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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.

E.B.

1958, Mauthen / AT

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