Valie Export

1940 · Austria

Artist biography

Valie Export is a contemporary artist considered well established, who originates from Austria. Valie Export was born in 1940. Artists Hans Schwarz, Inge Morath and Kiki Kogelnik are of the same generation and same country as Valie Export.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Multiple galleries around the world represent and exhibit Valie Export's work, including galleries in countries such as Austria, the United States, and Germany. The galleries exhibiting Valie Export's work include Charim Galerie in Vienna, Studio Stefania Miscetti in Rome, as well as Patrick Painter, Inc in Los Angeles. Valie Export most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Richard Saltoun Gallery in London (15 February 2018 until 31 March 2018) with the exhibition Women Look At Women. Valie Export's other most recent exhibitions listed on Artland include the exhibitions; MERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDEMERDELAMERDELAMERDELAMERDELA (12 September 2019 - 01 November 2019) at Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna in Austria and Now Foreve (14 September 2018 - 20 October 2018) at Galerie Crone | Wien in Austria. Valie Export's first listed exhibition in Artland's database was called Women Look At Women and took place at Richard Saltoun Gallery in London, the United Kingdom from the 15 February 2018 to 31 March 2018.

Historical Context of Austria

At the turn of the 20th century, Austria was among the most pioneering and culturally progressive countries. It fostered important developments in the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau, called Jugendstil in German, from around 1895 to 1910, forming an important bridge between the 19th century and the onset of modernism. This kind of progressive, avant-garde thinking led directly into the Viennese Secession movement, one of the key art and design movements of the early twentieth century. It was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian painters, graphic artists, sculptors and architects, including Josef Hoffman Koloman Moser, Otto Wagner, and Gustave Klimt, when artists resigned, en masse, from the Association of Austrian Artists in protest against its support for more traditional artistic styles. and an exchange of ideas with artists outside Austria, disputing artistic nationalism, renewing the decorative arts and, most crucially, creating a "total art (Gesamtkunstwerk)" that unified painting, architecture, and the decorative arts. The group was vehemently opposed to the domination of the official Vienna Academy of the Arts (the Vienna Künstlerhaus), and official art salons, with their traditional orientation toward Historicism. Ultimately the group broke apart, the decorative artists choosing instead to focus on a new guild called the Wiener Werkstatte. In the late 1930s, Austria was annexed by the developing force of Hitler's Nazi Germany, an act known as the Anschluss, and which organised Austria into a province of a greater German Reich. During this period, like in Germany, the Avant-garde was labelled 'Entartete Kunst', translating to 'degenerate art', and was oppressed with only 'official' social realist art being approved, or even allowed by the state. Consequently, there was a significant exodus of creative talent who decided that their interests would be best served by relocating to London or New York. In the 20th century, important Austrian artists included Josef Hoffman, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Herbert Bayer (the typography and graphic design pioneer of the Bauhaus), architect and designer Josef Frank, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Maria Lassnig, Hermann Nitsch, Arnulf Rainer, Franz West and Erwin Wurm.

Further Biographical Context for Valie Export

Born in 1940, Valie Export was primarily inspired by the 1960s. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, bearing witness to great increase of modernist ideas and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the beginning of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the twentieth century, and was epitomised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place across the globe. Psychedelia, an massive increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further epitomised the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, focused solely on line, colour and geometric form as key components of both painting and sculpture. The significant figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Pop Art was an influential offshoot of minimalism, a discipline made famous by through the work of artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Globally, a number of artistic movements echoed the artistic concerns of the previously mentioned movements, often with regional specialisms and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni established Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker adopted similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of inspiration for artists, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti becoming known worldwide for their distinguishing approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.

Valie Export