Critics’ Picks

View of “Neoliberal Surrealist,” 2019.

View of “Neoliberal Surrealist,” 2019.


Ashley Hans Scheirl

Galerie Crone | Wien
Getreidemarkt 14 Entry on Eschenbachgasse
January 18–March 2, 2019

A relentless violet, neither hot nor cold, assaults the viewer from all directions—the gallery’s floor, pedestals, and movable walls—in a shade that seems manufactured to underscore the wavering absurdity of Ashley Hans Scheirl’s pictorial cosmos. The artist—who has also variously gone by the names of Angela, Angela Scheirl, Angela Hans, Angel Hans, Zeze Hans, Ah, A A A A, Hans Scheirl, Hans, Hansi, Hansda, Hans von S/hit, Scheirl, and Ashley Hans Scheirl—first became known for her earlier experimental video work from the 1980s and ’90s. She turned to painting in 1995, and since then has combined the analog application of paint with digital collage and performance. An element of rupture, hybridity, and the subversion of presentation modes run through her oeuvre as stylistic device. This is demonstrated by the amalgamations of bodily orifices, excrements, luxury items, innocent desires, and forbidden pleasures in the canvases CumxCumCumx, 2019, and Goldfinger, 2019. Fist, 2018, a cutout over ten feet tall from a photograph of an original painting and mounted on Alu-Dibond panel, offers up a fight as well as an excessive fuck.

The elements of this exhibition, titled “Neoliberal Surrealist,” float freely in a dimensionless world, as do the elements of a titular painting. Both allusive and detailed, Neoliberal Surrealist, 2019, depicts a self-portrait of the artist standing defiantly on a floating rock, shooting a stream of bright urine out into a gray, unnamable landscape. There’s a sense of a storm letting up, sunlight pushing its way through thunderclouds. Next to the yellow cascade, a mouth superimposed in this uncertain terrain opens wide—whether it’s uttering a scream or waiting to receive the shower of piss remains up for debate.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.