New. New YorkEssl Museum, Austria



Essl Museum Contemporary Art
An der Donau-Au 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg bei Wien
November 23, 2012 – April 1, 2013
Curator: John Silvis


New York, often described as the world capital of contemporary art, is the focus of exhibition activity in the Essl Museum this autumn. NEW. NEW YORK offers an insight into the work of 19 young artists from New York. A vibrant young art scene has developed in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in recent years, with numerous ateliers, culture initiatives and alternative art spaces. It is here that the American artist and curator John Silvis made his selection of artists for the coming exhibition in the Essl Museum.

All 19 artists are at different stages of their careers; what they share is that they use familiar materials and media in their work in an often surprising form, and in doing so produce “something new” in order to distinguish themselves from the traditional art canon and to develop their own forms of artistic expression. They all work with familiar media such as painting, photography, sculpture etc., but they change the formal parameters, combining, for example, materials such as concrete and photography in a refreshing way. Through this their works deconstruct existing art genres, take material to an unaccustomed purpose and revive old technologies without turning this into a programme.

In the second half of the 20th century in particular, the New York art world set the shape of art internationally, starting with abstract expressionism, through minimalism, concept art, pop art, video and performance art. There is still a greater cultural and intellectual diversity in New York than in any other city.

New York is also the city where Agnes and Karlheinz Essl got to know each other in 1959 and where they discovered their undiminished passion for contemporary art. In the Essl Collection there are therefore numerous New York references, for example in works by Alex Katz, to whom an exhibition is dedicated in the Essl Museum from 15 September.

With NEW. NEW YORK, the collectors would like to focus on young art creation and present the current developments in the fruitful 21st century New York art scene. The exhibition takes place as part of the “Emerging Artists” series, in which the Essl Museum presents young art works from the most varied areas of the world in a two-year cycle.

The curator John Silvis is himself represented in the Essl Collection with his own works. He studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna under Arnulf Rainer and today lives and works in New York. He manages the NYCAMS there, an academy for scholarship holders from US art academies, and is very well integrated in the scene.