Jürgen TaborVienna Downbeat – On the concepts and contexts of the exhibition Untitled (Flow)
Sabine SchaschlPartially Gone with the Wind
Fiona LiewehrTransitive Network Spaces
Cliff LausonSlow Flow
Matthia LöbkeWith a Black Ink – In the Studio of Herbert Hinteregger
Walter SeidlAesthetics of Reduction
Martin PrinzhornAdditive Abstraction
Fiona LiewehrHerbert Hinteregger & Michael Sailstorfer
at Georg Kargl BOX, Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna
Jürgen Tabor“To destroy an object to create a painting”
Günther MoschigHerbert Hinteregger – Color as Presence in Space
Fiona LiewehrKoenraad Dedobbeleer/Herbert Hinteregger
A sense of disquietude concerning the existing order of things
Elisabeth FiedlerA 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…”
Color as Presence in Space
The question of the image was and is most drastically put when—and at issue here is the painted image—it retreats to its pure materiality and initially appears as the mere application of paint to a canvas. What remains other than pigment and structure if the painting refuses the world of things, referring to its purely visual reality? Here, only the creative, constructive, and individual process of looking, visual reception as image production,¹ can lead towards the solution of the question, even if it can never be concluded and the question can never be answered definitively. But this also means that there is no exhaustive and generally valid interpretation for a picture. Every image should be seen anew over and over again.
The difference between material object and aesthetic experience² is also explored by Herbert Hinteregger in his monochromatic pictures. In so doing, he is initially moving within the art system. Ad Reinhardt put it very nicely, “Art is art, everything else is everything else.” But as Martin Kippenberger taught us, “Every artist is a person.” Everything “else” then also becomes relevant for art. In his monochromatic pictures, Herbert Hinteregger goes beyond the object image and its sensual-aesthetic possibilities of experience, bringing the social experience of a media-defined information society into his painting. The strategy is to understand painting itself as a medium, a bearer of information. Therefore, the grid structures of his monochromatic images are not to be read as formal structuring, but a reflection about omnipresent global networks.
On a site that has been culturally and socially occupied for over 500 years, a village tavern in Jochberg named Schwarzer Adler
—already mentioned in 1482 as a guesthouse and horse change station—Herbert Hinteregger has realized a work in situ, using the architecture of the gothic building, its rooms and hallways, to establish his artistic concept as a clear statement, a statement primarily about the possibilities of monochromatic painting today. After the results of the Russian avant-garde of the 1920s and the autonomous painting of the 1950s, Ad Reinhardt’s Black Paintings
seemed to have been the very last works to suspend the difference between the materiality of the surface and aesthetic appearance in favor of the former.
But when it comes to the aforementioned reference to the reality of life at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Herbert Hinteregger trusts paint and the quadratic format. His discovery and research of the material possibilities of ball-pen ink and the exclusive use of this ink gives a light pop touch to his conceptual and painterly work. Both the color and form of the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen, brought on the market in the early 1950s as an industrially produced mass product designed for single use, have achieved worldwide fame for their functionality.
The installation at Schwarzer Adler in Jochberg shows color and its presence in space in five rooms, over two floors.
A menu box, redesigned as a viewing case, provides the conceptual entrée to the exhibition with a small pen installation. A spatial installation in the sense of an exploration of space is the ball-pen curtain
, made of ca. 1000 empty ball-pens, at the end of the hall.
The central space in Hinteregger’s Schwarzer Adler
project is the monochromatic main dining room
. Here, the pure color emerges again. Referring to Yves Klein’s first presentation of monochromatic paintings in Club des Solitaires, Editions Lacoste in Paris in 1955, Hinteregger adapts to the conditions of the space with five different image formats in his hanging. In a conceptual approach, each format is assigned a certain color. The paint surface is minimally organized, slightly shifted from the middle of the picture over the black foundation, and thus to be seen as an analogy to the possibilities of moving an open window on a computer screen. The digital appearance of the images has in any event decisively changed our visual perception. This becomes all the more clear when we approach these new, monochromatic works by Herbert Hinteregger. He understands the visual surface as an autonomous system, color as an abstract force without recognizable illustration or information, as a possible deceleration of an acute flood of information.
In his drawings
, Herbert Hinteregger approaches the book as a medium. For over ten years, he has been applying drawings to individual pages of Simon Moser’s book Lebendiges Tirol
, first published in 1946. Here too, Hinteregger negates all informational content of both illustrations and text, and in his deconstruction of the historical images interrogates abstract concepts like love, homeland, foreignness, or Tyrol.
In the white paintings
on the first floor, Hinteregger poses the question of the essence of the image in a most radical fashion. Their white monochromatic character marks the disappearance of painting, is on the threshold to becoming invisible. If now all that remains is the white foundation, these works in their painterly reduction are right before their self-obliteration. This radical step was already taken in 1918/1919 by Kasimir Malevitch in his White on White
. In Hinteregger, what remains is a network of structured visual surface, the final rescue of the image.
With the new mirror images
placed in the last room, Hinteregger reacts ironically to the history of the so-called “Kaiserzimmer” (Imperial Room) at Schwarzer Adler. The Imperial Room commemorates the visit of Kaiser Franz II(I) and his wife Carolina Auguste in May 1832. The wood paneling, built by local craftsmen in the playful style of the period, is here countered by mirrors with monochromatic grid structures. In so doing, the artist on the one hand refers to the mirrored halls of baroque architecture of domination, while on the other hand this once again makes his artistic conception coherent.
A spiritual claim to the image, whose reality goes beyond its viewing, as a fleeting thought about absence.
¹ Michael Bockemühl turns to the question of image reception as image production in his study Die Wirklichkeit des Bildes
² Meinhardt describes the painting of Ryman, Palermo, Richter, and Twombly in this way. See Johannes Meinhardt, Ende der Malerei und Malerei nach dem Ende der Malerei
(Ostfildern-Ruit, 1997), pp. 8 ff.