Hans Kupelwieser

Postmedial Sculptures

08.05.-20.06.2004 10:00-18:00

Opening: Friday, May 7th 2004, 7 pm
Curated by: Christa Steinle

Finissage: Sunday, June 20th 2004
Guided Tour 7 pm, Concert 8 pm

Organisation: Karin Buol-Wischenau

Contemporary sculpture in a broader field (Rosalind Krauss) is characterized by the transcending of borders in both operational and material areas. Hans Kupelwieser (b.1948, Linz, Lower Austria) has worked in the latter area since completing his studies with Bazon Brock and Peter Weibel (1976-82) at the College of Apllied Arts in Vienna. He includes new materials, not only within the field of experimentation, as in arte povera, but with an almost linguistic expression that brings new meaning to the materials. A flat rubber or solid steel sculpture provides a screen upon which letters are punched as blank characters, displaying quotations of well-known philosophers, thereby conveying a new function.
This combination of the extended use of materials and operation between form and function is the field of analysis in which Hans Kupelwieser moves. The materials he uses, such as aluminium, occasionally lead to reflection of historical perspectives (see Andy Warhol to Walter Pichler), as seen in the perforated sculptures displayed at the notable "New Ways of Displaying Plastic" exhibition in 1982, at Neue Galerie, Graz, or in his current pneumatic sculptures, one of them now being permanently located in the Austrian Sculpture Park near Graz.


It concerns however, not malleable PVC sheeting, but aluminium. This material simulates a function that in reality does not exist. Material and functional illusions form their own thread in the complex fabric of the contemporary sculpture that Kupelwieser continues to develop, in which ultimately the sculptures are elevated, making them accessible. One such sculpture, in the baroque inner courtyard of the Neue Galerie, is intended to form the prologue to this large single exhibition based on his 1994/95 presentation in MAK, Vienna, which will display an overview of his latest creative period with some reference works from earlier periods.


His photographic work stands on an equal footing with and in close relation to his sculptures. They are indexed illustrations of the subjects, refer to the subjects and address the fundamental question: How do the subjects become images? Thus a classic issue of painting is resolved by Kupelwieser, not through painting itself, rather medially and sculpturally. Such large-format photograms as traces of things and furniture can be perceived sculpturally as well as photographically, or enter into the actual design of things, like his furniture sculptures (sofa, chair, table…), that can also comprise indexed photograms (of potatoes, rice, spaghetti), whereby the division into positive and negative themes plays a major role in his entire creation.


In this way, Hans Krupelwieser succeeds in creating a third independent position between Erwin Wurm and Franz West in contemporary Austrian sculpture, which makes a clean break from the period of abstraction and represents a substantial further development in post-modern sculptural concepts.


A catalogue for the exhibition is published by Hatje Cantz, with texts by Kerstin Braun, Rainer Metzger, Rolf Sachsse, Christa Steinle, Peter Weibel and Manfred Wolff-Plottegg. 


Neue Galerie Graz

8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9100


Opening Hours

Tues-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

On October 10th and 11th, 2023, the Neue Galerie Graz will be closed due to renovation works. The studio exhibition (Ebru Kurbak), the exhibitione in the foyer (Alek Kawka), and the Natural History Museum (Walter Köstenbauer) will still be open for visitors.

Guided tours: 
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Guided tours on advance notice

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