Franz Thalmair

  • 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

  • UBERMORGEN, Do You Think That's Funny?, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    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

  • Nikolaus Gansterer, Theoriegehäuse I (Memoirs of the Blind) (Theory Housing I [Memoirs of the Blind]), 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    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

  • View of “Sofie Thorsen,” 2013.
    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

  • View of “Esther Stocker,” 2013.
    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