VIENNA.- The Leopold Museum
s exhibition Carl Spitzweg Erwin Wurm. Hilarious! Hilarious? (25th March to 19th June 2017) is the first presentation of Carl Spitzwegs profoundly timeless and strikingly current oeuvre in Austria. In the exhibition curated by the Leopold Museums Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger, the ironic-humorist German painter commonly associated with the Biedermeier period Carl Spitzweg (18081885) encounters the master of an extended concept of sculpture Erwin Wurm (born in 1954).
The exhibition at the Leopold Museum is the first presentation of Carl Spitzwegs oeuvre in Austria. Featuring approximately 100 paintings and graphic works as well as book illustrations, it is also the first presentation that focuses explicitly on those aspects of the artists oeuvre which contrary to the ideas of tranquility and petit bourgeois idylls usually conjured up by the Biedermeier period are critical of his time and the society he lived in and document the schisms and conflicts of the time. However, this exploration of Spitzwegs oeuvre also reveals the topicality of his themes which are reflected in the 21st centurys Generation Biedermeier and are highlighted by means of 15 precisely placed interventions by Erwin Wurm who deploys humor as a weapon.
Hans-Peter Wipplinger: While Carl Spitzwegs oeuvre is embedded in the specific cultural-historical atmosphere of the Biedermeier period, the conventional definition falls significantly short in the case of Spitzweg, for it prevents a more complex and progressive interpretation of Spitzwegs works and thinking, which as the approximately 100 exhibits illustrate must also include an analysis of social hierarchizations and power relations, an examination of gender relations as well as the subtle questioning of harmony in an ostensibly ideal world.
The epoch-spanning and dialogue-based exhibition concept is divided into individual thematic chapters. In the first exhibition room,