Svenja Deininger, Gabriel Sierra and Angelika Loderer
Svenja Deininger, Untitled, 2016, oil on canvas. Courtesy Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna; Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia
"Echo of a Mirror Fragment"
With Svenja Deininger the Secession is presenting an artist who represents a younger generation of Austrian painters in its main exhibition space. Deininger, who was born in Vienna in 1974 first studied in Münster under conceptual artist Timm Ulrichs and later painting under Albert Oehlen in Düsseldorf. Her idiosyncratic pictorial composition on the one hand and, on the other, the specific way in which the painting is designed layer by layer is characteristic of her works, which balance between abstraction and a figuration that is – at least – hinted at. This method of working corresponds to her interest in suggesting spaciality on the flat canvas or asserting a certain materiality that is permanently poised between becoming concrete and remaining indefinite. Deininger regards painting as a process: she does not consider her pictures, on which she often works over long periods of time, to be self-contained entities. It is, rather, that the process of creating an image serves to stimulate reflection and acts as a mental continuation of a form or composition – the imagining of the future picture and how is located in a spatial context are thus essential elements of the artistic process. As if working on a text the artist elaborates and polishes the syntax of her art. She considers her works to be parts of a system that require their interrelations to be analysed whenever they encounter one another. She alternates large and small format pictures and by means of combining and positioning them in a space she creates a tension, which, together with her range of shapes, results in a ‘Deiningerian idiom’.
The First Impressions of the Year 2018 (During the early days of the year 2017)
The work of Gabriel Sierra emerges as a process that can be associated with abstract notions of perception and communication between humans and their built environment. It represents basic experiences and explores the functions of physical space and the human body, commenting on the problem of how we build using forms, shapes, and materials and how what we build influences our behavior in turn.
Employing a variety of geometry-based strategies involving objects, structures, spatial constructions, and other elements, Sierra uses the context of the exhibition to experiment with ordinary situations and their presentation. For example, in Before Present, his solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Zürich, he repeated the same room three times to instill a sense of déjà-vu in the visitors. At the Renaissance Society, he changed the exhibition’s title every hour to mark the exact moment a visitor entered the gallery. In Thus Far at Peep-Hole, he divided the installation into areas that were open to visitors on different days of the week; to see the entire exhibition, visitors had to visit it on four different days.
One might classify Angelika Loderer’s work as media reflexive sculptures in as far as the artist allows the characteristics of the material she uses and the work processes themselves to feed into the design process as fundamental parameters. Her sculptures are frequently made of cast metal or consist of secondary material from the area of metal casting – wax, for example, or special mould sand which, because of its high level of form stability, is particularly well-suited for casting. It is essential for the production of the mould but it leaves no traces on the finished product and so is invisible. Loderer elevates this auxiliary aid to her medium and builds fragile, temporary sculptures which, due to their character as mould sand, make allusions to metal while simultaneously setting up an exciting and paradoxical dialogue between the enduring nature of the one and the ephemerality of the other.