Helmut Draxler

  • Abstrakte Malerei

    A comparison between art in America and art in Europe is always tantalizing and sometimes enlightening—not just because the critics are busy debating who’s on the leading edge and whether the critical discourse is valid, but because the relationship between the New World and the Old World has been of such decisive importance in the entire postwar period, since the time when American art came into its own. By and large, the potency of much American art of this period derives from its radicalization of various theoretical problems and its clear sense of what is in fact do-able; and European art

  • Bruno Gironcoli

    Bruno Gironcoli’s new sculpture looks a little like a spaceship out of the Star Wars films. The powerful, pointed prow and broad-beamed stern endow this gigantic piece with a dynamism that suggests imminent departure. One seems almost to hear the revving engines, yet the entire piece is perfectly still,immovable. Entitled Väterliches–Mütterliches: Eine fiktive Modellvorstellung (Paternal–maternal: An invented model, 1972–86), it consists of various strange-looking objects and forms, mounted on a massive curved, multilevel iron platform that is subdivided by a longitudinal axis. These objects

  • Franz Graf

    Individual expression is so tightly entwined with cultural and temporal factors in Franz Graf’s new work that it is difficult to tell them apart. Even the phenomenal reality of these works is difficult to ascertain: are they paintings, objects, or spatial installations? Multiple possibilities and references are implied in these hard, black, and materially rich artifacts hung blatantly on the wall. As “picture objects,” they enter into a visual dialectic with the room’s traditional stark-white neon lighting.

    One picture per room is no longer novel for this gallery. For at least two years the

  • Hubert Schmalix

    For extreme colorists among painters, form is always the crucial problem: where and how does the area or trace of color end? How are the transitions between forms made clear? Hubert Schmalix has found a simple method for dealing with such questions: he uses Polaroid photographs to set the outlines of a model, outlines that may appear somewhat distorted through the effects of foreshortening but that are nevertheless exact. The filling in of the background areas and the fashioning of the body are carried out through pure color, resulting in a kind of simple figuration in an “abstract” field. In

  • Raum annehmen: Aspekte österreichischer Skulptur 1950–1985

    It does make a certain amount of sense that one should give credit to exhibitions that present work of no exemplary value, but that articulate un certainties in doing so—which is to say, they do have merit as accurate assessments of the range of work being done. Shows such as these neither take us by surprise esthetically nor overwhelm us with significant new developments. Nevertheless, their categorizing schemes are necessarily jostled, and more openness than compact closure results-and that is worth something, too.

    What this gallery presented under the title “Raum annehmen: Aspekte österreichischer

  • “Five German Sculptors”

    For more than a decade Peter Pakesch has been functioning as a kind of trapdoor for the work of West German artists, most recently that of Günther Förg, Georg Herold, Hubert Kiecol, Meuser, and Reinhard Mucha. Collectively, their work has provided a synopsis of the current trend in West Germany toward an art that is brash, intellectual, and precise—what I would like to call an “Aesthetik der Austrocknung” (esthetic of drying out)—as evidenced in a new reduction of materials, form, and subjective content. The confrontation with this rigorous esthetic has thrown the Vienna art world, with its

  • Ernst Trawöger

    From Franz Egger-Lienz to Walter Pichler, the art that has emerged from the Tirol has been stolid and massive, groaning under the weight of its Alpine landscape. But “Das arme Land Tirol” (poor Tirol), as Franz Marc referred to it, has recently undergone enormous changes and has begun to make its own significant contributions to Modern art. There is now a counter movement that aims to eliminate all materiality, a new art that moves with agility, and sets wit and spirit free. At the forefront of this movement is Heinz Gappmayr, who has developed a sensitive, highly personal Lettrismus (calligraphy)