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Hans Kupelwieser - Reflections

Category: Portrait 28. September 2012

In the Shedhall planned by Hans Hollein, ZEITKUNST Niederösterreich exhibits the ample single show REFLECTIONS about the multifaceted artist Hans Kupelwieser in the Gallery of Lower Austria for Contemporary Art, St. Pölten. We met Hans Kupelwieser in his atelier in Vienna and produced an artist-portrait.

“The truth is unreachable for art – but for reality as well“

The artist Hans Kupelwieser was born in 1948. He lives and works in Vienna and Lower Austria, attended the school of graphic design in Vienna (1970-1973) and Vienna University of Applied Arts (1976-1982) under the Professors Bazon Brock and Peter Weibel. Since 1995 he is a professor and board member at the institute for contemporary art at Graz University of Technology’s faculty of architecture.

In this solo show, for the largest part conceived and arranged by the artist himself, he now shows an ample selection of early works and objects, photograms, photographies and collages, demonstrating how closely the manifold media he uses are interrelated in his work.

Expanded Photography, Swarm Paintings, Manipulations of Media and Material, Nylons, Pneumatic Sculptures, Photograms, Reliefs, Computer Works and Floor Sculptures, kinetic sculptures and photography, Postmediatic Sculpture and architecture. The titles of the exhibition topics bear testimony to the artist’s scientific curiosity, his eagerness to experiment, and his innovative thinking, owing its development to a constant change of media and dimensions, from 2- and 3-dimensional to the virtual.

In Kupelwieser’s own view, this exhibition’s spatial and temporal concentration of retrospective material, the juxtaposition of works from different stages – including work created especially for the show-, in the exhibition hall as well as in the catalogue, results in a new dialogue of the works with each other, getting his art to the point in the perception of the viewer. To his mind, the choosing, arranging and creating process for this exhibition is by all means comparable to the artistic creative process.

„I emphasize the relations and interactions, trying to demonstrate that there are manifold forms of appearance for all objects – one could also say: different states of aggregation. Within one piece there are often different ramifications and deductions, which means there is a continuity like in self-generating systems. This applies especially to the recent works, although the mediatic ramifications are mostly unplanned, rather evolving in a process. In retrospective, several decades become temporal flashes of inspiration. They are diverse forms of appearance, and all interpretations are reflections on my entire oeuvre.”

Kupelwieser finds the hidden, arcane logic of art within nature, as a re-interpretation that questions the naturalising – or mystification- of art and of an art system that impedes any possible change already at its very outset.

To the visitor it is fascinating to observe how the pieces interpret the theatrical space by employing varied media, materials and dimensions, and how they question the phenomenological load of the contents by introducing meanings which are not seduced by the emptiness of the undetermined spatial setting – a lot of the work has a haptic sense of plasticity that is almost inviting to become a part of this new space.

By exploring new perspectives, the works play with the conversion of the photographic to the pictorial discourse. Kupelwieser fathoms the limits of both, while continuing his experiments of evoking spaces – by transforming their reality in favour of a new narrative and in order to reach a new abstraction of reality. (written by Cem Angeli)

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