Lois Weinberger was a pioneer of a different, artistic ecology. Describing his artistic practice as poetic field work, he emerged in the 1990s as a leading voice in the discourse around the relationship between nature and culture. In Basics, the Belvedere 21 presents the last exhibition for which Weinberger compiled a selection of works and writings until shortly before his unexpected death in April 2020. Over one hundred works created between the 1970s and 2020 are on display inside the Belvedere 21 and on the museum’s grounds.
Lois Weinberger, Green Man, 2004. Photo: Paris Tsitsos. © Studio Lois Weinberger. Courtesy of Studio Lois Weinberger and Gallery Krinzinger Vienna.
Lois Weinberger (1947, Stams/Tyrol–2020, Vienna) was an early and visionary critic of the dislocations of the Anthropocene—the era defined by humanity’s profound impact on Earth. His oeuvre grapples with existential questions concerning the relationship between humans and their world: What constitutes our being? How do cultural influences, our own histories and those of our families, and geographical circumstances shape our lives? What are the consequences of our alienation from nature? Are nature and culture actually opposites? Can we think our existence outside of nature?
Weinberger set forth from a farmstead in Tyrol to become an ornamental blacksmith and metalworker, an actor, and a visual artist. Socialized in a time of cultural upheavals—the protests of ’68 were making headlines—he took inspiration from Minimal and Land Art, the Wiener Gruppe, Surrealism, and the Junge Wilde to forge his own conceptual art. Between ironic shamanism and a formally rigorous yet always also poetic approach, his art illustrates the limitations of human agency and lets us experience that our dominance over the natural environment is an illusion. With “precise carelessness,” Weinberger’s works interrogate our ethical standards, challenging them with the ostensibly marginal, unprofitable, and worthless and lending engaging sensual expression to an all-
Curated by Severin Düser.
Exhibition 02 July -
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