John M Armleder, born in Geneva in 1948, living in Geneva and New York, since 1994 professor at the Braunschweig University of Art, is one of the most important and influential conceptual artists of our time. His unmistakeable and multifaceted oeuvre is an ongoing interrogation of modernity and the idea of art. In his Furniture Sculptures, from 1997 onwards, he merges furniture or musical instruments with abstract or geometrical painting. Currently he is showing new glass works at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice under the title Away (until 05.09.11). Other exhibitions include e.g. 2010 Leuchtet Ein Kunstmuseum St. Gallen Lokremise; 2009 sunny side up, over easy and soft boiled Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck; 2007 Villa Arson Nice; 2006 MAMCO Geneva; 2004 Kunsthalle Zürich; 2001 Kunstraum Innsbruck; 2000 MOMA New York; 1993 Secession Vienna; 1986 Venice Biennale, Swiss Pavilion.
Julia Bornefeld was born in Kiel in 1963. She lives and works in Bruneck, Italy. International solo exhibitions and contributions since 1986, most recently 2011 Vanity and High Fidelity Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum Innsbruck, currently Stadtgalerie Kiel (until 04.09.11); 2009 alter ego komm tanz mit mir! Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck; 2008 eingespielt Bilder-Objekte-Foto-Film Künstlerhaus Göttingen; 2007 Bilder/Objekte/Fotografien/Videos Kunstverein Pforzheim; 2006 Faltige Ver-Rückung Kunstraum Kreuzlingen; 2005 Schwindel Kunstverein Ravensburg, Marburger Kunstverein. Bornefeld's sculptures, installations and performances occupy a space between autonomous form and meaning. Her works take as starting points individual and collective existential experiences.
Michael Kienzer (born in Steyr in 1962, Otto Mauer Award 2001, living and working in Vienna) currently, until August, is in New York under the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), and, as a guest of honour, in collaboration with Zenita Komad, presents his installation the empty mirror in the context of the exhibition Fünf Räume at the Austrian Cultural Forum (until 05.09.11). International exhibitions and projects for public spaces, most recently e.g. contribution 54th Biennale di Venezia Glasstress, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti (until 27.11.11); 2009 MUMOK Vienna; 2007 Museum für Gegenwartskunst Stift Admont; 2005 MAK Vienna; 2003 Oberösterreichische Landesgalerie Linz. Exploring the concept of sculpture, Kienzer questions our perception of space, time and form. While his installations for public spaces refer to architecture and social contexts, his autonomous sculptures deal with the parameters of sculpture, exaggerating on, or turning into their opposites, the function and meaning of objects. Objects and materials are set in relation to each other, thus becoming the goal and the subject of his work.
Alicja Kwade, born in Kattowice, Poland, in 1979, lives and works in Berlin. She studied at the Berlin University of the Arts from 1999 to 2005. International exhibitions, e.g. 2010 Oldenburger Kunstverein, Kunstverein Bremerhaven; 2010 Broken away from Common Standpoints Museion at Peep-Hole Milan; Ereignishorizont Kestner Gesellschaft Hannover; Probleme massereicher Körper Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster; 2008 Von Explosionen zu Ikonen Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart Berlin. The artist's work in a very special manner deals with the transformation and symbolic reinterpretation of found materials and everyday objects. Its particular strength derives from her clever handling of both popular and classic iconography and the wide field of associations inscribed in the works through their incorporating of apparent contradictions.
Franz West, born in Vienna in 1947, living and working in Vienna, was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and the Ehrenzeichen für Wissenschaft und Kunst of the Republic of Austria at the 54th Biennale di Venezia, to which he contributes a parapavilion at the Arsenale and the large aluminium sculpture Eidos (2009) in the Arsenale grounds (until 27.11.11). Works by West, together with works by Bruce Nauman and Fred Sandback, also make up the exhibition Contemporary Spatial Art at the Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg in Salzburg (until 10.07.11). Important stages in his extensive exhibition curriculum were e.g. the Austrian Pavilion at the 1990 Biennale di Venezia; 1996 Proforma MUMOK 20er Haus Vienna, Kunsthalle Basel and Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller Otterlo; 1996 documenta X Kassel, for which he created the auditorium chairs for 100 Tage - 100 Gäste (1997 Franz West - Stühle für die documenta X Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck); 1998 Middelheim Open Air Museum Antwerpen, where he first, among other things, presented two aluminium sculptures, 35 of which he later created for Franz West Die Aluskulptur Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Schlosspark Ambras Innsbruck in 2000; 2001 Gnadenlos/Merciless MAK Vienna; In & Out Palacio de Velázquez/Reina Sofia Madrid; 2002 Meublage/Musique de Meublement; 2005 DER FICKER no 1; 2006 Der Ficker no 2 Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck, Haus Wittgenstein Vienna, CAAM Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, De 11 Lijnen Oudenbourg; 2009 Autotheater Museum Ludwig Cologne; 2010 Kunsthaus Graz; 2011 Museo Madre Naples. West's modus operandi is best exemplified in his Passstücke (Adaptives), first produced in 1974, in his Möbelskulpturen (Furniture Sculptures) since 1985, and his Aluskulpturen (Aluminium Sculptures) since 2000. In all these instances a sculptural element becomes an object that needs to be used in order to make the sculpture complete. West has thus ushered in a redefinition of the concept of sculpture.