Image: Sign Language
Rosemarie Castoro, Land of Lads, 1975. © Rosemarie Castoro. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer. Österreichische Ludwig-Stiftung für Kunst und Wissenschaft. The Estate of Rosemarie Castoro / Thaddeus Ropac
Museum Exhibitions

Sign Language Antunes, Bayrle, Brātescu, Castoro, Pichler

9 February—25 April 2021
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
The exhibition explores the manifold means of language from the perspective of visual arts. In literature, especially in poetry, language is given a poetic or musical order. The alphabet as a sign system connects all languages and the development of script mirrors the stages of modern society, its revolutions, and ruptures. Written characters represent identities and, at the same time, digital technologies aim for universal imagery.
 
Through their individual (sign) language, the drawings, sculptures, and installations by artists Leonor Antunes, Thomas Bayrle, Geta Brătescu, Rosemarie Castoro, and Walter Pichler open a space for relationships, processes, and models.
 
The works were purchased by the Austrian Ludwig Foundation and handed over to the MAK as permanent loans in order to support the expansion of the collection with internationally renowned pieces of art.
 
Walter Pichler (1936-2012) regarded art as a program. The immanent tension between sculpture, body, and architecture characterized his oeuvre. His sculptural language begins as an image or symbol.
 
Rosemarie Castoro (1939-2015) developed her own language between Minimal Art and conceptual art. She combined painting, performance, stage design, and sculpture, declaring herself a "paintersculptor."
 
Geta Brătescu (1926-2018) is interested in the dualism of geometric or industrial forms and draws on Constantin Brâncuși's exploration of archaic forms in nature, art, and architecture. 

Leonor Antunes (* 1972) portrays stories of the 20th century on art, architecture, and design in her sculptural works and installations. She examines the language of natural materials, such as wood, fabrics, leathers, or metal.
 
Thomas Bayrle (* 1937) investigates mechanisms of language, images, everyday objects, and creates ornaments of mass. His "superforms" such as Jesus, Mao, the highway, or the smartphone refer to political, industrial, cultural, and religious icons.
Rosemarie Castoro, Land of Lads, 1975. © Rosemarie Castoro. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer. Österreichische Ludwig-Stiftung für Kunst und Wissenschaft. The...

Rosemarie Castoro, Land of Lads, 1975. © Rosemarie Castoro. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer. Österreichische Ludwig-Stiftung für Kunst und Wissenschaft. The Estate of Rosemarie Castoro / Thaddeus Ropac

Rosemarie Castoro, Land of Lads, 1975. © Rosemarie Castoro. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer. Österreichische Ludwig-Stiftung für Kunst und Wissenschaft. The...

Rosemarie Castoro, Land of Lads, 1975. © Rosemarie Castoro. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer. Österreichische Ludwig-Stiftung für Kunst und Wissenschaft. The Estate of Rosemarie Castoro / Thaddeus Ropac

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB....

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB. © The Artists. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB....

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB. © The Artists. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB....

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB. © The Artists. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB....

MAK Exhibition View, 2021. SIGN LANGUAGE: Antunes | Bayrle | Brātescu | Castoro | Pichler, Central Space MAK DESIGN LAB. © The Artists. Photo © MAK/Georg Mayer

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