Toni Schmale: TANKE

Toni Schmale: TANKE

Kunstraum Dornbirn

February 22, 2024
Toni Schmale
TANKE
February 16–June 9, 2024
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Kunstraum Dornbirn
Jahngasse 9
6850 Dornbirn
Austria
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Ambivalences and transitions, transformations and contradictions determine Toni Schmale’s technical, highly sensuous artistic language. Themes of stereotypical gender ascriptions or constructions and social power relations and interactions resonate in a subtext that is revealed in, for instance, titles peppered with ironic humour. Schmale expands the concept of sculpture in a constantly advancing search for the nuances of material conditions and forms, in the obligatory examination of the resulting object’s utility and its critical function of social commentary.

At Kunstraum Dornbirn, the artist has installed an environment entitled TANKE, the central element of which is the petrol station referred to in the title. Reduced to its formal significance apparently dysfunctional and potentially out of place, TANKE allows moments of consternation and transformation to take immediate effect in an exciting interaction with the industrial architecture. Through the formal citation of a globally identifiable place that is an integral part of the everyday life of millions of people, Schmale succeeds in establishing a communal basis for all viewers. Weaving together the characteristics and the historical and socially-based narratives of the petrol station with the new works sucker #1 #2 and sucker #3, she fashions a fresh story. Inherent in this is a fictionalized moment, one that is not only played out through the fluid design but also seems to oscillate between the status of a ruin and a sign-post to the future.

Toni Schmale was born in Hamburg in 1980 and now lives and works in Vienna. From 2003 to 2009, she studied media art at Leipzig University of Graphics and Book Arts. In 2009 she transferred to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied performative art and performative sculpture. In 2011 she was the recipient of the Birgit Jürgenssen Prize and in, 2013 she obtained her diploma. In the same year she was awarded the Prize of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, and in 2017 she received the Msgr. Otto Mauer Prize, followed by a solo exhibition at the Vienna Secession, and the BALTIC Artists’ Award, also accompanied by an exhibition. Schmale’s work has been shown internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

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February 22, 2024

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