From February 13 to April 27, 2014, Bank Austria Kunstforum Vienna will present around eighty recent portraits by the artist, as well as selected works from the eighties which formed part of his presentation at the Venice Biennale in 1988. Taking place simultaneously, our show will put the focus on Anzinger’s sculptural oeuvre. We will present twenty new, hitherto unseen bozzetti, terracotta sculptures as well as some examples of his works in bronze and recent drawings.
The combination of figures in terracotta and bronze shows Anzinger’s unique handling of different materials and his very deliberate incorporation of their material qualities. Thus the terracotta sculptures are proof of his ability to work with and to interact with the material. The direct translation of formal sensation into the matter at hand is preserved as a visual experience in the terracotta objects themselves.
This spontaneity with which the terracotta is worked and shaped in the bronze models gives way to a different procedure. The work stages of forming, drying and painting the bozzetti requires another approach. A certain consideration for the hard physical work of casting becomes visible. However, this does not mean a stringent reference to the material, in which the latter’s qualities are brought forth and highlighted, instead the traditional characteristics of materiality and appearance are removed even optically. Thus the bronze in Anzinger’s sculptures does not come across in its static and unchanged mass.
His bronzes emanate lightness and yet bear testimony to the physical work, the danger, the fire and the heat involved in their production process. In this way the sculptures transcend one of the traditional characteristics of statuary art. The claim to completeness which sculptures radiated since ancient times, not least because of the most commonly used material of marble, in Anzinger’s artistic practice is negated through a character going beyond pure form.
The artist opens up a new path to sculpture. Thanks to the subject at first glance appearing unfinished, another dimension unfolds when observing the figures more closely. They acquire a temporal dimension. In his plastic work Anzinger aims beyond the given status quo of sculpture and hints at a possible otherness. Which is what connects them to his graphic oeuvre. The sculptures are formal expressions and narratives along the thin line between the profane and the sacral which Anzinger’s entire artistic oeuvre has been tracing from the very beginning.
Siegfried Anzinger, born in Weyer an der Enns, Upper Austria, in 1953, lives and works in Cologne; 1971 to 76 Academy of Fine Arts Vienna; 1985 Oskar Kokoschka Prize; 1990 City of Vienna Art Prize; 2005 Grand Austrian State Prize; since 1997 professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.
Selected exhibitions: 1982 Zeitgeist, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; 1983 New Acquisition, Guggenheim Museum, New York; 1985 Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; 1987 Documenta 7, Kassel; 1988 Venice Biennale, Austrian Pavilion; 1991 Sensualité, Sensibilité, Purisme. Aspects de l’art autrichien depuis 1980, Couvent des Cordeliers, Paris; 1992 Wien: Expressionistische Tendenzen nach 1945, Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester; 1996 Aquarelle , Kunstmuseum Basel; 1996 Kunststation Sankt Peter, Cologne; 1998 Museum
moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; 2000 Kunsthalle Bielefeld; 2001 Museum Küppersmühle, Sammlung Grohte, Duisburg; 2002 Anzinger/Lebschik, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg; 2004 Werke auf Papier/Works on Paper (2001–2004), Albertina, Vienna; 2005 Werke auf Papier/Works on Paper (2001–2004), Gemeente Museum, The Hague; 2006 Frauen in den Bäumen. Malerei und Werke auf Papier 2004–2006, Kunstmuseum Mühlheim an der Ruhr; 2010 Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; 2011 Bilder 2011, Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn & Taxis Bregenz; 2012 Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Kunstverein Heilbronn; 2014 Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna.
(text by the Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman)