Kunstverlag Wolfrum; Zetter; Galerie Otto

Gallery Run: This month’s pick of who’s hanging what at Vienna’s venues

Wolfrum: the Art Publisher

Unique among galleries, walking into Wolfrum is like stepping into the pages of a storybook: bookshelves lining the walls, curved staircases and a giant table set up in the middle with four busy women bustling around amidst book-ends and picture frames. Wolfrum is not just a gallery – it is a bookstore, antiques shop and art store, selling prints, calendars, cards and picture frames. Divided into three parts, the main entrance leads to the gallery’s work and business area, a side door leads to a room filled with books, and the curving staircase goes up to gallery itself. I am distinctly reminded of elves working in Santa’s workshop as I step into the world of Wolfrum.

I walk through an array of art prints and calendars into the room of books. This room also features endless rows of rare postcards on display. Browsing through the collection, I am happily surprised to find an extended and rare selection of books on art and artists in English.

Upstairs, the gallery extends through two big rooms. It is currently housing the works of Austrian-Californian artist Christy Astuy. In a fascinating encounter between pop art, magic realism and a few other odd genres, her work is an astounding homage to the power of postmodern art. Cartoon-like female figures with large doll-eyes stare at the onlooker above expertly drawn nude figures. The comic-strip character of her paintings takes you from one scene to another. The draughtsmanship of an expert skillfully depicts the faint outlines of male genitals on a cotton-candy pink background.

Her paintings are essentially representational, but the form is sometimes dangerously realist. Bold, sudden and almost surprisingly profound, Astuy’s exhibition makes you pause and reflect on your own complex reaction to her work. Titled “What about my Dream?” the exhibit will be on display at Wolfrum until 20 Nov.

Wolfrum is a must-go-to venue, not just for its current exhibition but also for a distinctly unique gallery experience in Vienna. Not only will you get to see interesting works of contemporary art, you may also end up with a book, a calendar or a rare postcard under your arm on your way out. I left with all three.

 

Kunstverlag Wolfrum
Mon.–Fri., 10:00–18:00;
Sat., 10:00–17:00
1., Augustinerstraße 10
(01) 512 53 98 0
www.wolfrum.at

 

 

Zetter Next to the Albertina

A desk in the tradition of the Wiener Werkstätte, for sale at Zetter | Photo: Galerie Zetter

With an exceptionally friendly team of art historians leading this gallery, Zetter appears surprisingly modest about its established name and envious history: It was founded in 1973 and specializes in Austrian art from the 20th century up to modern day.

It covers a wide range, from art nouveau to works from the Wiener Werkstätte, from paintings to sculptures. A large gallery spread over two floors, Zetter also issues publications in conjunction with the artists it shows.

Currently on display, among works from other artists, are pieces of antique furniture by artist Josef Hoffman, who was one of the founding members of the Viennese Secession period in 1897. His concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (all-embracing art form) is actually represented through the gallery space itself, which strives to create an ambience that can invite all kinds of art objects to participate in the gallery’s exhibitions.

 

Galerie bei der Albertina – Zetter
Mon.–Fri., 10:00–18:00;
Sat., 11:00–14:00
1., Lobkowitzplatz 1,
corner of Gluckgasse
(01) 513 14 16
www.galerie-albertina.at

 

 

Otto’s Gallery

Yuri Bandor captures life in fiery movement, displayed at Galerie Otto | Photo: Galerie Otto

With four branches in Vienna, Gallery Otto has, in its 75 years of existence, evolved into one of Vienna’s leading buyers and sellers of artwork from all over Europe.

In one of its most important gallery spaces, L’Atelier on Seilergasse, the paintings of Russian artist Yuryi Bondar are on display until the end of this month. Red, fiery and full of passion, Bondar’s paintings in this exhibition are about the flurry of emotions in dance and music. Though initially known as a skilled poster designer for theatres in Russia, Bondar’s talent in painting lies in his ability to convey a deep sense of visual energy and motion through colour and the wanton flick of brush strokes.

In addition, Gallery Otto’s parallel branch on Mariahilferstraße is displaying works by artist Madjid that are equally overwhelming in their brilliant use of colour.

 

Galerie Otto
www.galerieotto.at
1., Seilergasse 2, (01) 513 80 39
1., Lobkowitzplatz 1, (01) 512 58 01
7., Mariahilferstraße 24, (01) 523 10 66
13., Lainzer Straße 53, (01) 877 75 00 20

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