AN INNER NETWORK: I just picked up a leaflet (well card, really) advertising an upcoming exhibition featuring the work of Austrian artist Gunter Damisch at the Albertina here in Vienna. The artist, who rose to prominence in the 1980s was part of a group of artists known as the ‘Neue Wilden’ (the ‘New Wilds’ or ‘New Violents’).
I was quite taken by the image on the front of the promo, a graphic, structural mix of lively and subdued colours. Looking at further works by Damisch, you’ll see that the heritage of Austrian art, or at least the intricacies and details found in works by Klimt, do permeate.
‘Rotwegnetz’, an oil paintingfrom 2005, which loosely translates as ‘red way web’ sees a tomato hued red object with tangly branches loom over a colourful backdrop. It looks a bit like a virus, ready to attack the unsuspecting cells of the body. It’s funny, because upon initial glance I did not see anything frightening elements in the painting, but as I look closer and analyse it, I see that a sense of fear is almost at the core of the work.
Much of Damisch’s work is influenced by a transition between the three to two dimensional (e.g. real life, or sculpture reinterpreted in painting). Although I don’t really see that influence here, I can no doubt see a reference to something rather real (even if it appears to be our digestive system)!
I’m intrigued to see what else I gain from looking at Damisch’s wider repertoire in due course.