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This is Martha Jungwirth’s first show with Gallery Cinzia Fr iedlaender\, Berlin.
The painter\, who received the Austrian Decoratio n for Science and Art in 2012\, has
consciously managed to evade categ orization throughout the course of her career\, which
spans almost hal f a century. The works on view in this show were created between the lateNineteen-Eighties and the early Nineties\, and represent her use of an abstract figurative
style at a specific point of time in her oeuvre.The works on view in the gallery are painted in oil on cardboard or han d-made Indian
paper mounted on canvas. Jungwirth chooses materials tha t expose the accumulated patina
of their previous usage and which reac t to the paint differently than a canvas. The
paintings pertain to a s pecific tradition that places itself – knowingly and\, perhaps\,
defia ntly – in the murky waters between abstraction and figuration. Here\, compo sitions as
well as the different ways in which the paint is applied to the surfaces\, both hold a
dual significance as ends in themselves bu t also as carriers of meaning\, or mediums of
representation. They als o relate to the artist’s interest in the mirroring of a process.
Gestu res captured on the painted surface speak of the corporeal presence of the artist
but also of one’s struggles (physical at times) with the possib ility of giving aesthetic
form to immaterial substance\, transitional mental states\, observations\, yearnings and all
things not easily exp ressed with words.
In 1968 Jungwirth formed\, together with fellow Aus trian artists Franz Ringel\, Peter
Pongratz\, Wolfgang Herzig\, Robert Zeppel-Sperl and Kurt Kocherscheidt\, the group
Wirklichkeiten (Reali ties). She was the only female artist in the group. The movement
forme d around the notion of negating the two leading artistic strands dominating the
Vienna art scene at the time: Art informel and the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.
Their claim was for a more socially relevant art \, which leaned toward realism and was
often peppered with satire and social criticism. Stylistically\, however\, there was no
artistic conc ept that united the six members of the group\, and the formal ties that
united their work were rather loose. Even during her involvement with the Wirklichkeiten\,
Jungwirth’s paintings have already oscillated betwee n abstraction and concrete
representation and\, in the Nineteen-Eighti es\, her work became increasingly abstract as
her approach to painting as a medium focused on formal aspects of the practice over
theoretica l or thematic ideas.
Though inherent to her work\, the figurations in Jungwirth’s paintings can sometimes only
be discerned in relation to t itles like “Selbstportrait” (Self-portrait\, 1987). But the
paintings do not lend themselves to finite readings\, and oftentimes the titles confu se
rather than suggest a possible interpretation. Nevertheless\, appro ached without any
attempts at deciphering\, as the title of the show m ay encourage the viewer to do with its
promise to be “devoid of pedago gical value”\, a more intimate and disarmed engagement with
the works might materialize.
Works from the same period were recently on view in the show “Martha Jungwirth\, Albert
Oehlen\, Matthias Schaufler” at G alerie Hammerlehle und Ahrens\, Cologne 2012\, which
highlighted the f ormal links between the three artists\, belonging to three different
g enerations. Jungwirth’s works were also included in the recent show “SCHÖNE S
KLOSTERNEUBURG”\, 2010\, which featured a new hanging by Albert Oehl en of works from the
Essl collection.
Text: Hili Perlson

DTEND:20130727 DTSTAMP:20140920T000835 DTSTART:20130412 GEO:52.5002826;13.3635467 LOCATION:Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender\,Potsdamer Straße 105 \nBerlin\, 10785 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Pädagogisch wertlos\, Martha Jungwirth UID:269341 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130412T213000 DTSTAMP:20140920T000835 DTSTART:20130412T190000 GEO:52.5002826;13.3635467 LOCATION:Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender\,Potsdamer Straße 105 \nBerlin\, 10785 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Pädagogisch wertlos\, Martha Jungwirth UID:269342 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR