Bruno Gironcoli (born 1936 in Villach; died 2010 in Vienna) is one of the most idiosyncratic artists of the twentieth century. He gained public recognition with the large-scale sculptures he began exhibiting in the mid-1980s, in which archetypes and trivial elements meld to form futuristic conglomerates. Yet his career started much earlier, in the 1960s, when Gironcoli, aware of international trends in art, developed his own radical and independent perspective. It is less well known that alongside his work in sculpture, Gironcoli also produced an extensive body of graphic works. Right from the beginning, these often large-format pieces, which became more and more painterly over the years, were not just mere sketches for sculptures. Working on paper, the Austrian artist instead took his own spatial ideas into dimensions that by far transcend any concrete work on physical materials. On paper, Gironcoli animates his own sculptural work: Divorced from real sizes and dimensions, as well as from the laws of physics and the limits of bodies, his schematic figures, animals, symbols, and apparatuses enter into hypothetical connections. They merge to form fantastic and surreal constellations and scenes. Gironcoli’s works on paper are literally “surfaces of considerations” (Gironcoli), in which sculptural options unfeasible in space are played out. Bruno Gironcoli: Shy at Work (February 3 to May 27, 2018) will for the first time focus on the painter and draughtsman Gironcoli. On two exhibition levels, works on paper from the 1960s to the 1990s will enter into dialogue with outstanding examples of the artist’s wire sculptures, polyester objects, installations, and monumental sculptures. This confrontation will also open up new perspectives on Gironcoli’s sculptural work.
The exhibition is accompanied by the hitherto most comprehensive publication on Gironcoli’s works on paper. In addition to an essay by the curator, it features texts by Peter Gorsen, Edith Futscher, Bettina Busse, Charlotte Matter, and Karin Steiner, as well as photographic takes on Gironcoli’s artistic practice by Margherita Spiluttini, Elfie Semotan, and Loys Egg.
Curated by Manuela Ammer