• Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)
    20 September – 11 November 2017

    The Showroom (63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, UK) Curated by: What, How & for Whom/WHW, in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, co-curated by Emily Pethick Preview: Tuesday 19 September, 6.30–8.30pm Exhibition opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm The Showroom presents the epilogue of a long-term project which took place over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 to May 2017), which contextualised and rethought the Kontakt Art Collection. It was curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. This final exhibition is co-curated by The Showroom Director Emily Pethick. Taking selected works from the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project unfolded in six episodes in Zagreb, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city. This final stage of the project at The Showroom continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements. The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide. The project is a cooperation with Kontakt Art Collection and is supported by Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation.


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Heimo Zobernig

Heimo Zobernig subjects the postulates and premises of Modernism to critical enquiry, at the same time as questioning the criteria for attributing an object the status of “art”. With his particular interest in abstraction, he acts against the backdrop of two diametrically opposed positions of the twentieth century: that of emotional, symbolic charging of abstract forms and colours on the one hand, and, on the other, that of a belief in the potential for connotation-free legibility of this vocabulary. The latter played a shaping role in Minimal Art, whose claim to a pure aesthetic phenomenology Zobernig has critically examined or undermined on several occasions. His industrial standard format chipboard lying on the floor and his angle made of chipboard are examples of this. Like the Minimalists, Zobernig works here with industrially manufactured materials; but as well as being less stable and durable—and thus less heroic or monumental—than the metals used by the Minimalists, his pieces of chipboard also bear associations with the construction of furniture and stage props.


Born in Mauthen, Austria, 1958.

Zobernig studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Austria) from 1977 to 1980, and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna from 1980 to 1983. After two visiting professorships in Germany, he has been teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna since 1999. In 1993 he received the “Otto Mauer Prize” and 1997 the “City of Vienna Prize”.

Lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2016 "wood painting", Kunsthalle Malmö, Sweden

2015 Austrian Pavilion, 56th Biennale di Venezia, Venice; Italy & Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria

2014 Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg

2012 "Heimo Zobernig", Palacio de Velázquez, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid

2011 “ohne Titel (in red)“, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

2010 “Permanent Reversal“, Pestorius Sweeney House, Brisbane, Australia

2009 “Heimo Zobernig and the Collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation“, Centre of Modern Art, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal

2008 “Heimo Zobernig. Total Design “, MAK Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria

2007 “Heimo Zobernig“, Meyer Kainer Gallery, Vienna, Austria

2006 “Heimo Zobernig“, Juana de Aizpuru Gallery, Madrid, Spain

2005 “Heimo Zobernig“, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany

2004 “Heimo Zobernig“, Christian Nagel Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2003 “Heimo Zobernig“, K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

2002 “Heimo Zobernig“, MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2016 "Painting 2.0. Expression in the Information Age", mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Austria 

2015 "Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

2014 "In NO time", The Modern Institute, Glasgow, UK

2013 "GEO-NEO-POST", Vasarely Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary

2011 “unExhibit“, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria

2010 “Long Time No See“, Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic

2009 “Best of Austria“, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz, Austria

2008 “The Art of the Real“, Art Collection Edith & Mark Vanmoerkerke“, Oostende, Belgium

2007 “Paul Klee - Theatre here, there and everywhere“, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland

2006 “Every Day … another artist/ work/ show“, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria

2005 “Light Art from Artificial Light“, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

2004 “before the end“, Le Cosortium - Contemporary Art Center, Dijon, France 

2003 “Night and Day plays them all“, Galerie & Edition Atelier, Graz, Austria

2002 “Minimalism and After“, Daimler Chrysler Collection, Berlin, Germany

This bibliography provides a list of books available in the
ERSTE Foundation Library

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Küng, Moritz et al., eds. 2011. Die fünfte Säule. Vienna: Secession [Exhib. Cat., Secession (Sept. 9-Nov. 20, 2011)]


Heimo Zobernig. 2003. Engl./Germ. Curated by Eva Badura-Triska. Cologne: König [Exhib. Cat., Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (Dec. 7, 2002-Mar. 2, 2003), Kunsthalle Basel (Apr. 5-Jun. 23, 2003), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf (Jul. 12-Nov. 2, 2003)]


Pohlen, Annelie, ed. 1998. Kunst und Text: Heimo Zobernig. Leipzig: Verlag der Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst [Exhib. Cat., Bonner Kunstverein (Feb. 17- Apr. 12, 1998), Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig (Nov. 23, 1998-Jan. 24, 1999), Kunstverein München (1999)]


Nathusius, Caroline, ed. 1992. Heimo Zobernig. Cologne: Galerie Kubinski.

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