October 2, 2012 - Neue Galerie Graz – Universalmuseum Joanneum - Romanticism and Early Modernism
October 2, 2012

Romanticism and Early Modernism

Left: Günter Brus, Gardens in the Exosphere. Poems and Picture-Poems by Günther Brus, 2012, BRUSEUM/Neue Galerie Graz, Photo: UMJ. Right: Friedrich von Amerling, Portrait of Countess Julie von Woyna, 1832, Photo: N. Lackner/UMJ.

Romanticism and Early Modernism
Works from the 19th and early 20th Century
Permanent Exhibition

Gardens in the Exosphere
Poems and Picture-Poems by Günter Brus
October 6, 2012–February 3, 2013

Opening: October 5, 7pm

Neue Galerie Graz, Bruseum
Universalmuseum Joanneum
8010 Graz, Austria

T +43-699/1780-9500
joanneumsviertel [​at​] museum-joanneum.at


Romanticism and Early Modernism
Works from the 19th and early 20th Century

Through its exhibition and collection activities the Neue Galerie Graz has accompanied and documented the development of the most varied contemporary artistic trends since the 1960s. In addition there is a segment of art from the 19th and early 20th century, the cornerstone of which was laid with the foundation of the Joanneum, and which has also been regularly extended over the years.

The Neue Galerie Collection developed as a result a variety of artistic directions and media, ranging from historical to contemporary, from local to international positions. Artistic currents represented are Biedermeier, Jugendstil, (regional) forms of Expressionism and Classical Modernism, positions of Austrian and international painting after 1945 (including the so-called “trigon” countries), Viennese Actionism, Media and Concept Art etc., in such varied media as painting, graphics, sculpture, photography, video and installation works.

The first part of the permanent exhibition of the Neue Galerie Graz provides an overview of art from the 19th Century until into the interwar period, with a focus on works by Austrian and especially Styrian artists. In the process development trends, tendencies and single outstanding positions are presented in a loose chronology. Thereby the exhibition outlines on the one hand the main features of a native art topography, whose vertices also follow the international art scene of that time, and on the other hand reflects the multifaceted profile of the collection itself.

This variety is to be conveyed to the public as part of a permanent yet at the same time flexibly conceived exhibition collection in the Joanneum Quarter. This means that individual parts of the exhibition are exchanged or renewed at regular intervals. This ensures the widest possible overview of the collection assets over several years, and, moreover, a so-called “permanent exhibition” becomes more attractive by continuous change.

Curator: Peter Peer

Gardens in the Exosphere
Poems and Picture-Poems by Günter Brus

This exhibition in the BRUSEUM sheds light for the first time on the literary aspects in Günter Brus’ highly varied work. Not only has the artist lifted the borders between literature and fine art with his picture-poems, he has also been active as a writer for more than 40 years. Besides numerous contributions to magazines and columns, several novels and collected writings have been published since 1984. The purchase of the literary estate from Günter Brus in 2009 has enriched the BRUSEUM by an important asset. Not only are the origins of Brus’ literary work conveyed here, but also numerous sketches, drawings and notes document the genesis of individual picture-poems and his biographical and artistic development.

As in his Actionist works and picture-poems, Günter Brus frequently bursts the limits of the genre and norms in his literary work, too. Above all, the literary principle of “continuous writing” is characteristic of Brus: (in)homogenous body texts flow together without chapters that structure them or a beginning and end. Instructions in direct speech, dialogues, quotes and biographical observations alternate with each other, while new word creations, puns and spoonerisms provide continual linguistic wit and irony.

The literary estate, consisting of over 700 notebooks, work manuscripts and designs with more than 20,000 written pages, serves as the starting point for an exhibition that follows the traces of the linguistic artist Günther Brus. Numerous picture-poems from every decade of his work illustrate the close relationship between his drawings and writings, showing how Brus’ pictorial thinking shapes the language of his literature.

Curator: Roman Grabner 

Neue Galerie Graz – Universalmuseum Joanneum
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