Franziska Frings Bob Schatzi Hausmann Karo Kuchar Christian Mühlbauer
Tour Vienna continues the exhibition series with students and graduates of art academies at the Mirko Mayer Gallery. If one compares the pure number of students of the academy in Vienna (over 1500), the academy is quite exactly in the middle between art academies like Düsseldorf (about 600 students) or Berlin (about 3.500 students). During my tour at the „Rundgang“ I noticed a high percentage of international students from all over the world, especially from Germany. As many students have confirmed to me, the attractiveness of the city of Vienna, the high quality of life and the comparatively low rents radiate far beyond the Austrian borders. Painters and sculptors with great names, as well as teachers for conceptual art and theory form a strong base for a wide range of teaching offers.
In contrast to London or other hyperactive metropolises, students in Vienna seem to be able to concentrate on their art and studies well and without stress due to the certain idleness known for this city. The possible relaxation and concentration leads to surprisingly intense work for some students, which is why I have now brought four positions directly from the academy in Vienna to Cologne. Without any specifications regarding technique, age, gender or nationality, I was looking for forward-looking and unique positions that could soon be trend-setting for the art market.
After two days of concentrated inspection of the many academy buildings and classes, I was particularly struck by four artists who, to my great delight, responded very openly to my invitation for a group exhibition. All artists immediately sought an open exchange about their work with me, and in my opinion, a top-class and unusually professional exhibition was created.
The participating artists are Franziska Frings, Bob Schatzi Hausmann, Karo Kuchar and Christian Mühlbauer. The four positions cover almost the entire spectrum of artistic techniques.
After studying photography in Berlin, Franziska Frings is currently studying fine arts in the class of Martin Guttmann. Sculpture is now the focus of her interest, in particular her involvement with ceramics. In terms of content, it is always about the human body and the questioning of the same. The importance of physical sensation and the current development of losing or falsifying any relationship to one's body are processed and thematized in sculptures and photographs.
The conceptual paintings of Bob Schatzi Hausmann are an offer to define and analyze painting. The conceptual sequence of apparently arbitrarily chosen names from an undefined pool of material carries us to the starting point of definition and painting par excellence. The „Tumor Paintings“ seem to be inconspicuous and poppy the same time. However, fundamental analysis and a confident handling of the formal boundaries in painting can be found on Hausmann's canvases.
If one can still discover or invent new techniques at all......Karo Kuchar has probably made it. I call her works "transfer paintings". What we see with some distance are seemingly transparent canvases with restrained painting reduced to symbols or patterns. On closer inspection, however, one notices that the works must have been created differently. We look at wall and wallpaper remains, which sit on the gauze fabric as if transferred with stencils. Kuchar goes into old buildings before their renovation or demolition. She transfers her pictorial ideas directly onto the walls with her specially developed technique. She fixes what she would like to "take off" and draws the history of the building with wallpaper, plaster and dust onto her canvas.
Christian Mühlbauer works sculpturally and installatively. His diploma thesis "There may be oil" completely occupied one room of the academy and surprised the visitor with museum quality. One immediately recognizes the artist's proximity to minimalism, reduction and simplicity. The concrete floor objects and the acoustic panels allude to functional design. But they are also autonomous objects, which are created from found materials by the artist's manual skill and treatment.