Andreas Werner

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Landscape has played a central role in Andreas Werner’s graphic work in recent years. The artist, born in the GDR in 1984, sees himself as a romantic of the new millennium. His work transmits the utopian, atmospheric feeling of nature and landscape from the nineteenth-century into the present.

Werner was first inspired to make art after encountering Caspar David Friedrich’s iconic landscape painting The Sea of Ice (The Failed Hope) at the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Werner reinterpreted and updated Friedrich’s icy landscape in the form of compact, small-format, graphic works in his 2011-12 series Iceberg, Landscape and Vastness. The latter also provided the title for Werner’s diploma exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2012. In some images, the artist depicts ice blocks protruding from the water as sculptural forms; in others he reduces them to their silhouettes, minimizing the role of sky and water. The constructed landscape images become “spaces for contemplation and feeling” as Werner says. He installs them on walls in dynamic configurations, where they communicate with one another and create “narrative strands of association.”

In works like Geology (2013), the geological dimension of nature is visualized. Here Werner employs layers or seismographic trace elements to create abstract, structural images. In a machine-like manner, he draws out evenly placed lines and amplitudes, giving natural elements a digitized quality. In these abstract works, geometry, structure and construction are present but obscured by unrestrained gestures and violent, painterly traces of luminous spray paint.

Werner’s more recent works include large-format, graphite-black, rocket-like objects, which, on closer inspection, reveal themselves as hybrid constructions of rockets, robots, furniture items or temples. These are presented as pseudo-scientific additions alongside his galaxy studies, the Raumrouten. These works were previously presented in the group exhibition Ticket to the Moon at Kunsthalle Krems in 2019.

As part of the AIR – ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Niederösterreich program, Werner received fellowships to work abroad in Hungary and Ireland. In 2016 he was awarded the Lower Austrian Culture Prize. Werner lives and works in Vienna and Lower Austria.

The exhibition is a comprehensive presentation of Werner’s artistic work to date.

Curator: Florian Steininger

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