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]a[ Paintings Gallery
Opening | 23.05.2017, 7.00 p.m.
Duration | 24.05.2017 - 16.07.2017
Venue | Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Main Building , Schillerplatz 3, 1st floor, 1010 Vienna, Paintings Gallery

The new exhibition series explores correspondences between Bosch’s altarpiece The Last Judgment Triptych, the heart of the Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and works by a range of artists. The new exhibition series opens with the flamboyant Dadaist birds by Dutch artist Sjon Brands. His birds are absurd creatures of metal, radio valves, ostrich feathers, ladles and matchboxes, and seem to have fluttered here directly from Hieronymus Bosch’s surreal landscapes of bizarre curiosities.

 

Sjon Brands, Waterraaf, Detail, 2009, Skulptur © Sjon Brands 2009/2013

 

The Last Judgment Triptych by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450/55 – 1516) is the heart of the Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. This altarpiece, with many aspects that are still puzzling today, is among the world’s most important art works from the period around 1500. For visitors, Bosch’s altarpiece is indisputably the gallery’s main attraction.

Hieronymus Bosch, Weltgerichtstriptychon, Detail aus dem Höllenflügel, um 1490 – um 1505, Öltempera auf Eichenholz © Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien Hieronymus Bosch, Weltgerichtstriptychon, Detail aus dem Höllenflügel, um 1490 – um 1505, Öltempera auf Eichenholz © Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien 

Our new exhibition series explores correspondences between Bosch’s altarpiece and works by a range of artists. With different artists’ works shown in regular intervals in a dialogue with the Last Judgment, they reveal surprising connections between the different media and works, offering a variety of perspectives on Bosch’s painting. Whether the works on show are paintings, graphic works, sculptures, video works or photographs, the dialogue created allows visitors to constantly discover new facets of Bosch’s masterpiece.

Sjon Brands, Domphoorn, 2010, Skulptur (Stahl, Nickel, Porzellan, Karton, Papier ) © Sjon Brands 2010/2013 Sjon Brands, Domphoorn, 2010, Skulptur (Stahl, Nickel, Porzellan, Karton, Papier ) © Sjon Brands 2010/2013 

The new exhibition series opens with the flamboyant Dadaist birds by Dutch artist Sjon Brands. His birds are absurd creatures of metal, radio valves, ostrich feathers, ladles and matchboxes, and seem to have fluttered here directly from Hieronymus Bosch’s surreal landscapes of bizarre curiosities. They present a rich mix of caricatures of our lives, a joyful collection of human characteristics and weaknesses – those which rather complicate life and yet also, precisely for that reason, make it worth living.

Hieronymus Bosch, Weltgerichtstriptychon, Detail aus der Mitteltafel, um 1490 – um 1505, Öltempera auf Eichenholz © Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien Hieronymus Bosch, Weltgerichtstriptychon, Detail aus der Mitteltafel, um 1490 – um 1505, Öltempera auf Eichenholz © Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien 

In 1986, Sjon Brands founded the ‘Theatre of Lost Time’ together with Dorith van der Lee. Performing at various theatre and arts festivals, they set a clear focus on literature and poetry in the Netherlands and Flanders, and in Afrikaans from 1880 to the present.

For some years now, Sjon Brands has been creating these fantasy birds and airships from ordinary and found objects. In 2016, with Dorith van der Lee and others, Brands joined the Bosch y Bosco tour from ’s-Hertogenbosch to Madrid, following a route possible taken by Bosch’s major work, the Garden of Earthly Delights, 500 years ago. The programme at venues in Tilburg, Breda, Brussels and Antwerp included exhibitions of Brands’ works together with readings, lectures and concerts.

Sjon Brands, Regenfluiter, 2010, Skulptur (Eisen, Kupfer, Messing, Zink, Aluminium, Glas, Holz, Gummi, Leinen, Baumwolle, Federn) © Sjon Brands 2011/2013 Sjon Brands, Regenfluiter, 2010, Skulptur (Eisen, Kupfer, Messing, Zink, Aluminium, Glas, Holz, Gummi, Leinen, Baumwolle, Federn) © Sjon Brands 2011/2013 

Now, after the successful exhibitions in Bosch’s birthplace of ’s-Hertogenbosch and in Madrid, Sjon Brands’ lyrical bird creatures are shown for the first time in Vienna and Austria. Brands has selected eight sculptures closely related to Bosch’s Last Judgment Triptych, producing fascinating correspondences.

In Bosch’s work, even in Paradise, evil is visibly present. He depicts the torments of hell in drastic variations, detailing elaborate punishments for the seven Deadly Sins. In contrast, Sjon Brands shows that not everything is hell and damnation. Instead, his bird creatures only point to human imperfections with a tongue-in-cheek humour.

Sjon Brands, Porträt © Sjon Brands Sjon Brands, Porträt © Sjon Brands 

Sjon Brands
Born in 1948 in Tilburg, Holland
Studied mechanical engineering in Eindhoven, social history in Tilburg, and ‘movement theatre’ in Antwerp, Belgium
Worked in various jobs: North Sea fisherman, taxi driver, history teacher, barkeeper in Spain, actor in Belgium, social worker, theatre director
Inspired by his travels and poetry, he created his own artistic and poetic world
In 1986, founded the ‘Theatre of Lost Time’ together with Dorith van der Lee dedicated to visual theatre and poetry, focusing on literature and poetry in the Netherlands and Flanders, and in Afrikaans from 1880 to the present
Performances at theatre and arts festivals in Holland, Belgium and South Africa
Since 2000, concentrated on the visual arts, producing sculptures from ordinary and found objects: birds, airships and readymades
2016 toured with Bosch y Bosco from Tilburg to Madrid to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch; various exhibitions
www.sjonbrands.nl


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