press release

Anne Speier
September 14 – November 4, 2018

Curator: Bettina Spörr

Many of Anne Speier’s works document the distensions and deformations that objects and figures undergo in order both to understand the limitations of the meaning and agency ascribed to them and to transcend them. Yet the artist also subjects the media she works with to such stretching. Aesthetic qualities are one way to defy certain expectations; absurdity is another.

In her solo exhibition in the Secession’s sublevel gallery, Speier intertwines painting and sculpture in a kind of utopian architecture, short-circuiting its spatial premises with its metaphorical purport.

The point of departure is an empty space rendered in a series of industrially manufactured silkscreen prints on various media in colors determined by an algorithm. These elements serve to furnish the existing underground space with architectural components: exterior façades that address persistent stereotypes; niches in which scenes from a school production play out; roofs and additional basements. Such subterranean or otherwise leftover spaces, after all, are often where subcultures and movements form. The middle of the room, the central and representative scene of the exhibiting institution, remains as a figurative blank space.

The exhibition examines the challenge that teachers and students at art schools face along images and installations that limn psycho-emotional topographies. They counter the distrust of art education and the associated hierarchical understanding of aesthetic phenomena with an ambivalent desire for the responsibility that is needed for analyzing the objects in one’s environment and making something new out of them.

Anne Speier was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1977 and studied at Frankfurt’s Städelschule. She currently lives in Vienna, where she teaches in the Object Sculpture Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Garden party/Opening: Anthea Hamilton, Anne Speier, James Richards & Leslie Thornton
Thursday, September 13, 2018