Wiener Secession
Friedrichstrasse 12
+43 15875307 FAX +43 15875334
Four exhibitions
dal 24/4/2008 al 21/6/2008
Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Thursday - 8 p.m.

Segnalato da

Presse Secession

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Four exhibitions

Wiener Secession, Wien

Frances Stark's work is characterized by her exploration of the manifold interrelations between art and literature and image and text. Dave Allen's artistic practice demostrates a strong interest in music. Jo Baer is seen as one of the pioneers of minimalism. Her early work from the late 1950s was based on a sort of hard-edge style. Miklos Erhardt presents "Footnote to barelife".

comunicato stampa

Frances Stark

Frances Stark's work is characterized by her exploration of the manifold interrelations between art and literature and image and text. Her work on and with script encompasses both art and writing. She often investigates the process of artistic production and the creative act itself. Her finely assembled collages are closely meshed works of various found and invented characters, snippets of text and graphic elements, literary quotations and autobiographical references.

In the Secession Frances Stark is presenting 22 large-format works on paper from her most recent group of works, A TORMENT OF FOLLIES. The starting point for her text-drawings is the 1937 novel FERDYDURKE by the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969), which tells the story of Johnny and his struggle against how social norms define his life. Among the novel's main motifs, which Stark draws on, are how people use masks in their dealings with others and the right of the individual to immaturity and vagueness, two qualities that have a subversive potential regarding prevalent social conventions.

In A TORMENT OF FOLLIES Stark develops a special form of adaptation, linking the process of reading and rereading the text. She not only integrates a sequence of the novel FERDYDURKE into her work, but also takes the original text as inspiration for visual interpretations; with ironic ease she connects the integrated quotations with vaudeville-like dance figures as well as playful ornamental and material details. The text fragments become like a form of reflection on her own artistic practice, raising issues of tormenting self-doubt, the ambivalence between the unique intensity with which Stark experiences her own creativity and an insecurity as to whether the nuances of this can be understood by others at all, and the ensuing questions of dependence on an audience, helplessness, and a sense of the ridiculous. Through her choice and use of motifs, Stark creates a puzzling interplay between direct gestures and their fixation in a pose, truth-fulness and mask-like deception, and seriousness and foolish-ness.

In a way that is comparable to the musical interpretation of a libretto in opera, Frances Stark translates Gombrowicz's text into the synaesthetic unity of her pictorial language. The collages, whose formal tension is based on the balance between a minimal but playful use of material and large empty spaces, are full of both poetry and wit. Stark frequently interrupts any stringent dramaturgical development so as to highlight a few words and to unfold sentiments and emotions in more depth, so that scenes in the individual pictures become more autonomous in relation to the series of works or the exhibition as a whole.

This exhibition in the Secession will be accompanied by an artist's book in which the attitutde developed in A TORMENT OF FOLLIES are (re)translated into book form. The publication will also include an introduction by Frances Stark and a text by Martin Prinzhorn.

FRANCES STARK, born. 1967 in Newport Beach, California, lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (Selection): 2008 greengrassi, London; The Fall of Frances Stark, Culturgest, Lisbon; 2007 The Fall of Frances Stark, Frac Bourgogne, Dijon; The Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; 2006 Frances Stark: Structures that Fit my Opening, Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Structures That Fit My Opening and Others Parts, Considered in Relation To Their Whole, Glassel School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; 2005 In and on an Unergonomic Mind, CRG Gallery, New York2004 Bless This Mess, greengrassi, London; Destroy Date, Daniel Buchholz, Cologne.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (Selection): 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yes No & Other Options, Art Sheffield 08, Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum; 2007 Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London; Fit to Print, Gagosian Gallery, New York; Romantic Conceptualism, Kunstverein Nürnberg, Bawag Foundation, Vienna; If I can't Dance…, MuHKA, Antwerp; Blind Date Istanbul, Sabanci Museum, Istanbul; 2006 The Studio, The Hugh Lane Museum, Dublin; Dereconstruction, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York; Köln at Metro Pictures, Metro Pictures, New York; 2005 Monuments for the USA, White Columns, New York; Creeping Revolution 2, Rooseum, Malmö; 2002 Zusammenhänge herstellen, Kunstverein in Hamburg; Personal Plans, Kunsthalle Basel; Jim, Jonathan, Kenny, Frances and Sol, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.

The exhibitions are realized through support of:
Erste Bank – Partner of the Secession
Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
Wien Kultur
Friends of the Secession

The exhibition is supported by:
InterContinental Wien


Dave Allen

Dave Allen's artistic practice is characterized by a strong interest in music. In the early 1990s he took a keen interest in the collective experience of pop and rock and their function in establishing identity within youth culture. More recently he has been working more and more with compositions of contemporary experimental music. In his transformations and translations into video installations, performances, drawings, sound installations, and works for radio, methods of textualization and communicative processes in general are significant.

The sound piece / wall drawing CANON TO THE HAMMER OF THE GODS, which Dave Allen has created for the Secession exhibition, addresses on several different levels the phenomenon of myth creation and society's approach to it. A leading and integrative motif in this work — which includes a performance — is the triple beat of a drum or hammer. Using a form of sampling and mixing that is reminiscent of musical methods, Allen is able to interweave very different (historical) themes in free association, and to thereby create a new and unusual narrative line.

In 1973 the legendary drummer Cozy Powell (among others, a member of the hard rock bands Black Sabbath and Whitesnake) had a hit in the UK charts with DANCE WITH THE DEVIL. Powell, who died young, became a source of inspiration and identification for many young drummers. In CANON TO THE HAMMER OF THE GODS Allen adds lyrics to the beats of this Cozy Powell instrumental, freely telling the story of how the foundation stone of the Secession was laid. The foundation stone of the Secession building was laid on April 28, 1898, and the story goes that Gustav Klimt, the president at the time, marked the event with three blows of a hammer. Among those in attendance were the honorary president Rudolf von Alt and founder member Alfred Roller, as well as a number of on-lookers, and speeches are said to have been held, although no records exist today.

Dave Allen's performance to accompany his exhibition rounds off the associative circle of mythologies with an interpretation of the Nordic legend of Thor, the god of thunder. As an attribute of his strength Thor has a hammer, which was once stolen, as was the hammer that Klimt used in the Secession foundation stone ceremony, or so the story goes.

The title CANON TO THE HAMMER OF THE GODS is a clear expression of the artist’s ironic approach to mythology centered on what are seen as cult figures in our society; this is an approach that oscillates between acknowledging the longing inherent to myth and a critical distance. In a time when sources are more easily available than ever before, Allen's method of myth creation shows how arbitrary and dubious the protagonists of a new cult culture can be.

In the context of this installation, Dave Allen adds two earlier works that also pursue the same narrative of myth creation and its reception processes: the sound piece NEAR AN OPEN WINDOW (2004), and the four-channel video installation LIVE VERSION (1993). The latter shows the artist learning to play Led Zeppelin's STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (1971), one of rock history's most famous and most covered songs: on a guitar, a bass, the drums, and as a singer. Allen does a good job on the guitar, but, as he says himself, he is a “wavering nervous, rhythmless no-hoper” on the drums and as a vocalist. Success and failure balance each other out. Here Dave Allen addresses the dialectics of direct tradition and personal interpretation vs. an allegedly objective and academically sound way of passing down knowledge. Allen sees music, and art in general, less as a medium of representation and more as a means of interaction and communication.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog (German/English) with a text by Raimar Stange and documentation of the exhibition and earlier works.

DAVE ALLEN, born in 1963, in Glasgow, lives and works in Stockholm.

SOLO SHOWS(selection): 2007 Elastic Gallery, Malmö; 2006 One Way, Another Way, Then Any Other Way, Letzte Überprüfung/ Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben, Berlin; 2005 PING-PONG, Wiensowski & Harbord, Berlin; Art Metropole, Toronto; 2003 The Sun and The Sky, Galerie Wieland, Berlin; The Mirrored Catalogue D’Oiseaux, Arcadia University Art Gallery, Philadelphia; Divine Intervention / New Wave of New Wave, Kunstbank, Berlin; 2002 The Mirrored Catalogue D’Oiseaux, Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg; Hee-Haw Cries the Young Komponist Dave Allen, Showroom Gallery, London.

GROUP SHOWS (selection): 2007 Harry Smith Anthology Remixed, Alt.Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; Tanzen, Sehen – The Provocation of the Media in the Dialogue of Dance and Fine Art, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen und Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo Sevilla; 2006 sonambiente 2006, Akademie der Künste, Berlin; While Interwoven Echoes Drip into a Hybrid Body, Migros Museum, Zürich; 2005 Stabile Seitenlage, Museum Bochum / Galerie der Künstler, München / Kunsthaus Dresden / Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen; Dedicated to You But You Weren’t Listening, The Power Plant, Toronto; 2004 None of the Above, The Swiss Institute, New York; Hit and Run, Platform, Istanbul; 2003 Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg.

The exhibitions are realized through support of:
Erste Bank – Partner of the Secession
Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
Wien Kultur
Friends of the Secession

The exhibition is supported by:
The British Council

Jo Baer

Jo Baer is seen as one of the pioneers of minimalism. Her early work from the late 1950s was based on a characteristic “hard-edge” style. Her reductive paintings were often done in series of large and small squares or vertical and horizontal rectangles, with the main emphasis on the contours and enclosing borders. From the mid-1960s Jo Baer expanded her artistic repertoire with horizontal or vertical diptych and triptych groupings, and also with highlighted wraparound paintings using diagonals or curves.

Jo Baer's later work shows an increasing rejection of minimalism as a vessel for the “death of painting.” In 1975, directly after her large retrospective show at the Whitney Museum of American Art and at the height of her career, Baer left the pressures and expectations of the New York art market. At first in her new home in Ireland, then in London and Amsterdam, she pursued the idea of “radical figuration” that typified her further work. She turned away from abstraction in favor of a representational style rooted in metaphorical imagery, which since then she has continued to develop in various forms.

In the Secession Jo Baer is presenting two large diptychs that she considers representative for both her “minimalist” and her “representational” periods within the context of her entire oeuvre, and also a painting from 1974/75, which marks the decisive moment of transition and turning point in her artistic development.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog (German/English) with a text by Jo Baer and a conversation between Ines Doujak and the artist.

JO BAER, born 1929 in Seattle, Washington, lives and workes in Amsterdam.

SOLO SHOWS(selection): 2007 Alexander Gray Gallery, New York; 2002 Dia Center for the Arts, New York; 2001 Flush, Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam; Paintings, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles; 1999 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam; 1995 Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; 1993 Paley/Levy Gallery, Moore College, Philadelphia; Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterloo; 1990 Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam; 1989 Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; 1988 Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam; 1986 Paintings from the past decade 1975-1985, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

GROUP SHWOS (selection): 2007 High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975, American U Museum, Katzen Arts Center, WDC; Das Kapital: Blue Chips & Masterpieces, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a. M.; 2006 Selected Recent Acquisitions + The Van Deventer Bequest, Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterloo; America/Americas: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Americas, Blanton Museum of Art, Texas at Austin; High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975, Weatherspoon Art Museum, U of N Carolina, Greensboro; Plane/Figure: Amerikanische Kunst aus Schweizer Sammlungen, Kunstmuseum Winterthur; 2005 Drawing from the Modern, 1945-1975, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Black and White and a Little Bit of Color, Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnheim; Some Painting, Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam; 50 Jahre/Years Documenta: 1955-2005, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; 2004 The Summer of 2003, Paul Andriesse Gallery, Amsterdam; Primary Matters: the Minimalist Sensibility, 1959 to the Present, SFMOMA, San Francisco.

The exhibitions are realized through support of:
Erste Bank – Partner of the Secession
Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
Wien Kultur
Friends of the Secession


Miklos Erhardt

The term “footnote” may have several meanings. In the first place, it refers to very specific information, claiming the attention of only those deeply interested in the issues discussed by the main body of a text. However, it might get a much more exciting means once the text to be footnoted is not our own. In this case, footnoting resembles the method of writing remarks with pencil on the margins of a book – a gesture of expressing (counter-)opinion, of forming questions; a seed for new ideas the stimulus in the text being chosen arbitrarily, according to one’s personal interest. Not only background information for insiders anymore, footnote then becomes a means of expression commenting, questioning or overwriting the main text, which process is as telling of its author as of the content of the footnoted text inspiring, annoying, helping or confusing its reader once it gets into someone else’s hands.

The parallel between footnoting and the way contemporary art reflects on its surrounding has been drawn in several cases, as by the concept of the 2nd Moscow Biennial earlier this year. However, the site of our project enriches this term with a special resonance. The physical position of this three by five meters window case in an underpass leading to Secession on the level of its basement seems to be an ideal place to present footnotes. With its institutional bonds to Secession, being situated under Karlsplatz, a square surrounded by established cultural institutions, the venue suggests the function of an appendix, of a site to place remarks and comments.

As an entity outside the main body of the institution and intruding into public space, it embodies Secession’s program policy of extending its activities beyond its walls. It communicates with a wide range of people, although typically with ones being on the move, in a hurry, inbetween two places, running through the grey corridor of the underpass or trying to find the right exit as they make their way in the city’s labyrinth. Why would they stop?

A display case usually contains advertisements, posters and announcements. The art projects, the footnotes to be displayed will engage in a dialogue with the site: with the case itself, with the immediate surrounding in the underpass, the larger context of Karlsplatz or the city of Vienna. They will be textual or visual notices by authors living in different cities – to the passersby of the Austrian capital; messages that catch the gaze and keep the mind engaged – due to their strong visual appearance and subversive content.

HAJNALKA SOMOGYI is an art historian and independent curator. Between April 2001 and June 2006, she ran the international exhibition program of the exhibition space Trafo Gallery of Trafo–House of Contemporary Arts. She is the founder of DINAMO Workshop and of Impex–Contemporary Art Provider, two independent art initiatives in Budapest. In 2006, she was a curator-in-residence at Art in General in New York City, in the framework of the residency program of CEC Artslink. In January-March 2007, she was teaching as the assistant to Cesare Pietroiusti at the Graduate Program in Visual Arts at IUAV University, Venice.
She curated numerous exhibitions in Hungary, Germany and the Netherlands, and coordinated Europewide institutional collaborations in the framework of Culture 2000 programme of the European Commission. Currently, she is enrolled in the Curatorial Studies Program at Bard College, NY. Her interest lies in socially and politically aware art as well as in the intersection of art and urbanism.

Image: Frances Stark

Press conference: Friday, April 25, 2008, 11 am
Opening: Friday, April 25 2008, 7 pm

Wiener Secession
Friedrichstrasse 12 - Wien

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