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Events 2008


Painting today. The Medium and its Message.
A lecture series with Anselm Wagner

Painting has been playing an important role on both the art market and in art discourse for the past decade, after being declared dead (again) in the beginning of the 90s, for a time it appeared as though painting would finally be replaced by moving imagery.
The frequently criticized hype of the “Leipzig School ” should be regarded less as a spearhead, but more as a symptom of a reawakened interest in the multi-layered possibilities of the oldest medium of fine arts. The lecture series attempts to take stock and extract the specific physiognomy and significance of contemporary art for present day culture by means of several central medial and thematic issues and phenomena.

Painting and Media
Monday, November 10, 2008, 7 p.m.

Shadows and Silhouettes
Monday, November 17, 2008, 7 p.m.

Romantic, Gothic, and Idyll

Monday, November 24, 2008, 7 p.m.

Painting and Media
Long before the invention of photography, painting used optical aids such as the camera obscura. However, such methods were rarely made public and carefully protected as craft secrets. Since pop art and especially since the 90s the overwhelming majority of painted images has not only openly referred to photographic or film templates, but rather raises this intermediality as its theme. The lecture introduces the most important representatives of “immedial ” painting (Peter Weibel) and explores the question of what significance the medial paradigm possesses and what kind of added value painting gains from it.

Shadows and Silhouettes. From Plinius’ Corinthian Maidservant to the Picabia Effect
The legend of painting’s origin as conveyed by Plinius, giving an account of the reproduction of a silhouette, defined painting as the index and production surface of a (disappeared) real object. The shadow metaphor was reactivated with the crisis of representation triggered by modernism and expanded to multiple silhouettes since the appearance of Francis Picabia’s “Transparencies ”. The Picabia Effect appeared again in postmodernism with Sigmar Polke, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel in the reproduction of levels of meaning and has been perpetuated by Merlin Carpenter, Gary Hume, among others, however to now demonstrate the all around availability and emptiness of the motifs. In contrast, today’s artists like Luc Tuymans or Kara Walker present a specific (often negative) significance by returning painting to the shadow/silhouette.

Romantic, Gothic, and Idyll
A renaissance of romanticism has been spoken of for some years, which emerged from the youth subcultures of neo-hippies and black gothic and would have been unthinkable without the medium of painting. The new romanticism seizes the motifs and methods of art around the 1800s, as well as the image worlds of fantasy and other fields of popular culture. The spectrum stretches from conservative regression and romantic escapism to the conception of utopian alternative worlds and a self-mocking approach. The lecture includes works from Mamma Andersson, Kai Althoff, Glenn Brown, Peter Doig, Kaye Donachie, Johannes Hüppi, Karen Kilimnik, Simon Periton, David Thorpe and Fabian Weinecke, among others.

Dr. Anselm Wagner is an art historian and critic. He teaches at the Technical University in Graz and the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. In 2009 he will take on a Fulbright guest professorship at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Antje Majewski, Lovely (Liebling), 2000, oil and tempera on canvas, 160 x 160 cm

Antje Majewski, Lovely (Liebling), 2000, oil and tempera on canvas, 160 x 160 cm