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Spring at Grazer Kunstverein
9 March – 19 May 2018

Carl Johan Högberg
She Who Speaks 

Carl Johan Högberg, Togetherness, oil on canvas, 2015. Image courtesy of the artist.

The paintings of Carl Johan Högberg are peculiar. Undeniably figurative, yet wholly unexpected. The stories behind them are even more intriguing. Take for example his current fascination, Hélène Smith, a clairvoyant well known in 19th Century Switzerland who supposedly communed with Martians and inspired Surrealists from Paris to Geneva. Reaching across historical time, Högberg strikes a kinship with this misunderstood muse, questioning, as he does so, the validity of engaging with such a legacy, the truth of which will never be fully understood.

Högberg’s exhibition, in a large part, is about empathy. About the ethics of interpretation, the medium of mediation, and the impossibility of hearing one’s true voice, or meeting one’s gaze directly across the great storm of history. A new iteration of a developing body of work will be exhibited at the Grazer Kunstverein, comprised of paintings, tapestries and sculptural installation.

Niamh O’Malley
Foiled Glass 

Niamh O’Malley, Nephin, video still, 2014, Single channel HD video. Image courtesy of the artist.

Niamh O’Malley’s artwork reveals a profound appreciation for the act of trying. Trying to catch a certain slant of light, trying to prove a pattern or uncover a composition, trying to fathom a mountain, trying to hold time still. Working with the moving image, mark making and sculptural materials such as glass and wood, O’Malley’s work attempts to contain and reflect the weight and wonder of the world in its becoming. It is the act of trying, in the face of predictable failure, that gives way to conviction and a sense of hope within the artist’s work. Full of reflection, both literal and metaphorical, filled with absence and framed by negative space, O’Malley’s work asserts something unstoppable about the human spirit, something that neither distance nor death can extinguish.

Foiled Glass is O’Malley’s first major exhibition in Austria. It includes the presentation of a selection of video and sculptural work dating from 2013 to the present, and a new site-specific painting along the exterior of the Grazer Kunstverein.

Triple Candie
If Michael Asher

View of Grazer Kunstverein overlaid with floor plan, courtesy of Triple Candie.

Triple Candie (Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett) is a US-based, avant-garde curatorial production agency that collaborates with museums and contemporary art spaces on exhibitions about art but generally devoid of it. Throughout 2018 Triple Candie will produce a multi-layered investigation into the work and legacy of American conceptual artist Michael Asher, who often worked in the interstitial space between art and architecture.

Triple Candie’s engagement with Grazer Kunstverein consists of several parts, including four speculative projects (institutional interventions) and a growing body of research. The four projects, to be realised sequentially throughout 2018, attempt to resurrect the lost experiential potentialities of Asher’s work, drawing on his methodologies to create new interventions in a new context. Triple Candie aims to critically examine, through an unorthodox approach and in the unique context of the Grazer Kunstverein, Michael Asher’s legendary practice in relation to such looming questions as: In death, what next? With an artist like Michael Asher, whose site-specific work was destroyed when de-installed, how does one access and unravel his ideas after the fact?

The production of new work by Carl Johan Högberg is supported by Mondriaan Fonds and AFK, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst. Niamh O’Malley is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and her presentation at Grazer Kunstverein is kindly supported by Culture Ireland.