Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Vienna is proud to announce its exhibition Micheal Kienzer grau und farbig (grey and coloured).

After the project 24 von 274.668 Tagen at Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche in 2016, during which Michael Kienzer challenged, as it were, the church’s Romanesque-Gothic architecture with his monumental sculpture, and which attracted a lot of attention, as well as equally well received exhibitions in Bremen and Zug in 2017, the artist now presents mainly new works, partly conceived specially for the exhibition and interacting with the gallery spaces. What is innovative here is not least the intensive treatment of colour, which may have been present also in Kienzer’s previous work, but less ostensibly, and which marks especially the Flyer series. To make different spatial relations visible has been the focal point of the artist’s artistic career.

In the process he has always challenged the observer to re-enact the respective work’s structure and syntax, and thus, despite the persistent use of pre-fabricated objects, stands less in the tradition of Duchamp’s ready-mades than rather echoes the beginnings of abstract sculpture, as exemplified primarily by Picasso’s sculptural oeuvre Guitar from 1912, which combines found and formed objects into new images. At the same time Kienzer’s sculptures are relying on positing and construction, use the stylistic tool of seeming casualness, yet simultaneously reveal a great formal precision. In this sense, they may be seen as participating in an Austrian formal tradition, in which the sculpture’s resistance is addressed as a central characteristic of the medium itself. For Fritz Wotruba (1907–1975) the stone figure was an opportunity to assert the human aspect in the modern era. Around 1970, Bruno Gironcoli (1936–2010), Wotruba’s successor at the Vienna Academy, and in many respects also his antithesis, decided against installation as a medium too flexible, and succumbing to space, and for a decidedly unchangeable sculpture. One of the consequences is the media resistance also of Kienzer’s sculptures. They can only be experienced in space. (transl. from Arie Hartog, “Gnadenlose Gegenwart-Beobachtungen zum Werk von Michael Kienzer,” in: Michael Kienzer, Wienand 2017).

Michael Kienzer, born in Steyr, Upper Austria, in 1962; 2001 Otto Mauer Award; 2012 Austrian State Prize for Visual Arts; 2013 Anerkannt. Etabliert. Angekommen. Art Austria Award; lives and works in Vienna. Numerous international exhibitions and public art projects since 1984, e.g. 2005 Neue Immobilien MAK Wien; 2007 Vor Ort Museum für Gegenwartskunst Stift Admont; 2009 Out site_02 MUMOK Wien; 2010 Malerei: Prozess und Expansion MUMOK Wien: 2010 Triennale Linz; 2010 Linea Kunsthaus Zug; 2011 Fünf Räume Austrian Cultural Forum New York; 2011 54th Biennale di Venezia Glasstress Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti; 2012 Logik und Eigensinn Kunsthaus Graz; 2014 Gironcoli + Kienzer Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck; 2016 24 von 274.668 Tagen Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche; 2016 ABSTRAKT – SPATIAL. Malerei im Raum Kunsthalle Krems; 2016 The Body Extended: Sculpture and Prosthetics Henry Moore Institute Leeds; 2017 Lose Dichte Gerhard-Marcks-Haus Bremen; 2017 Lärm und Linien Kunsthaus Zug.