Jürgen Tabor
Vienna Downbeat – On the concepts and contexts of the exhibition Untitled (Flow)
Sabine Schaschl
Partially Gone with the Wind
Fiona Liewehr
Transitive Network Spaces
Cliff Lauson
Slow Flow
Matthia Löbke
With a Black Ink – In the Studio of Herbert Hinteregger
Walter Seidl
Aesthetics of Reduction
Martin Prinzhorn
Additive Abstraction
Fiona Liewehr
Herbert Hinteregger & Michael Sailstorfer
at Georg Kargl BOX, Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna

Jürgen Tabor
“To destroy an object to create a painting”
Günther Moschig
Herbert Hinteregger – Color as Presence in Space
Fiona Liewehr
Koenraad Dedobbeleer/Herbert Hinteregger
A sense of disquietude concerning the existing order of things

Elisabeth Fiedler
A Transmedia Reduction of Means
Works by Herbert Hinteregger

Axel Jablonski
(in the world of things)
Moritz Küng
“It was through a documentation which Herbert Hinteregger sent me…”

Fiona Liewehr
Koenraad Dedobbeleer/Herbert Hinteregger
A sense of disquietude concerning the existing order of things

In A sense of disquietude concerning the existing order of things Georg Kargl Fine Arts shows for the first time an exhibition that emerged as a collaboration between Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer (born in 1975) and the Austrian artist Herbert Hinteregger (born in 1970).¹ The feeling referred to by the exhibition title not only moved the two artists to close collaboration, but also creeps up on the visitor upon walking through the broad, complex spaces of the gallery. The two artists move intermediate spaces, voids, everyday occurrences, which are apparently incidental and often fall beneath our usual threshold of perception, to the center of their artistic engagement. Together they develop a refined, multilayered series of references that points to surprising commonalities and intersections between media and opens a dense network of associations. They mark and alter the exhibition space through minimal, yet effective interventions and subtle installational positionings and make it available to experience as a constantly changing space of action that counters existing systems of reference and standard patterns of perception, at the same time opening new ones.

Wooden scaffolding thrusts itself in the way of the visitor entering the gallery, reflecting in its material and dimensions the given architectural relations of the façade and directing the movements of the visitor along consciously staged pathways. Koenraad Dedobbeleer’s massive object, perfect in terms of its craftsmanship, is the result of an analysis of site-specific historical conditions. It questions the relationship between the exterior and the interior, stages problems like reality and model, coding and context at the intersection of autonomous sculpture and the everyday object. The disturbing spatial intervention serves, as it were, as the entrance into a playful laboratory of the two artists—a laboratory that is full of allusions, art historical references, and ironic commentaries. For example, Dedobbeleer balances a reconstruction of a Gerrit Rietveld chair painted in red ink by Hinteregger on a wooden plinth that in its proportions and material execution corresponds to those in the gallery windows. By freeing the chair of its use value and placing it in an absurd position on a beautifully made pedestal, the artists humorously affirm and yet counter standard curatorial practice. In the tradition of institutional critique, they thus direct their attention toward institutional functions and structures with their aesthetic, economic framing conditions.

In colors and forms reduced to minimal elements, Hinteregger has for many years consistently engaged with the constructive aspect of using material. Thin strips of adhesive tape spread out like a web on the partially glazed canvas and form a grid structure upon which the artist places monochromatic geometrical fields of ink. The ink—obtained laboriously from squeezed-out ballpoint pens—is applied in differing densities, forming subtle structures which, depending on point of view and the way the light falls, imply a sense of permanent movement. Iridescent surfaces of ink reflect the surroundings, opening as it were into the space and contrasting with the raw, structured canvas and the dully-grounded sections that absorb light and bind it back to the surface. The eye of the beholder is denied any fixed point of reference. It is kept in motion in that it tends to extend the painting across the actual limits of the image into the surrounding space and at the same time takes pause in respecting the limits of the exactly drawn outlines. Hinteregger’s works are neither this nor that; they are both at the same time. They are both abstract as well as figurative when they reflect the work of Josef Hoffmann in their geometrical surfaces; they are both painterly as well as constructive, and confirm the limits of the canvas while also transgressing them.

In combination with Dedobbeleer’s minimalist objects, a playful as well as poetic arrangement emerges that subscribes to the tradition of light-hearted appropriation, interconnection, and allusion, and that always reflects the architectural and historical givens of the exhibition space. Under the spiral staircase, for example, Dedobbeleer has placed metal rods crowned by a lampshade-like cardboard object just in the exact place where Dan Flavin’s fluorescent light work For Ad Reinhardt was presented at the gallery’s opening exhibition in 1998. Yet The Circular Character of Reasoning is not merely a reconstruction of a Flavin sculpture without a function that, due to the cardboard object, looks like a standing lamp; it is an autonomous sculpture that reflects beyond the practice of appropriation, in an elegant way questioning the autonomy of art works in their dependence on their spatial, historical, and thematic contexts.

When the artists decide to include a black, mechanically-made metal grate by the artist Andreas Fogarasi without any further explanation in their exhibition, which can be read as a sculptural translation of one of Hinteregger’s network pictures, they also make clear that the concept of artistic autonomy and originality has long been replaced by the ideational construction of components free of hierarchies and origins. In the gallery’s skylight space, Hinteregger/Dedobbeleer impressively comment on the fact that artistic production is never solely based on individual imagination. Indeed, in the current copy-and-paste culture it is more than ever based on methods of appropriation, quotation, and (re)contextualization. Hinteregger has succinctly entitled his action of removing the entire ceiling glazing to emphasize the patterns and network structures that run like a thread through the entire exhibition, Untitled (Man braucht nur das Getane fortzusetzen, Michael). This quotation from a text by Ad Reinhardt (1929) was understood as a challenge to continue what had already been started, that is, to carry to extremes the idea of including the glass ceiling in the exhibition context—an idea that had already been pursued in part by other artists. The space opens impressively upward, making the otherwise hidden architectural details of the industrial space of the former printing house visible, as if the spirit of the over 100-year-old history of the building had left its mark.

Koenraad Dedobbeleer’s objects, like the metal lamps hanging at different heights, the colorful ceramic balls, and the dwelling-like, constructivist floor sculpture, seem in this historical environment like strange intruders from an uncertain period. In combination with Herbert Hinteregger’s exact, finely iridescent canvases, they grant new meaning to the “sense of disquietude concerning the existing order of things.”

Fiona Liewehr

¹ The title is drawn from a text published in The Studio in 1906, “The Art-Revival in Austria,” where the full quotation reads: “Revivals in art spring from a sense of disquietude concerning the existing order of things: they are the strivings after truer and nobler ideals.”

Translated by Brian Currid (zweisprachkunst.de)