Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality

Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality

Kunsthalle Wien

Frederick Kiesler, window display, SAKS Fifth Avenue, 1927/28. Photographer unknown.

May 20, 2015

Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality
27 May–23 August, 2015

Opening: 26 May 2015, 7pm

Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz
Treitlstrasse 2
1040 Vienna
Hours: Friday–Wednesday 10am–7pm,
Thursday 10am–9pm
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“Function follows vision, vision follows reality” was one of Frederick Kiesler’s guiding principles. The exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, developed in cooperation with the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation, focuses on Kiesler’s reflections on the subject of display. His innovative exhibition designs from the 1940s, including Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century in New York, questioned fundamental aspects of exhibiting art and remain relevant for contemporary artists to this day.

Accordingly, Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality places Kiesler’s interest in innovative forms and methods of presentation of art at the centre of its conception. Ideas of the visionary designer are taken up and translated into the present; works by contemporary artists correspond with illustrations, texts and photos from Kiesler’s legendary displays.

Francesco Pedraglio, for example, transforms Kiesler’s writings on window displays into an abstract dialogue, which is presented as an audio piece. Annette Kelm’s still life photography meets the still lifes of garments arranged by Kiesler for the window display of the SAKS Fifth Avenue department store in New York in 1927/28. Leonor Antunes’s film String Travel picks up on a theme from an avant-garde film by Maya Deren, which she shot on location at the Art of This Century exhibition in the 1940s. Notations by the composer Morton Feldman, a close friend of Kiesler, resemble minimalist drawings, but are actually instructions for the performance of pieces of music—just as Kiesler’s abstract drawings are proposals for the activation of the viewer within the exhibition space. Other artists take Kiesler’s idea that “colours and forms are the easiest, cheapest, quickest way of transforming a space in accordance with a vision” and respond with interventions that counteract the idea of a neutrally designed exhibition space. Colours, forms and materials come together in an insinuation that is both intuitively reasoned, while simultaneously also providing a sensual experience of Kiesler’s main motives and design principles.

Artists: Frederick Kiesler with Leonor Antunes, Olga Balema, Céline Condorelli, Morton Feldman, Annette Kelm, Charlotte Moth, Francesco Pedraglio, Luca Trevisani, Nicole Wermers

Curators: Luca Lo Pinto, Vanessa Joan Müller

Lecture: Fabrizio Gallanti on “Pantographic experience. The conundrum of the architectural display”
June 17, 7pm

Katharina Murschetz: T +43 (0) 1 5 21 89 1221 / katharina.murschetz [​at​]  Stefanie Obermeir: T +43 (0) 1 5 21 89 1224 / presse [​at​]


Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality at Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz
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May 20, 2015

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