For the Austrian Pavilion in 2015, commissioner Yilmaz Dziewior selected Heimo Zobernig, an artist who has not only influenced the art scene in his own country like almost no other, but is also among the most successful positions in international art discourse and exhibitions.
Heimo Zobernig‘s work is marked by its high level of precision in terms of both form and content. He often succeeds in involving the observer both intellectually and sensually at the same time.
His spectrum ranges from drawing and painting through installation and sculpture to video and spatial settings of a practical nature. Already in his early years, Heimo Zobernig had a firm grasp of how to question the basic premises of art both critically and playfully, by using the exhibition and/or the catalog or book in itself as a medium of his analytical reflection. In this sense, the individual building blocks of his art became his actual oeuvre. Hence, he exposes the mechanisms of the art system, addresses hierarchies and examines concepts both for their concrete and metaphorical meanings. All the more impressive is how he succeeds in negotiating these issues in the form of what might almost be called classical, apparently autonomous canvases and sculptures, or by means of concrete architectural interventions and installations.
Heimo Zobernig will skillfully combine both approaches for the Austrian Pavilion, which is based on a spatial concept by Robert Kramreiter and was built in 1934 byJosef Hoffmann. Both spatial intervention and independent work of art will enter into a combination as equal, reciprocally commentating elementsof his Venice contribution. No less than the concrete room, the situation of the Biennale itself is a starting point for Heimo Zobernig’s deliberations.
Heimo Zobernig (b. 1958, Mauthen) lives and works in Wien.
He he has taught, for the last 14 years, at the Academy for Fine Arts in Wien, contributing to influence subsequent artist’s generations.
His exhibition activities range from repeated participation in major events such as the Venice Biennale (1988, 2001), the Documenta in Kassel (1992, 1997), and Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997) to extensive individual exhibitions in renowned institutions like the Palacio de Velázquez/Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid (2012), Kunsthaus Graz (2013), Mudam Luxembourg, and the Kestnergesellschaft in Hannover (both 2014), among others.
- Heimo Zobernig, ohne Titel, Station Laurenzgasse, 1050 Wien (jpg), photo by Marianne Greber 2010
- View of the exhibition at Palacio de Velázquez/Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2012, photo by Joaquín Cortés/Román Lores