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Opening | 19.10.2006, 7.00 p.m.
Exhibition dates | 20.10.2006 - 03.12.2006

daily from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm
Exhibition spaces of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna


Jutta Koether, Renegade painting (Apfelsinenfrau), 2006
© Ioannis Christoforakos Collection, Athens | Photo: Lisa Rastl


Jutta Koether and Silke Otto-Knapp are two painters who regard pictures as a stopping-off place. For them, the picture is no statement but rather an insistence on discursive exchange, on language and communication. With its exhibition "Love in a void" curated by Eva Maria Stadler, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna aims at making a further contribution to the current debate on contemporary painting. The two artists share an especially uncompromising attitude as regards the medium of painting. While Jutta Koether dedicates herself to the disintegration and displacement of myths of painting, Silke Otto-Knapp is concerned with the permeability of the medium. The surface is treated like a membrane, the tracks made relate to historical contexts to which form and contents are equally committed. Jutta Koether's paintings also counter history; instead of exploring stylistic issues, the artist articulates a method: painting as a critical practice.

Jutta Koether is one of today's most important artists since she eludes all categorization or classification, whether as a painter, a critic, or a performance artist. Her practice as an artist is rather defined by the variety of her work. Jutta Koether set out on her career in Cologne in the mid-eighties, a heyday of painting - and a heyday of punk, punk rock, and the development of a certain pop culture that also manifested itself in the foundation of the magazine "Spex", for which Jutta Koether acted as associate editor. Koether works on her own but also relies on cooperative ventures, e.g. with the Sonic Youth singer Kim Gordon, the painter Rita Ackermann, with Steven Parrino, or Tom Verlaine. Koether's instruments comprise painting, music, and writing. She is less involved in "interdisciplinary" exchange but rather in the challenging transformations of pictorial, musical, and literary narratives. The perception from outside, which is a public one, is extended by what her own perception produces. Her critique is no mere description of a picture or narration but part of a new picture.

Apfelsinenfrau   Jutta Koether, Anger Anger, 2006
© Courtesy Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Köln | Photo: Lisa Rastl

Having presented an impressive survey of her work since the mid-eighties in her most recent exhibition in the Kölnische Kunstverein, Jutta Koether will mainly show pictures in red in her exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In a cheerful, glowing, bright red, and in a vulnerable, painful, aggressive red. Koether plays with the whole gamut of colors, endows them with the poetic power of song lyrics, and uses them to explore art-historical traditions.
Silke Otto-Knapp belongs to a generation of female artists for whom a discursive examination of their own and an extended artistic production has almost become the obvious thing. Like Jutta Koether, she has also worked as an associate editor for a magazine, namely the British "afterall", in the beginning of her career and thus established certain clear priorities in the discussion of crucial developments of present-day art.

Dancer   Silke Otto-Knapp, Dancer, 2006
© Courtesy greengrassi, London

In her exhibition in Vienna, Silke Otto-Knapp presents a group of mostly small-format paintings that focus on the human figure. Having investigated landscapes in her paintings until recently, Silke Otto-Knapp now centers on exploring the relationship between body and space. Key scenes from the world of modern dance frequently form the starting point for the painter's translucent pictures with their silvery gleam. While Jutta Koether tries to grasp the essence of painting with both texts and music - and then, all of a sudden, starts painting against the grain again, Silke Otto-Knapp's work hinges on the photographic. The artist shows herself interested in scenes preceded by significant and/or famous photographs. She considers painting particularly suited for interlinking two historical narratives, the history of dance and the history of photography, for tracing the individual processes of the emergence of a body image in the materiality of the medium and thus granting its presence. The slow application of layer after layer of color corresponds both to the movement of the body and to the chemical process of the photographic image. The picture unfolds on the surface and threatens to vanish.

Figures and Group   Silke Otto-Knapp, Figures and Group, 2005
© Collection Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven | Courtesy greengrassi, London

Text: Eva Maria Stadler, Curator

Exhibition talk
with Jutta Koether, Silke Otto-Knapp, Martin Prinzhorn, and Eva Maria Stadler
Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 5.00 p.m.

AlleinAllein   Jutta Koether, Allein! Allein!, 2006
© Courtesy Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Köln | Photo: Lisa Rastl

Jutta Koether
Born in Cologne in 1958, lives and works in New York.
Selected exhibitions and projects | Kölnischer Kunstverein (2006), Reema Spaulings Fine Art, New York (2006), Whitney Biennial, New York (2006), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2005), Tate Modern, London (2005), Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Köln (2004), Galerie Meerrettich, Berlin (2004), P.S.1 New York (2004), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003), Grazer Kunstverein (2003), Swiss Institute, New York (2002), Pat Hearn Gallery, New York (1999), Generali Foundation, Vienna (1991)

Melissa   Silke Otto-Knapp, Single Figure (Melissa), 2006
© Courtesy greengrassi, London

Silke Otto-Knapp
Born in Osnabrück in 1970, lives and works in London.
Selected exhibitions and projects | Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York (2006), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2006), Metro Pictures, New York (2006), Grazer Kunstverein (2006), Tate Britain, London (2005), Hayward Gallery, London (2005), 9th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (2005), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004), Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö (2003), Galerie Karin Günther, Hamburg (2002), Cubitt, London (1999)

Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne
Ioannis Christoforakos Collection, Athens
greengrassi, London
Sammlung Lang
Collection Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Private collection, London

Thanks to: