Gottfried Helnwein Retrospective

There’s currently a retrospective of Gottfried Helnwein‘s work at the Albertina museum.

[Trigger Warning: Violence]

The exhibition starts with one of Helnwein’s earliest piece – an water color he submitted as an entrance exam for art school and moves through his career, though not completely chronologically.

The exhibition is really short – we were through in less than an hour. And while I wanted a drink several times while I walked through it, at no point did I hit the point of museum overload as I usually do during these exhibitions. So afterwards we walked through the rest of the Albertina, looking at Gunter Damisch’s work and the permanent exhibition. When we had finished that, our brains were sizzling, though.

In any case, it’s an excellent exhibition, giving you a great overview over his work – from his water colors to his photography to his hyperrealist paintings. Easy entertainment it is not. But it’s great.

helnwein_ausstellung

After the jump some of my favorite images, as usual. [Taken from here.]

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Joel Sternfeld: Colour Photographs Since 1970

Joel Sternfeld: Colour Photographs Since 1970 is a current exhibition at the Albertina. The exhibition shows photos by Sternfeld from various eras and work cycles, giving an overview over his work.

I was actually not familiar with Sternfeld’s work before going to the exhibition. In fact, it was a complete coincidence that I ended up seeing it at all. The Albertina had a party event on their terrace that me and B. wanted to check out. The party was pretty goddamn awful, but surprisingly you could wander through the Sternfeld exhibition for free and that’s what we did. [Apparently that’s what happens when I try to party.]

Anyway, I quite liked the photos. He has some very nice landscapes (especially of The Meadows, Northhampton), but the two series I liked the most were photos of places where crimes had happened a while back, in which he showed the mundance places and describes the crimes comitted there and photos of former communes and utopian projects and what (little) remained of them today. It was really interesting.

You can find my favorites below.

[Lake Oswego, Oregon]

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Magritte

Magritte is a current exhibition of René Magritte‘s work in the Albertina, focusing mostly on his early career and lesser known aspects of his work.

I really enjoyed the exhibition. I do like Magritte’s better known things as well, but it was interesting to get a look at what else he did and where he started from. And it was exactly the right length – just when I thought that I would hit brain overload pretty soon, we had reached the last room. Now that’s what I call timing.

Throughout the exhibition we also got quotes from Magritte which gave you ideas of his thought processes.

This is how we see the world. We see it outside ourselves and yet we have an image of it inside ourselves.

Or sometimes just wonderful phrases like “topicality of the present”:

I hate my past and that of others. I had resignation,  professional heroism, and all obligatory suavities. I hate the decorative arts, folklore, and advertising. I hate the odour of naphthalene and the topicality of the present. I like subtle humour, freckles, long hair on women, the laughter of children, a girl running in the street. I wish for myself true love and the impossible. I long for phantasms.

An excellent exhibition.

Find my favorite pieces to get a small walk-through of the exhibition. You can also go see it for another 6 days at the Albertina.

[The Secret Player]

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