Critics’ Picks

  • Heinrich Dunst, Film (detail), 2019, digital print on paper, digital print mounted on aluminum, acrylic on Dibond, acrylic on extruded polystyrene, pressboard, wooden strips, dimensions variable.

    Heinrich Dunst

    Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
    Grünangergasse 1
    June 26–August 31, 2019

    In addition to maintaining his practice of making conceptual sculptures, performances, and object-based works, for this exhibition, Austrian artist Heinrich Dunst has taken up Peter Kubelka’s abstract film Arnulf Rainer (1960)—six minutes and twenty-four seconds of rhythmically processed light and sound—in a continuation of the filmmaker’s investigations into notions of materiality.

    The elements in Film, 2019, the first room’s extensive installation including digital prints on aluminum and sheets of pressboard mounted on the ground, are connected to one another by enlarged stills from Arnulf Rainer, which reference how Kubelka handed out this cadrage of sequential images to viewers at a 2013 screening in order to draw attention to the film’s material form and then near-obsolete format. Elsewhere, exaggeratedly large film frames are overlaid with commercial sheets of rose-red insulation foam, one of which reads, “Film, Volumen, Marx, Wort, Abstraktion, Tür.” Here, the artist, whose work stands in the tradition of the Vienna Group, linguistically denotes that which he conveys with virtuosity in the rest of the exhibition: a conceptual play of form and content, original and revival, production and reproduction.

    Dunst’s show becomes denser the farther one ventures through the gallery’s three rooms, and in the final section it presents A. B. a. P., 2019, a white industrial Bauhaus door painted with the acronym for “Antonio Banderas as Picasso.” “Doors are words,” reads a nearby, untitled painting. “Words are doors.” From Hollywood to modern art, the range of Dunst’s production reminds us that for all its conceptual referentiality—and, at times, illegibility—it is not without a sense of humor.

    Translated from German by Diana Reese.