November 13, 2018 - Secession - Ed Ruscha: Double Americanisms / Philipp Timischl: Artworks For All Age Groups / Kris Lemsalu: Keys Open Doors
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November 13, 2018

Secession

Ed Ruscha, Nobody Denied Nothing, 2018. Acrylic on vellum. © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

Ed Ruscha: Double Americanisms
Philipp Timischl: Artworks For All Age Groups
Kris Lemsalu: Keys Open Doors
November 16, 2018–January 20, 2019

Press conference: November 15, 11am
Exhibition talk: November 15, 6pm, Ed Ruscha in conversation with Kasper König
Opening: November 15, 7pm

Secession
Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna
Austria
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–6pm

T +43 1 587530710
F +43 1 587530734
presse@secession.at

www.secession.at
Facebook / Instagram

Ed Ruscha: Double Americanisms
Philipp Timischl: Artworks For All Age Groups
Kris Lemsalu: Keys Open Doors
November 16, 2018–January 20, 2019

Press conference: November 15, 11am
Exhibition talk: November 15, 6pm, Ed Ruscha in conversation with Kasper König
Opening: November 15, 7pm

Secession
Friedrichstraße 12
1010 Vienna
Austria
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–6pm

T +43 1 587530710
F +43 1 587530734
presse@secession.at

www.secession.at
Facebook / Instagram

Ed Ruscha
Double Americanisms

In more than 60 years, Ed Ruscha has built an oeuvre encompassing conceptual photographs, paintings, drawings, artist’s books, prints, and films that chronicle the development of the American West and of Los Angeles in particular in a singular artistic idiom. Widely acclaimed as a sober-minded and dispassionate witness and historian, outspoken and enigmatic at once, Ruscha is gifted with a keen sense for linguistic humor and the comedy of everyday life. The conception of his most recent exhibition reveals him to be not only an alert observer, but also a master of the well-placed allusion and spellbinding and witty storyteller. Although the majority of works on view will be recent, Double Americanisms undertakes an unexpected revision of his own oeuvre.

Language, in the form of texts or single words, entered Ruscha’s visual art early on; since the 1960s, his paintings have unfolded an increasingly complex interplay between image and text. His show at the Secession marks the public debut of a new series of linguistic paintings informed by his memories of Oklahoma City, where he spent his teenage years, and the city’s distinctive slang: used parchment drumheads are inscribed with locutions whose shared feature is the use of a double negation.

For a conceptual revision of a series of paintings created between 1985 and 2017, Ruscha branched out into digital image editing. His trademark concision and dry humor are on display in Double Americanisms, which responds to the current state of American affairs with the suggestion that history’s arc is long and the present is transient. In some respects, the series echoes Course of Empire, an ensemble spotlighting changes in Los Angeles’s urban landscape over the years that was presented in the American pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2005. Those works in turn harked back to the nineteenth-century British-American landscape painter Thomas Cole’s sequence The Course of Empire, which traced the rise and fall of an exemplary civilization.

Ed Ruscha, born in 1937 in Omaha (Nebraska), lives and works in Los Angeles.

Philipp Timischl
Artworks For All Age Groups

Philipp Timischl’s expansive multimedia installations often combine personal notes from the buzz of everyday life with found and self-produced materials to build narrative structures. Balancing between documentation and fiction, between the private and public spheres, they play with intimacy and self-reference. Major themes in Timischl’s art include the lasting influence of our roots, exclusion, and queerness in relation to social classes as well as the power dynamics between art, artist, and audience.

Artworks For All Age Groups, the installation Timischl has created for his show at the Secession, incorporates photographs, collages and sculptures. The central photographic series shows a conspicuously glamorous female figure; it is the artist himself in drag. Accompanied by a muscular young man, she enjoys the privilege of a private stroll through the Secession’s deserted galleries, secret corridors, and offices. Yet her appearance and bearing suggest a misconception of what is normally considered appropriate in this setting. Timischl relies on an exaggerated impersonation of heteronormativity, humor, and artificiality to spotlight forms of social difference and the feeling of being torn between milieus. Carefully orchestrated echoes of the aesthetic qualities of fashion photography and a fictional documentary add to the surprising complexity of his investigation of subtle distinctions.

Philipp Timischl, born in Graz in 1989, lives and works in Vienna.

Kris Lemsalu
Keys Open Doors

The Estonian artist Kris Lemsalu creates sculptures, installations, and performances that fuse the animal kingdom with humankind, nature with the artificial, beauty with repulsion, lightness with gravity, life with death. She combines animal bodies and porcelain objects with found (natural) materials such as furs, leather, seashells, wool, or paper in theatrical installations that whisk us off into a world of the fantastic imagination. Endeavoring to erase any distance between herself and her objects, the artist also uses her installations as stages for performance pieces in which her sculptures become an integral part of her attire.

Her works quote ancient myths and rituals from different cultures. In her exhibition Keys Open Doors in the Grafisches Kabinett, she positions two guardian figures that vaguely recall Sumo wrestlers on both sides of the window, which may serve as a door to another world. The fabulous creatures are both faceless bodies and disembodied faces, stewards and custodians; the keys resting in their hands, they bear responsibility and hold the power.

Kris Lemsalu, born in 1985, lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia, and Vienna.

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