Franz Thalmair

  • Juergen Teller, Frogs and Plates No. 20, 2016, color photograph, 10 x 8".
    picks March 03, 2017

    Juergen Teller

    What do Charlotte Rampling and William Eggleston have in common? Both can be found in this show of Juergen Teller’s large-format prints. Teller is also seen posing naked on the back of a donkey. In another image, Eggleston, with a cigarette in one hand and a camera around his neck, stands before a pink gorilla, whose gaze he attempts to reciprocate. In a third work, Rampling holds a fox in her hands while sitting barefoot in front of a wall of fair-faced concrete; a pair of shoes lie on a large ashtray beside her. These photographs seem simultaneously casual and staged—and this is classic Teller,

  • Andreas Fogarasi, Study Desk (Two Tiles from a Specific Place, Three Specific and Unspecific Samples), 2017, plywood, wall paint, steel consoles, ceramic tiles, tile cement, candle wax, tin, sealing wax, resin, 53 x 39 x 13".
    picks February 20, 2017

    Andreas Fogarasi

    Just how many exhibitions there are in this show, with the promising title “Exhibition/s,” is open to debate. On the other hand, that Andreas Fogarasi always addresses the functionality and logic of exhibiting in his own artistic practice, or makes them the main object of investigation, is clearly staked out. Focusing on works from the past five years, the show considers the intersection of architecture, design, and visual arts. Questions as to how cities and the events generated in and by them are transformed into images, which then inscribe themselves in the collective memory, run like a red

  • View of “Hans Weigand,” 2017.
    picks February 12, 2017

    Hans Weigand

    Like living creatures, the waves scurry over the surface of the sea—a viewer can hardly escape their delicacy. Like living creatures, these fleeting apparitions in Hans Weigand’s latest exhibition move through the gallery. Here, the artist exhibits large-format watercolors with india ink on wood with surprising subjects, in the style of Katsushika Hokusai. It is, however, not the actual graphics that are to be seen but rather the wooden blocks with backgrounds and surfaces that shimmer in mauve and ocher tones. The image brought forth from the wood—wave riders and their boards, for instance—are

  • View of “Sterling Ruby,” 2016
    picks August 30, 2016

    Sterling Ruby

    Gold leaf meets synthetic fiber, wood marquetry meets Formica, and steel meets oil paint: In the Winter Palace of the Belvedere, Sterling Ruby collides with the Late Baroque opulence marking the residence of Prince Eugene, field commander and diplomat for the Habsburgs. With works ranging from mobiles to sculptures to wall hangings, the artist not only contrasts the historic masonry on a material level with the everyday of the twenty-first century but also carries that past thematically into the now.

    In the antechamber are two CANDLES,—both 2015, elongated fabric sculptures—one standing on end,

  • View of “Pakui Hardware,” 2016.
    picks August 29, 2016

    Pakui Hardware

    Neringa Černiauskaitė and Ugnius Gelguda are interested in putting concepts, temporal horizons, technologies, and other disparate and apparently unaffiliated elements into relation, as is demonstrated by their collective moniker, Pakui Hardware, under which the artists from Lithuania have been operating since 2014. Pakui is, according to the artists, the speedy attendant of a Hawaiian goddess; is one of the myths of our postdigital condition.

    With Vanilla Eyes, 2016, the young duo presents an extensive installation accessible to visitors in the lower level of the museum. It is fascinatingly slick

  • View of “Tobias Pils,” 2016.
    picks June 30, 2016

    Tobias Pils

    How multifaceted, rich in variants, and rhythmic can a concentration on black, white, and shades of gray be? For a demonstration, see Tobias Pils’s exhibition here. The artist, who lives in Vienna, draws the beholder of his work into a cosmos of painterly and graphic forms—structures and gestures that, the moment they are applied to canvas or paper, seem to vanish. The most distinct quality in Pils’s works is his play with ambivalence: The towering image Untitled (Yes&no) (all works cited, 2016), for instance, initially presents itself through illustrations of varying perspectives but is flattened

  • Maria Anwander, Untitled (Why art now), 2014, neon, 12 x 43".
    picks March 11, 2016

    Maria Anwander

    With a white neon sign, Maria Anwander stages the central question of her exhibition. Untitled (Why art now), 2014, hangs over the entrance to the space and receives visitors with the titular phrase, a sentiment that at first appears innocent enough but becomes ever more dominant and pointed as the exhibition progresses. The second neon work a visitor encounters, Untitled (and what for?), 2014, finishes the question of the first and is no less critical. Between them is a whole series of works that deal with the art market, institutions, and the process of understanding aesthetic practice.

    In the

  • View of “Anita Witek: About Life,” 2016.
    picks February 22, 2016

    Anita Witek

    Layer by layer, Anita Witek’s image-worlds are built up; layer by layer, visitors work through the diverse formats in this exhibition: photomontage, slide projection, installation, and small detailed sculpture in display cases. The unifying element in “About Life” are found photographs that Witek cuts from posters and fashion and lifestyle magazines, which she reworks to develop, from the remaining backgrounds, abstract and surreal architectures that unsettle the gaze.

    For the two-channel slide projection Retour en forme (Back in Shape), 2008, which cites a Constructivist vocabulary, sheet after

  • View of “Nick Oberthaler,” 2015–16.
    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

  • View of “Birgit Knoechl and Simona Koch,” 2015.
    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

  • View of “Ernesto Neto and the Huni Kuin: Aru Kuxipa / Sacred Secret / Sagrado Segredo,” 2015.
    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

  • Duane Hanson, Man on Mower, 1995, bronze, polychromed in oil with lawn mower, 64 x 38 x 26".
    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