Michaela Frühwirth’s large-format drawings start out from specific places. The drawing process is preceded by intensive research on the context and history of each place and by photographic documentation on site. The resulting drawings are far more than a mere representation of the place under investigation: the frequently long drawn-out process in which her own “places” made of graphite and on paper take shape reflects on one hand the genesis of the material of graphite – a natural phenotype of carbon – and simultaneously enables an in-depth grasp of the circumstances and conditions of the place.
In the exhibition earthward in the tresor of the Bank Austria Kunstforum Michaela Frühwirth turns her attention to the last active graphite mine in Austria, in Kaisersberg (Styria), and to the entrance to the cave of Chauvet in the South of France, which harbours (pictorial) evidence of human life from the Upper Palaeolithic era. The Kaisersberg graphite mine alludes to the transformative processes of geology and the cultural technique of mining, the cave of Chauvet the act of image making. Graphite has been used for centuries as technical material and dye, and the reference to its source lets it act simultaneously as (artistic) material and medium. This complex reference system is augmented through so-called “footnotes”, which accompany the drawings in the form of photographs and videos.
Michaela Frühwirth, born in 1972 in Vienna, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Arnulf Rainer and the The Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York. From 2006 to 2007 a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Lecturer in visual arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam since 2008. Lives and works in Amsterdam.
Curator: Veronika Rudorfer
Opening: Wednesday, 25 April 2018, 7 pm
With friendly support of Mondriaan Fonds.