Alois Wienerroither and Eberhard Kohlbacher are opening their new branch in Palais Schönborn-Batthyány, a Baroque palace not far from the main gallery on Strauchgasse. They are marking the event with a solo exhibition of works by Günther Uecker, unique in Vienna. Wienerroither & Kohlbacher – which has also been represented for some time now in New York – is an internationally renowned gallery specialising in Classic Modernism. At the palace constructed by Fischer von Erlach the focus is on art from 1945 onwards, which is shown in temporary exhibitions. The historic, imperial ambience in the bel étage of Palais Schönborn-Batthyány combines with Uecker’s art to create a special and exciting dialogue and enables the presentation of large format works.
With Palais Schönborn-Batthyány, Wienerroither & Kohlbacher has established a new venue for national and international art with a programme that goes far beyond the gallery’s usual remit and also aims to attract international interest. The gallery owners consciously seek out cooperations with partners from Austria and abroad: “The art trade has to collaborate in order both to remain attractive and to be able to organise exhibitions on a larger scale,” say both gallery owners with total conviction. A cooperation with the renowned Beck & Eggeling gallery in Düsseldorf is already planned for the autumn. A major show by Zero artist Heinz Mack, who expressed much enthusiasm for the historic rooms, will be presented in collaboration with the artist himself.

Lenz Schönberg Collection

The exhibition is based around Uecker’s works from the Lenz Schönberg Collection, which is considered to be the most important collection of Zero art in existence. Anna and Gerhard Lenz have shown a selection of their extensive collection around the world with great dedication in the past twelve years. Since the 1992 Uecker exhibition at the mumok (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna) Vienna has been, as Gerhard Lenz puts it, “terra incognita”. Which makes the presentation of an extensive selection of works, compiled by the collection’s curator Dr. Ulrike Schmitt, all the more important. The works are supplemented with photographs by Anna Lenz, who, like many of the collection’s artists, supported Günther Uecker with his exhibitions and created documents of inestimable, historic value with her photos of the installation, symposia and trips with the artist.

Günther Uecker was born in 1930 in the north-German region of Mecklenburg; in 1961 he joined the avant-garde group Zero founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene, who wanted to employ their purist aesthetics to create a “zero hour” in art after the Second World War. Zero notwithstanding, Uecker has been one of Germany’s most important and influential artists for very many years. Since the 1960s, Uecker has used nails as his primary medium of design – a material that remains at the centre of his creative approach to this day. Uecker’s oeuvre as a whole, however, embraces a wide range of materials and media - from painting, objects, kinetic light works and installations to stage sets and film. In addition to purely formal works such as rotation, circles and sequences, Uecker’s work makes reference to political topics of our time, such as his impressive ash pictures, with which he reacted to the catastrophe at Chernobyl. In 2014/15, Uecker was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York together with Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and other Zero artists.

Silvie Aigner

  • Günther Uecker (Wendorf 1930) Verborgen 8 (Hidden)


Wednesday, 25 May 2016 - Friday, 19 August 2016

Palais Schönborn-Batthyany
Renngasse 4
1010 Vienna