“Column of Humanity” by Joannis Avramidis: 13 meter-high sculpture erected in the main square of the MQ
Bronze herald of the Leopold Museum’s comprehensive Avramidis exhibition
A bronze herald of the comprehensive Avramidis exhibition at the Leopold Museum can be seen from 12th May 2017 in the main square of the MQ. Extending the northern facade of the museum, this large-scale sculpture designed for the public space between 1993 and 1996 and entitled “Humanitas Column”is now on display for the first time. It is one of the chief works by the eminent Greek-Austrian sculptor Joannis Avramidis, who is among the most prominent protagonists of Austrian sculpture after 1945.
The artwork presented in the main square of the MuseumsQuartier forms an integral part of the first comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work in Austria, which will be shown from 19th May to 4th September 2017 at the Leopold Museum. The opening of the Avramidis exhibition curated by Stephanie Damianitsch and Ivan Ristić will take place on Thursday, 18th May 2017, at 7 pm as part of the MQ’s summer opening. Featuring some 100 exhibits from all periods of the artist’s work – including 50 sculptures and more than 40 graphic works and paintings – the presentation affords profound insights into the oeuvre of this eminent artist.
Since the mid-1960s, Joannis Avramidis had worked on visionary concepts of sculpture that went beyond depictions of individual figures and instead focused on the concept of community and cohabitation. In his “Humanitas Column” the artist combined strung together individual figures to form a round figuration, allowing the figure groups set on top of one another in a mirror-inverted manner to seemingly grow ad infinitum. A metaphor for the notion of humanity, the “Column of Humanity” was designed by the artist as part of a temple construction which Avramidis had planned from the mid-1960s, but which he never realized. The erection of the “Humanitas Column” thus represents the fulfillment of a lifetime wish of the artist’s, who would have celebrated his 95th birthday on 23rd September.
Leopold Museum Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger, “The foundation for this exhibition project was laid whenJoannis Avramidis was still alive and I invited him to design a retrospective exhibition for the Leopold Museum during a visit I paid the artist at his studio in the Prater. Now, approximately one year after the death of the artist, who passed away on 16th January 2016, this most comprehensive monographic presentation of works by the Greek-Austrian sculptor to date in Austria will be held at the Leopold Museum. The exhibition affords long overdue recognition to this great loner of Austrian art history.”
Humanitassäule │ Column of Humanity, 1993–1996
Height: 13.22 m, with base approx. 14.50 m
Studio Joannis Avramidis, Vienna
Part of the retrospective “Joannis Avramidis”, Leopold Museum, Vienna, 19th May – 4th September 2017
In cooperation with MuseumsQuartier Vienna
Curated by Stephanie Damianitsch and Ivan Ristić
19th May to 4th September 2017
Press conference and tour of the exhibition: Thursday, 18th May, from 10 am, auditorium
(Admission from 9.30 am)
Opening: Thursday, 18th May, 7 pm, level 0, upper atrium
Free admission to the Leopold Museum on 18th May as part of the MQ’s summer opening from 5 pm.
Also opening at the Leopold Museum that evening, at 6 pm, is the exhibition “The Conundrum of Imagination” presented by the Wiener Festwochen in cooperation with the Leopold Museum.
“THE CONUNDRUM OF IMAGINATION. ON THE PARADIGM OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY”
Curated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Pauline Doutreluingne
19th May to 18th June 2017
Tour of the exhibition following the Avramidis press conference: Thursday, 18th May, from 11 am, meeting place: level 0, upper atrium
Opening: Thursday, 18th May, 6 pm, level 0, upper atrium