Heimo Zobernig (B. 1958)
Untitled (HZ 1995)
signed and dated 'Heimo Zobernig 1995' (on the overlap)
acrylic on canvas
60 x 60in. (152.5 x 152.5cm.)
Painted in 1995
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
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‘The quest for abstraction is a fundamental endeavour, so it seems very important to me to omit all that is superfluous.’ Heimo Zobernig
With its vibrant striped façade, Heimo Zobernig’s painting Untitled (HZ 1995) is a large-scale work from his body of abstract compositions. Executed in 1995, the painting is composed of ten orderly bands each of equal size but all painted a different, rich colour. Zobernig’s practice is guided by a series of self-imposed rules. His works are never titled and his approach to colour is methodical. For his series of striped paintings, Zobernig could only choose colours from a predetermined list and yet, despite this restricted palette, the juxtapositions are exuberant. As in Sol LeWitt’s dynamic wall drawings, no part of the canvas is devoid of colour.
Working across a variety of media including film, performance and sculpture, Austrian-born Zobernig’s disparate interests are linked by an enduring interrogation of modernism’s formal vocabulary; indeed, many of his canvases riff on the rigidity of the minimalist grid. His paintings reference a range of artists in addition to Sol LeWitt including Daniel Buren and Piet Mondrian, but their acrylic surfaces also evoke the slick world of advertising and Pop Art. Zobernig trained as a set designer at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, and his initial paintings were more chaotic until he settled on what he calls ‘radical geometric expression’ (H. Zobernig quoted in B. Ruf, ‘Heimo Zobernig in conversation with Beatrix Ruf,’ Kaleidoscope, Winter 2012/13, p. 38). Zobernig represented Austria for the 55th Venice Biennale in 2015, for which he continued to embrace architectural intervention. Untitled (HZ 1995) proposes an abstract mise-en-scène upon which fantasies and dreams can be projected. Although orderly, the canvas’s bright bands suggest a world of whimsy and play not entirely disconnected from Zobernig’s earliest endeavours.
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