Hreinn Fridfinnsson & Bruce McLean, and Tamara Henderson

Hreinn Fridfinnsson & Bruce McLean, and Tamara Henderson

Grazer Kunstverein

Bruce McLean, Lapel Work, 1973. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin.

May 28, 2014

Hreinn Fridfinnsson & Bruce McLean
The Members Library presents Tamara Henderson

6 June–3 August 2014

Press preview: 5 June, 10.30–11.30h
Opening: 5 June, 18–22h, 
including a performance by Jennifer Tee and our annual Summer Party

Grazer Kunstverein
Palais Trauttmansdorff
Burggasse 4
8010 Graz
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11–18h

T +43 (0) 316 83 41 41
F +43 (0) 316 83 41 42
office [​at​]

The Grazer Kunstverein’s ongoing exploration into notions of social abstraction has been slowly shifting towards the often-direct relationships between artists and their surroundings. Both emotional as well as intellectual, these relationships frequently result in abstract translations that still keep ‘the social’ as their core point of interest.   

Hreinn Fridfinnsson & Bruce McLean
Hreinn Fridfinnsson (b. 1943, Iceland) and Bruce McLean (b. 1944, Great Britain) are pioneer artists from the same generation who, to this day, have never met. Juxtaposed to each another, these artists explore, each in their own way, their psychical presence and relationship towards artistic production and representation. 

In the mid-1970s, the Icelandic artist Hreinn Fridfinnsson placed an advert in a Dutch art magazine asking people to send him their secrets. By posing as a collector of secrets, the artist would, he thought, allay suspicions that he had any ulterior motive in using or revealing privileged information that might come his way. The secret, Fridfinnsson may be telling us, is that there isn’t one. His art, on the other hand, is an invitation to imagine that there might be. The artist’s work is known for its lyricism and subtle poetry that transcends the often-commonplace subjects and materials that the artist uses to create his pieces. He often presents found objects with which he interferes as little as possible, creating new works that investigate ideas of ‘the self’ and of ‘time.’ Fridfinnsson is a natural storyteller. Most of his works often beg for a narrative, or the fabrication of a story. 

On invitation to exhibit at the Tate Gallery in 1972, Bruce McLean decided to organize a one-day retrospective titled King for a Day, after which he would retire from the art world. Despite a distanced and often cynical approach towards the professionalized art industry, he seems to be more active then ever.
McLean’s early research into notions of sculpture gave him the reputation of ‘master at mockery,’ questioning the production and representation of ‘the artist’ as well as ‘the work’ itself. It was with his performative works that he first grabbed the attention of the art world. Full of wit and humour, McLean critiqued the fashion-oriented, social climbing nature of the contemporary art world in the ’70s. At a later stage, the prop and painter-like aspects of some of the early performative works developed into theatre pieces and, most recently, into paintings. 

Playing with these notions of ‘presence’ and ‘absence,’ the Grazer Kunstverein presents a key selection of works that provoke and enhance the conceptual realm both artists seem to occupy.  

The Members Library* presents
Tamara Henderson: Tapped Out and Spiraling in Stride
Tamara Henderson’s practice derives from a unique methodology wherein her works become reconstructions of the unconscious. The basis of her texts, books, drawings, prints, films, furniture and paintings is the meticulous documentation of her dreams and impressions during hypnosis, which are translated into words and forms in those various media. The starting point is the artist’s everyday environment: her studio, her apartment, the furniture, the bed. At these production sites she develops layouts for her works that are captured as after-images of dreamed objects and occurrences in the moment of awakening or hypnosis. As a result, everyday objects are peculiarly alienated, taking the viewer into something like a parallel universe where the presence of the artist is more felt then witnessed. Her books read like dream diaries but also serve as screenplays for the films, in which animated objects take part in an orchestrated peaceful chaos. The exhibition shows all the books Henderson produced up until today, combined with films and furniture in order to make the thematic interlacing of the works more visible.

*The Members Library is constructed and designed by artist Céline Condorelli in collaboration with Harry Thaler as a permanent work titled Things That Go Without Saying. 

On display continuously 

The Peacock
1 February 2013–
A non-stop group show examining the interior of the Grazer Kunstverein by introducing (new) furniture, design, applied and decorative arts that analyze their own functionality. Each year The Peacock will have a specific narrator, who will provide a structural narrative to the works on display. Artist and writer Angie Keefer is invited to shape the storyline for 2014.

On display
6 June–3 August
Nina Beier, Jason Dodge*, Mateo Lopez*, Nicolás Paris*, Dexter Sinister, Will Stuart, Jennifer Tee*, Barbara Visser
*New additions

Ian Wilson
1 February 2013–

Please check our website for regular updates on our program. For further information, please contact office [​at​]

With love and sincerity, 
Grazer Kunstverein

Grazer Kunstverein is structurally supported by the city of Graz, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, the province of Styria, Legero | and its members. 


Grazer Kunstverein presents Hreinn Fridfinnsson & Bruce McLean, and Tamara Henderson
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May 28, 2014

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