Female Images, Radek Knapp’s Encounter with Alfred Kubin and Jan Fabre at the Leopold Museum

On Thursday, 6th July, the Leopold Museum opened its three new summer exhibitions which highlight the broad range of the Leopold Museum Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger’s newly developed exhibition program.

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“Featuring select works from the Leopold Collection, the exhibition ‘Female Images’ affords an overview of female depictions in the 19th and early 20th century, presents works by female artists from this era and addresses the difficulties encountered by women seeking an artistic education at the time. For the inaugural exhibition of the museum’s new Graphic Cabinet Radek Knapp Meets Alfred Kubin, we were able to engage Radek Knapp, who is among Austria’s best-known writers, while one of the most renowned international contemporary artists and performers, Jan Fabre, is also presenting his works at the Leopold Museum,” explained Director Wipplinger.

The presentation “Radek Knapp Meets Alfred Kubin. The Hour of Birth”, shown at the newly created Graphic Cabinet, sees 41 chief works by Alfred Kubin (1877—1959) from the Leopold Collection enter into a dialogue with an imaginative story written expressly for this exhibition by the author Radek Knapp (born in 1964). It is the first time in 15 years that the Leopold Museum, which is home to the third largest Kubin collection in the world, presents works from all periods of Alfred Kubin’s oeuvre. The exhibition curated by Stefan Kutzenberger enables visitors to walk through Knapp’s story.

The exhibition “Female Images. From Biedermeier to Early Modernism”, curated by Franz Smola and Birgit Piringer, showcases various aspects of the genre of female depictions through 150 select works from the Leopold Collection from the period of 1830 to 1930. Featuring portraits, depictions of working women as well as (nude) models, the presentation shows works by artists including Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Anton Romako, Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser and Egon Schiele. Presenting works by Tina Blau-Lang, Olga Wisinger-Florian, Broncia Koller-Pinell and Käthe Kollwitz, among many others, the exhibition further seeks to render female artistic positions from this time visible to audiences. The final aim of the presentation is to invite visitors to reflect on the role of female artists around 1900, which often appears in contrast to the depictions of women presented in the first part of the exhibition: not only were female artists banned from studying at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts until 1920, they also faced limited opportunities for exhibiting their works.

The Belgian artist Jan Fabre (born in 1958) is among the most innovative and influential personalities of international contemporary art. Working as a visual artist, a theater maker and author, he has created a profoundly personal cosmos. The exhibition “Jan Fabre. Stigmata – Actions & Performances 1976-2016”, shown in cooperation with ImPulsTanz — Vienna International Dance Festival, affords a first overview of the performative oeuvre of this universal artist in Austria. The presentation compiled by the renowned curator Germano Celant features some 800 objects, including costumes used by Fabre during his performances, “Thinking Models”, drawings and photographs, as well as film clips, video documentaries and quotes from Fabre’s diary. On 13th July 2017, Jan Fabre will continue the tradition of his performance art with his solo performance“I am a Mistake” at the Leopold Museum, with which he seeks to expose the inadequacies of human existence while sounding out hisphysical and mental limits. Further performances by other artists will also be shown as part of ImPulsTanz festival at the Leopold Museum.

 

Approximately 1,000 guests gathered at the Leopold Museum on this summer evening to attend the opening of these exhibitions and to celebrate together with the museum’s Directors Hans-Peter Wipplinger and Gabriele Langer, the museum’s founder Elisabeth Leopold, the artistic director of ImPulsTanz festival Karl Regensburger, the artist Jan Fabre, the author Radek Knapp and the curators Franz Smola (Female Images) and Stefan Kutzenberger (Radek Knapp Meets Alfred Kubin).

Among them were the director of the MuseumsQuartier Christian Strasser, the general manager of the MAK Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, the president of the Secession Herwig Kempinger, Ulrike Sych, head of Vienna’s University of Music, and Erwin Piplits (head of Odeon Theater), the German ambassador Johannes Haindl, David Maenaut, embassy counselor and delegate of the government of Flanders, the gallery owners Susanne and Wolfgang Bauer (bel etage), Agnes Reinthaler, Ferdinand Altnöder, the collectors Verena and Bernd Klüser, the artists Martha Jungwirth, Suse Kravagna, Julia Avramidis, Walter Vopava and Peter Baldinger, as well as the publisher Piet Meyer.

Also attending the summer celebration were the member of the board of directors of the Leopold MuseumCarl Aigner, editor-in-chief of Parnass Silvie Aigner, the journalists Maria Seifert (ORF), Susanne Zobl (News) and Michael Nießen (kunst:art), the writer Maria Rennhofer, the head of Deuticke publishers Martina Schmidt, as well as Sylvia Eisenburger (Societyof the Friendsof Fine ArtsVienna).

The triple opening was further witnessed by PORR chairman Christian B. Maier, Anton Schmölzer (CEO Iro&Partners), PaN board member Marguerite Machek-Vos and attorney Dr. Thomas Mondl (vice president of the Association of Friends of the Leopold Museum).

Also enjoying the celebrations were the organizer of the Fabre exhibition Katrien Bruyneel, Joachim Kapuy (press officer of ImPulsTanz), filmmaker Daniel Zimmermann (nadaproductions), Barbara Fränzen (head of the Federal Chancellery’s film department), Waltraud Dennhart-Herzog (Foreign Ministry), envoy Thorsten Eisingerich (Foreign Ministry), Ingrid Wendl-Turković, Armine Wehdorn, Dorotheum expert Ursula Rohringer, art restorer Manfred Siems, the Leopold Museum’s former board member Alfons Huber, the singer Max Gruber (Des Ano), Grande Dame Lotte Tobisch-Labotýn, and last but not least the Klimt descendants Peter Zimpel and Gustav Huber.

The exhibition “Female Images. From Biedermeier to Early Modernism” is on display from 7th July to 18th September 2017 at the Leopold Museum. For further information, please visit:
www.leopoldmuseum.org/de/presse/sonderausstellungen/aktuell/848

The exhibition “Radek Knapp Meets Alfred Kubin. The Hour of Birth” is on display from 7th July to 4th September 2017 at the Leopold Museum. For further information, please visit:
www.leopoldmuseum.org/de/presse/sonderausstellungen/aktuell/847

The book accompanying the exhibition “Radek Knapp Meets Alfred Kubin” entitled “The Hour of Birth. A story based upon 41 graphic works by Alfred Kubin” and written by Radek Knapp was published by Deuticke. Comprising 92 pages and 41 illustrations, it is available at the Leopold Museum Shop for EUR 17.50.

The exhibition “Jan Fabre. Stigmata. Actions & Performances 1976—2016” curated by Germano Celant and the video “Doctor Fabre Will Cure You” (2013) by Pierre Coulibeuf are shown from 7th July to 27th August 2017 at the Leopold Museum. http://www.leopoldmuseum.org/en/press/specialexhibitions/current/852

 

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