Franz Thalmair

  • View of “Jun Yang: Gallery Show,” 2015.
    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

  • Andrea Fraser, Collected: The Lady Wallace’s Inventory, 1997, twenty-five texts, dimensions variable.
    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

  • Ryan Gander, Ftt, Ft, Ftt, Ftt, Ffttt, Ftt, or . . ., 2010, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    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    This becomes clear in his works that make art-historical references: The photograph It’s Got Such Good Heart in

  • View of “Krüger&Pardeller: Homo Faber,” 2014.
    picks February 23, 2015


    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

  • Art & Language, 100% Abstract, 1968, felt-tip pen on paper, 17 x 14".
    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 &

  • Oliver Ressler, The Visible and the Invisible, 2014, color, sound, 40 minutes.
    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

  • Thomas Baumann, Tau Sling, 2008, rope, motor, mirror, dimensions variable.
    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

  • Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch, Das Meer der Stille (The Sea of Silence), 2014, mixed media. Installation view.
    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,

  • Karin Sander, 46.588804, 9.886150, 2095 m, 04.09.2013, 10:54:13, 2013, C-print, 22 1/2 x 17 3/4”.
    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

  • View of “Robotic Cells,” 2014.
    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

  • Mona Vătămanu and Florin Tudor, I dreamt the work of another artist, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    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,

  • Ana Mendiata, Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints), 1972, C-print, 10 x 8”.
    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