoechl’s RissWachstum0IIII, 2015, consists of more than sixty modules that hang from the ceiling

  • picks September 30, 2015

    Ernesto Neto and the Huni Kuin

    Lavender, basil, cloves, turmeric, and chamomile: This blend gives off a delicate fragrance that wafts through this well-orchestrated exhibition and beyond the museum’s walls into Vienna’s Augarten. Ernesto Neto’s collaboration with the Huni Kuin, or Kaxinawá, people of Brazil and Peru announces itself with small woven objects hanging from the ceiling and lying on the floor. The artist has transformed the central gallery of the exhibition into a place of contemplation with NixiForestKupiXawa, 2015, a tent of bright knotted cotton ribbons that serves as a gathering place. In the room’s center

  • picks August 20, 2015

    Duane Hanson

    Duane Hanson’s sculptural renditions of working-class Americans have been placed throughout the white colonnade of this gallery in a presentation that spatially emphasizes this artist's signature hyperrealism. Early sculptures such as Children Playing Game, 1979, which includes two young towheads playing Connect Four on a soft blue carpet, are set beside more recent works, such as Baby in Stroller, 1995. At the entrance a corpulent woman with pinky-white skin (qualities shared by many of Hanson’s figures) sits an aluminum lawn chair; around her are stacks of books and framed paintings that look

  • picks June 24, 2015

    Jun Yang

    For “The Gallery Show,” Jun Yang presents works from the past fourteen years. Born in China, raised in Austria, and currently residing in Vienna, Taipei, and Yokohama, Yang spent more than a decade between cultures—metaphorically and literally between schnitzel and chop suey. One might describe this condition as being lost in translation, if Yang did not so fruitfully mine the in-between and make it a central theme of his practice.

    Exemplary in this regard here are framed posters (Eat Drink Art Business) and a wallpaper piece (Goldenes Zimmer [Golden Room], both 2015). In combination, the two

  • picks April 24, 2015

    Andrea Fraser

    Andrea Fraser’s current survey demonstrates just how light-footed and witty institutional critique can be, without forfeiting its edge. Fraser’s multifaceted works from the past thirty years are presented in a richly varied installation. In her videos, one sees the artist as a gifted actress in the most diverse roles—all of which cut to her proverbial body. In Little Frank and His Carp, 2001, for instance, we see her rub up against the architecture of the Guggenheim Bilbao, as directed by the bizarre text of an audio guide, astonishing the other visitors. In May I Help You?, 1991, she takes the

  • picks April 10, 2015

    Ryan Gander

    Humorous, but not a one-liner; childlike, but not naive; indebted to the everyday, but not at random—Ryan Gander’s output unites the qualities necessary to being light-footed and conceptual in equal measure. “Make Every Show Like It’s Your Last,” a survey exhibition covering approximately the past ten years of Gander’s work, displays how the Brit handles divergent themes with masterful ease and how, in the process, he has developed a formal language that couldn’t be more contemporary.

    This becomes clear in his works that make art-historical references: The photograph It’s Got Such Good Heart in

  • picks February 23, 2015

    Krüger&Pardeller

    On a communicative collision course, the duo of Krüger&Pardeller—artists Doris Krüger and Walter Pardeller—allow not only different artistic fields of action but also different times and biographies as well as formal and material languages to crash into one another in their solo exhibition. In their installation titled Homo Faber, 2014, they juxtapose their own practice with the work of one of the most important Austrian sculptors of the twentieth century, Fritz Wotruba. The concept of “homo faber,” articulated by Hannah Arendt in The Human Condition as a question of that being who actively

  • picks January 06, 2015

    Art & Language

    The exhibition “Uncompleted,” featuring the artist group Art & Language, is indescribable in the truest sense of the word: in part because the group’s members—ranging from Terry Atkinson to Michael Baldwin—have produced multifaceted work so heterogeneous as to elude classification to the greatest possible extent. But indescribable is also an apt descriptor because, since the end of the 1960s, the collective’s artistic practice has been based on discursive, theoretical, and thus largely linguistic activities, such that one can only reproduce, in fragments, the concepts that artwork by Art &

  • picks December 15, 2014

    Oliver Ressler

    Resistance, civil disobedience, and protest are at the center of Oliver Ressler’s exhibition “The Plundering.” In his sober forty-minute 2013 film of the same title, it soon becomes clear that Ressler is not an outside observer but rather someone who seeks to generate resistance through his artistic practice. He is not only aware of diverse forms of protest but is a deeply involved participant in the culture of civil disobedience.

    The exhibition includes films such as The Visible and the Invisible, 2014, a visual essay on the headquarters of raw-materials enterprises, and Leave It in the Ground

  • picks August 21, 2014

    “Sculpture Unchaperoned”

    Sculpture for it’s own sake: That’s how the latest exhibition at Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman could be described. Titled “Sculpture Unchaperoned” and assembled by Austrian sculptor Michael Kienzer, the show includes works by nineteen artists who treat sculpture as an expandable and procedural concept.

    Austrian artist Thomas Baumann’s Tau Sling, 2008, for example, includes a rope mounted onto an endless loop run by a motor. The rope, several inches thick, is continually chafed by the ongoing process, which causes its threads to fall and stick to the wall. Dust falls to the floor and doesn’t

  • picks August 18, 2014

    Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch

    The principle of space runs like a thread through the solo exhibition of the artist duo Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch. Upon entering the gallery, visitors are greeted by the video installation Raum für 5 min. 16 sec. (Space for 5 min. 16 sec.), 2014, which is projected onto two walls that face each other, showing Six installing a video camera. After the cameras are switched on, the artist shoots one and then the other with a rifle, destroying both. The shot corresponds to the cut in the video, such that the method of shot/countershot is interpreted literally. As the title of the work suggests,

  • picks June 11, 2014

    Karin Sander

    For Karin Sander’s series “Call Shots,” 2013–14, the artist had the software of her cell phone programmed so that every time she took a call, the phone’s camera would be triggered, creating the images that are displayed here in her latest exhibition. The titles of the works are derived from the GPS coordinates of where the photos were taken. For example, 46.588804, 9.886150, 2095 m, 04.09.2013, 10:54:13, 2013, depicting a scene that might have occurred in a car or in a plane, was shot on the Albula Pass in Switzerland.

    The images produced through this process are varied. Some are completely

  • picks May 19, 2014

    Ursula Mayer

    With “Robotic Cells,” the London and Vienna–based artist Ursula Mayer demonstrates that binary categories such as fluid/fixed, haptic/ephemeral, and feminine/masculine need not necessarily stand in opposition. The artist, who works primarily with film, video, performance, and installation surprises here with a selection of new small-format works, all of which elude unequivocal attribution.

    A group of sculptures on the floor and on metal pedestals offers up an unusual blend of materials. Evoking characters in a science-fiction novel, the lower portion of these pieces feature brightly colored

  • picks April 15, 2014

    Mona Vătămanu and Florin Tudor

    The Romanian duo Mona Vătămanu and Florin Tudor have been making work about the transitions of Communist to post-Communist societies since 2000. The title of their exhibition in Vienna, “46º19'41“N23º12'44”E Geamăna,” refers to the geographic coordinates of the gold-mining region in Romania where they shot their latest film All That Is Solid Melts into Air, 2012–13. Not only are precious metals unearthed there, but also a large-scale overexploitation of nature is exposed. The film shows tracts of land that are saturated with poisonous chemicals, through slow-motion camera pans across green,

  • picks December 05, 2013

    “S/he Is the One”

    The joining of opposites not only characterizes the title of the exhibition “S/he Is the One,” but it also speaks to the reality-forging dimension of performative art in feminist and queer contexts presented at the center of this show. Historical as well as contemporary positions on the subject confront each other in the well-designed curatorial layout by Ursula Maria Probst, who plays with the physicality of the space by alternating dense and open installations of the included works.

    Within these dual tensions, “Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints),” 1972, by the Cuban performance artist Ana

  • picks November 11, 2013

    UBERMORGEN

    Roland Barthes once famously proclaimed that as individuals we must become active within a system in order to demonstrate our agency and, as circumstances require, offer resistance, which means (in terms of semiotics) to distort the codes rather than to destroy them. UBERMORGEN’s current exhibition, “userunfriendly,” unpacks this idea through the lens of media activism and institutional critique. Hans Bernhard and Lizvlx (Maria Haas) achieved prominence as an artistic duo with [V]ote-Auction, 2000, a work that is featured prominently here. During the 2000 US presidential election, voters could

  • picks July 17, 2013

    Nikolaus Gansterer

    Art and science generally complement each other, like two sides of a coin: When one moves into the foreground of thought, the other continues to operate in the background, and vice versa. With his current exhibition, Nikolaus Gansterer succeeds in making these two proverbial levels visible at the same time. Here, Gansterer combines experimental procedural methods à la Athanasius Kircher with the rich modernist formalism of Alexander Calder through his own network of diagramatically drawn spaces.

    The fragile drawings that Gansterer renders on two-dimensional media, such as paper or vellum, only

  • picks June 19, 2013

    Sofie Thorsen

    The light and playful way children experience the world is especially in evidence when they interact with the objects in their immediate environment—experimenting with forms and materials, continually shaping them into new creations and figures of thought. The exhibition of Danish artist Sofie Thorsen, who lives in Vienna, takes as its point of departure the phenomenon of so-called play sculptures, whose pipes, caves, platforms, ladders, peepholes, and hiding places found their way into the destroyed cities of postwar Europe and provided much-needed free spaces—spaces for the imagination—for

  • picks May 18, 2013

    Esther Stocker

    Artist Esther Stocker either chases images into the space of the viewer or drives them back into the shallow depth of the wall. At the center of her artistic practice exists the grid—the foundational organizing principle and paradigm of visual art of the twentieth century that was lauded for its generative output while maintaining an imperviousness to change. Stocker offers new variations on the grid in this exhibition, be they in black, white, or shades of gray, as well as structured in new artistic media.

    In her untitled series from 2013, Stocker transfers photographs of her previously painted