Kerstin Engholm Gallery, Vienna: Eva Grubinger

Eva Grubinger

Exhibition: 18/11/2011 – 10/01/2012

In the exhibition of Eva Grubinger a pale and its marking tell us about very dark and silent water. An oversized metall ring indicates the mainland, the familiar terrain. It promises it to the visitor, without fulfilling it, as the ring is in sight- , but not in operating distance. Three huge, glossy, glittering fishhooks are placed in the middle of the exhibition space. Their seductive surface of bright green, blue and red and sparkling copper red, silver and gold draws the attention of the spectator on them – exactly in the way they are supposed to do so.

Their bodies consist of geometric forms – cylinder, sphere and cone – that line up like pearls on a string. If there weren’t those murderous, sharp hooks that refer directly to reality, we could read those objects solely in a sculptural tradition that refers to geometric and reduced forms. One could think that Eva Grubinger is developing within this installation a kind of “minimal realism” that is combining reduction, clearness and seriality with realistic imaging and a narrative moment.

This contrariety is also visible in the “materialistical” differences of the various sculptural objects. The profane, natural grown wooden pale that is painted with bitumen and the matte black ring are standing in a huge contrast to the constructed copper- , silver- and goldplated surfaces of the large fishhooks. Noble metals that increase not at least since the last years demands in every form, try here as well to allure their spectator. The ambivalence between demanding and the natural malignity of those decoys create an uneasiness that can not be solved through a catharsis.

Abysmally and ambiguous contraries can also be found in the symbolic of the metal inlaid works and the collages of Eva Grubinger. The references for them are nautical signs that are used to make the water traffic safe and secure. Eva Grubinger is transforming those into pictograms that are made out of highly polished stainless steal and lacquered aluminium. In the same way the collages are built out of different layers. May those signs be very precisely used for shipping, the works of Eva Grubinger can be read in various ways. The plain, perfect surfaces of the metal inlaid works function similar to the surface of the sculptures. The signs that are made out of geometric forms as well indicate complications and dangers and forbid access to those. However they do not tell of which type those are and therefore their attraction comes out of their prohibition and mysteriousness.

Eva Grubinger (*1970 in Salzburg) has been professor of sculpture-transmedial space at Kunstuniversität Linz. Solo shows e.g. at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead UK (2003), Berlinische Galerie (2004), Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2007), Museum der Moderne in Salzburg (2009) and Landesgalerie Oberösterreich (2011); group shows e.g. at Krannert Art Museum, Illinois (2009), Taipei Fine Art Museum (2008), Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2002).

Kerstin Engholm Gallery
Schleifmühlgasse 3,
A-1040 Vienna

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