In spring 2014, the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien is holding a major exhibition of works by the Austrian artist Siegfried Anzinger. The focus of the show, including around 80 works, is on new paintings specially created by the artist for the exhibition. The painted works will be supplemented by drawings, watercolours and pastels produced at intervals alternating with the distemper pictures. Part of the exhibition is devoted as well to selected pictures in the context of Anzinger’s participation in the 1988 Biennale di Venezia. These works manifest the artist’s progressive rejection of the label of “Wilde Malerei” (Wild Painting) and testify to a multi-layered painterly subtlety in graphic structure and tension – qualities that had a sustained formative influence on the subsequent decades in Anzinger’s artistic oeuvre.
In recent years, popular culture in the form of a motif repertoire taken from comics and trash literature has entered Anzinger’s panel pictures – particularly Cowboy and Indian scenes – which he combines among others with traditional iconographic motifs from the Bible. The decisive aspects here are the breaks with form and content associated with traditionally established canons, classical elements, and perfected skills. The artist continually breaks expectations, skilfully sidesteps and surprises us with new work blocks. In its matte quality the thinly applied distemper paint makes a noble retreat and imparts the effect of a ceiling fresco to the painting: a thoroughly contemporary interpretation of Baroque mural painting is combined with an iconography of the profanely popular and religiously sublime.
Curator: Florian Steininger