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Abstract Painting Now! - Kunsthalle Krems

Category: Exhibition 4. July 2017

After one year of overall refurbishment, Kunsthalle Krems celebrated its reopening under the new director Florian Steininger.
The first exhibition, Abstract Painting Now! was curated by Steininger himself, it is is an overview of abstract painting since the 1960ies as well as an analysis of painting as a medium in abstract art. The focus lies on the current situation of the abstract panel painting – within a broader conception of abstraction that includes a variety of approaches.
The exhibition’s structure reveals links and connections beyond any chronologies, the show is laid out around essential thematic areas in contemporary abstract painting like deconstruction, natuer, gesture, quotation or ornament.
In the show, monochromous reduction like in the painting of Günter Umberg or Marcia Hafif get their due side by side with geometric abstaction (Sarah Morris) or the expressive colour fields of Per Kirkeby.
International stars like Gerard Richter, Sigmar Polke or Sean Scully enter into a dialogue with prominent locals like Hubert Scheibl, Walter Vopava, Erwin Bohatsch or Herbert Brandl.
A huge variety of painting techniques is on display. Wade Gyton‘s striped paintings are made with the help of the inkjet printer, while Katharine Grosse uses the airbrush for her colourfields. Ahmet Oran classically uses the spatula, generously applying oilpaint in order to create his fascinating structures.
Ornamentale painting (Ross Bleckner, Philip Taaffe) besides nature as a subject (Martha Jungwirth), established positions like Ernst Caramelle, Gerwald Rockenschaub or Heimo Zobernig besides younger ones like Natalia Zaluska or Caitlin Lonegan, there is a brod selection of almost 80 works by 70 artists, most oft hem having only one painting in the exhibition.
The exhibition starts with Gerhard Richter’s black white and grey „Woman in swing Seat“ (1968) and it ends with the monumental mural by Tobias Pils in the large new sky-lit hall of the Kunsthalle.
The huge diversity of the strategies with which painters of the last decades constantly tried to redefine abstraction will be on display in Kunsthalle Krems until November 5th. (written by Cem Angeli)

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