UMJ Newsletter Aussendung.

The exhibition "Ridiculously Yours! Art, Awkwardness and Enthusiasm" flirts with the humor of disaster, bad taste and – of course with passion – and enthusiasm about art


One of the most important attitudes or feelings underlying modern and contemporary art is an enthusiastic silliness that does not shy away from the embarrassing, the unreasonably silly. The exhibition "Ridiculously Yours! Art, Awkwardness and Enthusiasm" includes works by around 100 artists from all over the world and spans an arc from earlier centuries of artistic creation to the immediate past. It can be seen at the Neue Galerie Graz and the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark in Austria.

The exhibition is divided into seven chapters, photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

In modernism since the 19th century in general and the classical avantgardes of the early 20th century in particular, a very specific dialectic is at work: on the one hand, bold innovations, radical negation, and aesthetic dogmas – but on the other hand, a certain kind of laughter that formed the basis for the creation of this exhibition project. It is a laughter that is fun and at the same time – without wanting to scandalize only – undermines all conservatism, bigotry, morality, and not least avant-garde dogmatisms. By opposing the use of culture to intimidate, to secure unearned privileges, this laughter shows how authority loses its grip, and how the pompous gesture and the image of the hero are invalidated.


"Around 100 artistic positions, more than 400 individual works with historical and contemporary viewpoints. This is an exhibition on a par with international art," says Peter Peer, the director of the Neue Galerie Graz.


"Ridiculously Yours! is the first large-scale exhibition on this scale in Graz in 15 years. The collaboration with the two curators as well as with the Neue Galerie Graz was really outstanding", says Sandro Droschl, the director of HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark.


"We thought from the beginning that it could also be an exhibition for Graz. The combination of the Neue Galerie Graz and the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark was the optimal solution," says curator Jörg Heiser.

Sandro and Helga Droschl (HALLE FÜR KUNST Styria), Peter Peer (Director Neue Galerie Graz), Josef Schrammel (Director of Finance Universalmuseum Joanneum), photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J.Kucek

The exhibition is divided into seven chapters


Coney Island: Here, as in an amusement park, things might be too big or too small, creating a circus-like welcome for the show. Leaning on the amusement park the scenographer Adrien Rovero has imagined a huge, candy-colored environment with oversized striped walls. Second chapter 

Origins, Dada: Amusement parks have always had strange cabinets of curiosities. Of course, this is not to be understood literally here – for included are works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder to Alfred Jarry to Elsa von Freytag-Lohringhoven, who, as a contemporary and companion of Marcel Duchamp. 

The Modern Museum: What we call ‘modern museum’ features works of Surrealism and other modern masterpieces, including some surprising mismatches – with works by the likes of Asger Jorn, Giorgio de Chirico, René Magritte, and James Ensor. 

Minimal Art/Conceptual Art: Minimal Art and Conceptual Art from the 1960s established an austere, dry aesthetics, dominated by white, grey, and black hues. And this is precisely where its deadpan humor resides. One can describe this chapter as a very cool White Cube, with moving walls and shifting, small objects by Robert Breer and Sigmar Polke, with portraits of cows by Jef Geys, or the found Sunday paintings wrapped in wool by Lara Favaretto. 

B-Movies: The eccentric American film director Ed Wood – "worst director of all time" – has been a great inspiration for this exhibition project. For Ridiculously Yours! Wood effectively functioned as a kind of working tool, implying questions about good and bad taste.

Camp: The notion of enthusiastic awkwardness has a lot of overlap with, though is not identical to, notions of camp – the aesthetic sensibility celebrating cheesiness and ‘bad taste’, which is closely associated with queer culture. 

Post-Surrealism/Post-Internet: This chapter introduces us to a contemporary world in which social media craziness, weird glitches, and contemporary digital pastiche encircle the absurdities of contemporary politics and capitalism, playing out like a TikTok nightmare.

The curatorial team of the exhibition Jörg Heiser and Cristina Ricupero in the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

About 400 artworks from more than 100 artists


Thematic sections feature works by numerous important artists – from Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia, René Magritte, Giorgio de Chirico and Sturtevant, Alfred Jarry, Sigmar Polke, Maria Lassnig and Robert Breer to contemporary positions such as Paul McCarthy, Nicole Eisenman, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Isa Genzken, Pauline Curnier-Jardin, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Cosima von Bonin, Jakob Lena Knebl, Henrike Naumann, Ashley Hans Scheirl, Jeffrey Vallance or Ming Wong.

The exhibition "Ridiculously Yours! Art, Awkwardness and Enthusiasm" includes works by around 100 artists from all over the world and spans an arc from earlier centuries of artistic creation to the immediate past, photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J.Kucek

In additionally to numerous loans from European and US American museums and collections, works from the collections of the Universalmuseum Joanneum in Graz are presented, including for example works by Rembrandt van Rijn from the Alte Galerie or by Josef Danhauser, Jiri Kovanda, and Martin Kippenberger from the Neue Galerie Graz.


An exhibition of Neue Galerie Graz and HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark in Austria in Cooperation with Bundeskunsthalle Bonn and Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Sammlung Falckenberg Germany.


Initiated and conceived by Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser.






Ridiculously Yours!

Art, Awkwardness and Enthusiasm
Duration: 13.10.2023–25.02.2024


The exhibition will be held in two locations:


HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Burgring 2, 8010 Graz, Styria, Austria 

Neue Galerie Graz, Joanneumsviertel, 8010 Graz, Styria, Austria



Images for download can be found under the following link: Ridiculously Yours!





We look forward to your reporting and are happy to answer any questions you may have!



Best regards


Daniela Teuschler

Stephanie Liebmann

Eva Sappl