The Marked Self

Between Annihilation and Masquerade

03.07.-04.10.2015 10:00-17:00

Opening: 02.07.2015, 7 pm
Curated by: Roman Grabner

While formerly the portrait, above all the self-portrait, was a self-confident expression of artistic supremacy and individuality, e. g. in the Renaissance era, in the late 20th century it had become the expression of increasing insecurity. In our restlessly accelerating, over-commercialised world, in which the individual’s significance is on constant decline, certainties break apart and identities crumble away. As a compressed image of the humanum, the face shows the outer view of the ‘exhausted self’ (Alain Ehrenberg), which is marked by fears, constraints and paralysing feelings of exhaustion and inadequacy. What does it mean then when artists break up and distort the physiognomy of their faces, releasing the view of what is behind and underneath, depicting themselves in a deformed state and in sinister mutations? Is the concern in these works only with a subjective depiction of the individual or with a representation of our time, too? The ‘marked self’ tells not only of the medium of its depiction, but also of the burdens of the present, which leave their traces behind in the face.


Participating artists: GIOM / Guillaume Bruère, Günter Brus, Maria Lassnig, Thomas Palme, Mike Parr, Max Peintner, Walter Pichler, Chloe Piene, TOMAK, Nicola Tyson, Paloma Varga Weisz, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra


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: 
Please visit our calendar.
Guided tours on advance notice

Library Opening Hours
Open by prior appointment:
+43-699/1334-6801 or




10th/11th October 2023
24th/25th December 2023