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.
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