Berlin 00:00:00 London 00:00:00 New York 00:00:00 Chicago 00:00:00 Los Angeles 00:00:00 Shanghai 00:00:00
members login here
Country / State

christine koenig galerie: JOHANNA KANDL : The Missing Guardian - 18 Mar 2009 to 25 Apr 2009

Current Exhibition

18 Mar 2009 to 25 Apr 2009
Hours - Tue - Fri 11 am - 7 pm Sat 11 am - 3 pm
Schleifmuehlgasse 1A
p: 43 1 585 74 74
f: 43 1 585 74 7424

JOHANNA KANDL, The Missing Guardian, 2008
eggtempera on canvas, 84 x 120 cm
Courtesy Christine König Galerie, Vienna
Web Links

Artist Links

Artists in this exhibition: JOHANNA KANDL

The Missing Guardian

Opening: March 17th, 2009, 7 - 9 p.m., together with the galleries Gabriele Senn, Georg Kargl and Engholm Engelhorn
The artist will be present.
Duration of the exhibition: March 18th - April 25th, 2009

JOHANNA KANDL lives and works in Vienna and Berlin.

Selected Exhibitions:
2009 Snipers on the Market, Galerie Kisterem, Budapest (S); 2008 Bild fliegt, Galerie Patrick Ebensperger, Graz (S); Experimenta Folklore, Kunstverein Frankfurt (G); 2007 Volksgarten, Kunsthaus Graz (G); Geographie is Dead, Dortmunder Kunstverein (S); The Painting of Modern Life, Hayward Gallery, London (G); 2006 Kämpfer, Träumer & Co., Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz (S); Academie, Muhka, Antwerp (G); 2005 I Sell Paintings What Do You Sell?, Christine König Galerie, Vienna, (S); 2004 You never know what will happen next, Galerie Six Friedrich Lisa Ungar, Munich; speaking in public, Art 35 Basel; 2003 speaking in public, 9. Cairo Biennale; Kämpfer für's Glück, Kunstverein Ulm; 2002 Kämpfer für's Glück, Christine König Galerie, Vienna (S); Painting on the Move, Kunsthalle Basel (G); Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (S); ungemalt, Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg (G); 2001 don't worry, be happy, Fotohof Salzburg (S); Your way to the top, project in cooperation with museum in progress, Vienna (S); 2000 DerDieDas FREMDE, Christine König Galerie, Vienna (with Olga Chernysheva, Kara Walker); 1999 Secession, Vienna (S)
G group exhibtion; S solo exhibition;

Johanna Kandl's images draw their vexing effect and also at times their strange humor from the rift between the suggestive forces of global capitalism and a pathetic life reality. "I enjoy the fact that there is a rift between image and text." The painting The Missing Guardian after which the exhibition is named shows two men, both wearing business suits and in a very good mood, standing in front of a sales stand. Investors? Social descendants? New moderation?

Other works address the artist's own past, depicting the façade of her parents' paint shop on Brünnerstrasse with signs advertising brands no longer existing today. The marginal small businesses make frequent appearances in her compositions with only the geographical coordinates changing: Viktor Adler market in Vienna, Belgrade, Baku, Ukraine, Bosnia, Karl-Marx Allee in Berlin. It is this world undergoing transformation that Johanna Kandl has captured in small sections of reality.

Her works are anything but abstract which also holds true for the process of their production. The artist usually begins with photographs that she or her husband Helmut Kandl has made. The global archives of imagery, whether supplied from the Internet of from journals, are of no interest to her. Art is an avowal to the particular, to narrative fragments that cannot be arranged to form a large narration but rather stick in a state of the chthonic.

The present-day economic crisis is playing into the hands of Johanna Kandl's modules of world interpretation in the sense that it retroactively adds a negative energy to the text-image combinations. Now it is not about a disproportionate relation between a super-capitalism that is triumphantly gesturing with its slogans and rhetorical expressions of pathos and its less capital-intensive marginal locations but about a universal dystopia.

Capitalism is the first case of a blaming rather than repenting cult, as Walter Benjamin wrote in 1927 in a text that is still worth reading today: "The nature of the religious movement which is capitalism entails endurance right to the end, to the point where the universe has been taken over by that despair which is actually its secret hope. Capitalism is entirely without precedent, in that it is a religion which offers not the reform of existence but its complete destruction." (cited after Walter Benjamin)

A large-format painting, very thin, almost painted in the grisaille style, depicts a huge number of sacral figures at a stand in Medujgorje. Next to it there is a piece on "Pyramid Games" and the "Pyramid" of Visoko in Bosnia where small tourism has been developing in recent years. A Bosnian living in exile disseminated the theory that the city hill was a pyramid - the oldest and largest in the world.

One video shows the Piazza in Loreto, a Madonaro (street painter), Maltese nuns, a colorful Fiat sports car being blessed, a swarm of bees which on Pentecost Sunday punctually landed on a fountain figure and transformed it into a swarming, amorphous mass.

For the video Brünnerstraße 165 in 2008 Johanna stepped again into the garden pond behind her family's shop. You see the family being filmed by her father with an 8 mm camera.

Johanna Kandl's reports on the periphery of the world and on the end of an epoch are attempts to translate the world in which we live - whose visual substrates spin about us as serial images from the media - into a state of lasting imagery, epigrammatically. Painting has more plasticity than photography - and at the same time it should be recognizable in terms of its illusionistic character. It is a subtle tight rope walk which when successful is able to establish an ontology of instability. "Sometimes history catches up with you," as Johanna Kandl says. "Maybe my work assumes more clarity as a result of the crisis. It's different in any case."

Thomas Mießgang, Vienna 2009

Follow on Twitter

Click on the map to search the directory

USA and Canada Central America South America Western Europe Eastern Europe Asia Australasia Middle East Africa