Landesgalerie NÖ with artists from the Art Club

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Starting tomorrow, the Landesgalerie Niederösterreich in Krems: “Aufbruch. Künstlerinnen des Art Club” is about the new beginning after 1945.

“A crazy story”

Freedom and internationality were the essential terms of the “International Art Club Vienna” founded in 1947, in which, according to the current research status, 52 artists and twelve female artists were organized. However, there are no really secure documents about this, although the Art Club was allowed to operate its own office in the Vienna Konzerthaus at the time. “It was a disparate, completely crazy structure. People went out and came in, were divided and slapped each other publicly. A crazy story,” said Brigitte Borchhardt-Birbaumer, who curated the exhibition together with the outgoing Landesgalerie boss Christian Bauer , at today’s press tour.

They are all the more proud in Krems that in the course of the work it was possible to close “an essential chapter in Austrian art history in the Transdanubian dialogue” (Bauer): the life and work of Marcia Hopman, about whom little more was known than her name, could be opened up. “That we succeeded is our big trump card,” said Borchhardt-Birbaumer happily. Particularly bitter: Of all things, Hopman’s works did not make it to Europe in time and can only be seen in reproductions and a slide show for the time being.

Ceramic and weaving art

But even so, there are exhibits in abundance. The exhibition, which runs until March 6 and runs over two floors, focuses on the ceramic and weaving artist Maria Biljan-Bilger, on Susanne Wenger, who went to Nigeria in the 1950s and worked on the reconstruction of the Oshogbo holy grove for decades , which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2005, and Maria Lassnig. Her 1952 solo exhibition in the Strohkoffer, an art space lined with reed mats from Lake Neusiedl below the Loos Bar, is approximately reconstructed in the exhibition with works from the Lassnig Foundation and private collections.

In addition, many other artists such as Gerhild Diesner, Greta Freist, Johanna Schidlo, Hilda C. Polsterer or Grete Yppen can be discovered. The fact that they were usually much older than their male artist colleagues such as the teenagers Ernst Fuchs, Arik Brauer, Wolfgang Hutter and Friedensreich Hundertwasser is said to have been very stimulating for both parties, was just as emphasized by the curators as the efforts of the Art Club to stay under the chairmanship of Albert Paris Gütersloh clearly differentiated from the years of the Nazi dictatorship in terms of both ideology and art.

Forum Frohner is dedicated to artist friendship

A second exhibition will open in Krems on Friday evening: the Forum Frohner is dedicated to a special friendship between artists in the show “Park Seo-Bo and Adolf Frohner. Paris 1961”. The Korean-born artist and the Austrian, who is three years younger, got to know each other in Paris and, despite the language barrier, came very close to each other, as evidenced by a touching letter that the Korean wrote to the “widowed Lady of Adolf Frohner” in 2007 and in the exhibition One can also see how strikingly furrowed images are reminiscent of Jakob Gasteiger. However, this would come about through a completely different way of working, explained Elisabeth Voggeneder, the artistic director of Forum Frohner and curator of the exhibition, who had written her diploma thesis through Gasteiger. 89-year-old Park Seo-Bo is very excited about the exhibition, but cannot currently travel to Europe, she said. The same goes for his works, by the way. Fortunately, his Paris gallery stepped in to help.

“Aufbruch. Künstlerinnen des Art Club” in the Landesgalerie NÖ can be seen from October 16 to March 6, 2022.

“Park Seo-Bo and Adolf Frohner. Paris 1961” will be shown from October 16 to April 3, 2022 at Forum Frohner.

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