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Events in Art and Archaeology

Theaster Gates: <EM>Tar baby, Ed William’s Collection,</EM> 2014Photo: Sara Pooley© Theaster Gates
Theaster Gates: Tar baby, Ed William’s Collection, 2014
Photo: Sara Pooley
© Theaster Gates
Theaster Gates: Black Archive
BREGENZ  •  Kunsthaus Bregenz  •  23 April - 26 June 2016

Theaster Gates is an artist whose subject matter is construction and transformations, urban regeneration and the reversal of power relations. The American artist became well-known in the wake of Dorchester Projects, a series of vacant buildings on Chicago’s South Side he renovated and rehabilitated with a team of young architects and designers. They have since then housed a library and record collection, offering space for performances, concerts, and culinary events.

In Bregenz, Theaster Gates is showing Negrobilia for the first time, a collection of historical figures depicting Afro-Americans in a stereotypical manner. "For me, the collection serves as a reminder of a history and a catalyst for ongoing examination," he comments. Edward J. Williams began assembling the collection thirty years ago to withdraw the objects from public view.

The Dancing minstrel on the ground floor originates from 19th century burlesque revues. Enlarged to more than four meters high, it is an interactive sculpture dangling from the ceiling, visitors themselves being obliged to dance to activate it.

A statue of St. Lawrence is on display on the first floor, which was rescued from an abandoned church next to Gates’ Chicago studio. He is also showing several tar works, which set themselves off against the gray walls of the Kunsthaus as gloomy icons reminiscent of poorly constructed dwellings, poverty, and damaged lives.

On the second floor, a video of Shirley Temple, Gates has reedited, is being screened. In a scene from The Littlest Rebel, black actor Bill "Bojangles" Robinson dances on some stairs, the white girl imitating his virtuoso footsteps, in another they both tap dance on the street to earn money. Once more Theaster Gates succeeds in transporting a centuries long American subject to issues currently relevant to Europe.

Kunsthaus Bregenz Website

Contact: Kunsthaus Bregenz
Postbox 45
6900 Bregenz
Tel: (43) 5574 485 94-0

Wilhelm Lehmbruck: <EM>Geneigter Frauenkopf</EM> (Büste der Knienden), 1911 © Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg
Wilhelm Lehmbruck: Geneigter Frauenkopf (Büste der Knienden), 1911
© Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg
Wilhelm Lehmbruck: Retrospective
VIENNA  •  Leopold Museum  •  8 April - 4 July 2016

Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881–1919) is among the most important artists of the first half of the 20th century. The Leopold Museum is devoting a first comprehensive retrospective in Austria to this influential innovator and pioneer of modern European sculpture, which features 50 sculptures as well as around 90 paintings, drawings and etchings.

The exhibition traces Lehmbruck’s artistic development from his time at the School of Arts and Crafts (1895–1899) and as a student of the Academy of Fine Arts Düsseldorf (1901–1906) all the way to his most famous pieces, from his »searching« early work, in which he processed various influences, to the evolution of his distinctive sculptural language. Inklings of this highly autonomous style were already discernible prior to his move to Paris in 1910 when he broke with the canon of forms shaped by academic conventions in favor of a more experimental and abstracting design vocabulary which characterized his stay in Paris between 1910 and 1914. This emergence of original works was fueled not only by the omnipresence of works by Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol in Paris at the time but also by Lehmbruck’s personal encounters and friendships with contemporary colleagues including Alexander Archipenko, Constantin Brâncuşi and Amedeo Modigliani. The exhibition will include works by these artists as well as by George Minne, Käthe Kollwitz, Ernst Barlach and Egon Schiele. Among Lehmbruck’s most eminent works are those created during World War I up until his suicide in 1919. They reflect the sensitivity and fragility of Lehmbruck’s character as well as his profound humanity and are characterized by an introversion of gestures coupled with a strong sense of soulfulness. His introverted bodies are charged with emotions, such as desperation, grief, shame and melancholy, through which he expresses his suggestive notion of the human body.

Leopold Museum Website

Contact: Leopold Museum
at the MuseumsQuartier
U2 MuseumsQuartier
U3 Volkstheater
Tel: (43) 1.5257016-18

<DIV class="content "> • <DIV class=title>Lucas Cranach the Elder: Judith with the Head of Holofernes</DIV></DIV>
Lucas Cranach the Elder: Judith with the Head of Holofernes
Lucas Cranach the Elder: Judith with the Head of Holofernes
VIENNA  •  Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien  •  1 April - 17 July 2016

With “Judith with the Head of Holofernes” by Lucas Cranach (1472 Kronach – 1553 Weimar) we have selected a prominent panel from the collection of German Renaissance painting that had not been on display for two years during which it was undergoing necessary restoration.

In the course of an ongoing research project that focuses on German paintings before c. 1540 in the Kunsthistorisches Museum the panel was the subject of a series of technological analyses that shed light on its production process. This Point of View presents the results, offering insights into the workings of Cranach’s studio, which produced countless versions of different subjects such as the biblical story of Judith.

We also focus on the history of the painting, which was produced around 1525/30: it served as the template for a “Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist” painted around 1600 at the court of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. In this Point of View the two paintings are displayed together, emphasising the contentual ambivalence of these related compositions: Cranach presents Judith as a virtuous heroine from the Old Testament who vanquished Holofernes, the powerful enemy of her people and her faith. Salome, however, was responsible for the beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Once Judith was displayed with Salome the valiant heroine who defended the true faith morphed into a wily widow.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien Website

Contact: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
1010 Wien
Tel: (43) 1 525 24 52 02

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