Haraldur Jónsson in Kunsthalle Wien
Haraldur Jónsson exhibits in The Brancusi Effect
Kunsthalle Wien, Karlsplatz
Opening June 11, 19.00
The Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957) is numbered among the
20th century’s most influential artists. With his considerations of the way that pedestal
and presented work relate to each other he launched a reorientation of the relationship
between object, viewer and space. This had a decisive influence on minimal art and
the aesthetic of the installation as a whole.
Moreover, Brancusi’s work is seen as the initial point of a reflection on the artwork’s
historical and institutional positioning. The exhibition The Brancusi Effect takes
this potential into account as well as the strongly documentary aspect implicit in
Brancusi’s artistic approach, which was expressed in countless photographic images
of installations taken in his studio. The exhibition presents original photographic
material together with selected positions of contemporary art that reference Brancusi,
and so creates an imposing spatial installation comprising various sculptures that
reflect the recent currency of the sculptural within contemporary art.
Photographs of Brancusi in his studio in the Impasse Rosin in Paris, showcase how
he used installative arrangements to present his works as a spatially unified work of
art. Brancusi moreover also personally photographed individual works, in order to
translate the special aura of his sculptures into the medium of photography. The loan
from the Kunsthaus Zurich provides a fascinating insight into the thinking and the
production methods of this artist, who, between tradition and modernity, created a
work of singularity within the European avant-garde.
Further insight into the work of Brancusi can be drawn from the work Les 58
numéros flotents, an unwilling collaborative work between Brancusi, the Japanese
photographer Soichi Sunami and the Italian publisher Giovanni Scheiwiller,
directed both formally and conceptually by Marcel Duchamp’s invisible hand. The
five photographs conclude the operation started by Duchamp on Brancusi’s work
which began with the installation at Brummer Gallery in 1933 and which completely
overturned the reading of the work and paved the way for its future, American
perception. Alessio delli Castelli’s work on these objects, oscillating between
documents and works of art, is presented in the catalogue alongside Paola Mola’s
original studies on the subject.
The contemporary positions in the exhibition are characterised by an enormous
heterogeneity, but share an interest in the relationship between work and pedestal,
work and space and the modular principle, exemplified in one of Brancusi’s
most famous works Endless Column. The combination of different materials, the
coexistence of different volumes and the dissolution of the idea of a supporting
pedestal in favour of an integral sculptural component, also characterise the selected
works by international artists.
An Te Liu transforms Styrofoam parts from transport packaging of hi-fi equipment or
household appliances into elegant modular bronze sculptures. In Ok Ok Ok Ok Ok,
Sofia Hultén, spans a floor-to-ceiling filigree column out of old car jacks. The works
by Koenraad Dedobbeleer muddle up the perception of the relationship between
objects and their appearance; the works appear both as sculpture and as pedestal of
a sculpture. Ute Müller in turn combines found materials with organically shaped clay
sculptures into dense sculptural arrangements.
The exciting interior and exterior insights arising out of this coexistence of different
sculptural positions, in the glass pavilion of Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, in essence
once more serve to emphasize the currency of Brancusi.
Artists: Saâdane Afif, Wilfrid Almendra, Nina Beier, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan,
Constantin Brancusi, André Cadere, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Alessio delli Castelli,
Thea Djordjadze, Paulien Föllings, Isa Genzken, Konstantin Grcic, Jürgen Mayer H.,
Sofia Hultén, Haraldur Jónsson, An Te Liu, Josephine Meckseper, Ute Müller, Anca
Munteanu Rimnic, Shahryar Nashat, Olaf Nicolai, Odilon Pain, Luiz Roque, Rudi
Curators: Vanessa Joan Müller, Nicolaus Schafhausen
A publication with texts by Paola Mola and Alessio delli Castelli is being produced to
accompany the exhibition.