press release

The exhibition “Shifting Conditions” came out of a close cooperation between the galleries New Galerie (Paris, New York) and Galerie Andreas Huber (Vienna). Alongside works by artists represented by the two galleries, Leopold Kessler, Dan Rees, and Florian Schmidt, the exhibition also shows works by Josef Dabernig, Judith Hopf, Michael Part, and Rudolf Polanszky.

Josef Dabernig’s 2003 film Parking, shown in the basement of the gallery, is a phantasmal sublimation–as analyzed by Freud–into the clearly sexual. At the side of a country road, two men remove their clothing, play a sado-masochistic game next to the idling car, and then calmly dress again. The bondage and strict discipline received by the one protagonist from his partner–played by Josef Dabernig himself–is obviously consensual. His conceptual works reveal a preference for seriality and orderly structures, in which attention is generated by means of minimal deviations and emphases.

Judith Hopf’s Exhausted Vases (2009) show faces that are reminiscent, not coincidentally, of the style of the New York caricaturist, Saul Steinberg, on ceramic vases. They are hybrid mixtures of homemade art and cartoons. Judith Hopf studies current symptoms like contradictions of capitalism or standardizing bodies and identities. She explores demarcations between social participation and cultural exclusion and turns formal questions into ethical issues.

Leopold Kessler is known for his subtle and subversive interventions in public space, which reveal the self-disciplinary structures in society. In his collage Roma Levitation Worker (2012) he directs the challenge to the spectators. Is Berki Alexander actually floating for several hours in a Graz pedestrian zone, or is this just lazy prestidigitation? It seems as if Kessler, who was an eye-witness to the event, was already positioned there and is paying tribute to the levitating Roma man, who skillfully gets around the pan-handling ban with his action, and to a certain degree is creating his own intervention in public space.

In his photograms "Nightlight" (2013), Michael Part looks into questions of both genre and medium by selecting photography as his object and testing out the chemical processes in photography. His interest in the medium itself and especially in its technical aspects has to be seen against the backdrop of photographic modernity. Part reproduces early photo-technical experiments in his photographic works, once again bringing them into the discourse of the present.

Dan Rees’s works come in with wit and a dash of biographical cross-referencing. He presents an entirely new work, "South Wales Painting", made with pebble dash, an outdoor material used to insulate brickwork, part of the decorative matrix that makes up Swansea, the artist’s hometown. In the end, these conceptual jokes turn into independent, aesthetically appealing images that clearly and pointedly raise questions of originality and aura.

Florian Schmidt shows a new painting, Untitled. He develops his series in an associative way; they often pursue issues of his artistic examination, turning up again at a different point in time in a different form. In this sense they correlate with his modus operandi, which is concerned with cyclical developments, relationships, and metamorphoses rather than with closed, finalized works. ‘The work’ cannot be taken for granted.

Rudolf Polanszky comes from a generation of post-1960s artists that includes Dieter Roth, Valie Export, and Franz West, the latter of whom was a life-long friend and advocate. Polanszky’s relief paintings, "Reconstructions", contain the raw scraps of industrial materiality–iron, wood, plastic–bound in visually delicate but robustly balanced welded metal ‘plinths,’ which carry aloft vessellike plexiglass sections in part describing a circle, or horizontal sections the length of a rectangle and reminiscent of strata below the surface of the earth. Balance and poise always bring the historical mathematical basis of their structures (theory read and digested by the artist) back to a direct formal engagement with the timeless elements of line, weight, mass, and space.

Along with the artists on view, Galerie Andreas Huber also represents Kaucyila Brooke, Carola Dertnig, Volker Eichelmann, Daniel Lergon, and Rita Sobral Campos. Established in 2005, the gallery shows young emerging artists from Austria and abroad as well as established artists like Kaucyila Brooke and Josef Dabernig, who have presented their work in biennials such as Venice and Berlin, or Judith Hopf, whose work was shown at documenta 13.

Shifting Conditions
Galerie Andreas Huber @ New Galerie

Josef Dabernig, Judith Hopf, Leopold Kessler, Michael Part, Rudolf Polanszky, Dan Rees, Florian Schmidt