Page start

Work by sometimes lovers, sometimes friends

sometimes lovers, sometimes friends

Contemporary Art from the Lentos Collection

This presentation assembles contemporary works from the Lentos Collection. With the exception of a drawing by Raymond Pettibon and a photograph by Bernhard Prinz, both from the 1990s, all of these works were created at the beginning of this new century. Hence they reflect reactions to the immediate present with artistic means.
The selection illustrates several trends that are evident in current art production. On the one hand there is a pleasure in narrative, in telling stories, which is linked with the artists' interest in the medium of the cinema film and in pop. Like spotlights or three-minute pop songs these pictures describe moments, situations and places that suggest the continuum of a story, a before and after, challenging the imagination to fill in the gaps. Modes of depiction close to everyday life, languages of forms from popular culture become manifest: Pettibon, Andreas Leikauf and Martin Schnur quote comic strips and illustrations, Gerhard Trumler the possible setting of a film noir.
Monika Oechsler works with the sophisticated means of today's moving picture industry to convey psychological key moments in her compressed video stories. Dietmar Brehm starts from the material, from the single frame, which he isolates and penetratingly intensifies using size and combination. Doris Krüger demonstrates how the eye and the brain are so willingly deceived by the computer-generated image of a forest - which is "constructed" from photographs of parts of plants - that film lovers think they can hear the helicopter from Apocalypse Now approaching over the tree tops. Another method for questioning the authenticity of a picture is used by Herwig Kempinger, who dispenses with digital support in the creation of his photographs. His large-format photographs are neither concrete nor abstract; they are not "legible" and yet they evoke concepts of real spaces ("sky", "snow", "the expanse of the universe", ...).
The objects by Uli Aigner raise doubts about their status. Are they furniture, are they sculptures? The answer: both; they are as we see them, as we want them to be. sometimes lovers, sometimes friends, depending on what is needed.
In painting an interest in the human figure has returned. Whereas a proximity to kitsch and a generalizing mood - a strong contemporary trend in painting is the "New Romanticism" - is risked in the medium of painting, as with Soós Tamás, in their photographs Bernhard Prinz and Kaucyila Brooke focus on portrait-like stagings, taking pleasure in role-playing.
Despite all the possibilities of digital simulation, all the available paintbox software, the medium of hand drawing currently occupies a favored position in art. The picture by David Ebmer shows a woman praying in the blossom of her cloak, enthroned on a thorny rose stem. Maria Bussmann is a graphic artist, whose very personal, puzzling pictures evoke introspection, self-scrutiny. Despite all misgivings about overestimating individual "creativity", standing before these pictures it seems that one can distinguish residues of unmistakable subjectivity as a specific potential of art (and of being alive).

sometimes lovers, sometimes friends:
There are no final truths, no lasting identities, no Manichean explanations of the world, no this-is-how-it-is-and-there-is-no-other-way. The world and the life situations of each individual cannot be captured in black and white; there are flowing transitions between this and the other. You and I can be this or that, and only for today.
This presentation invites visitors to suspend their expectations of art as explanation and instructions and to temporarily make themselves at home (un)comfortably in the transient. Christof Kurzmann provides the appropriately brittle soundtrack to do so.

background image:

Photo: © maschekS.