Deutschvilla opens the season with beauty

The Kunsthaus Deutschvilla in Strobl (Salzburg, Austria) has opened a new season with the title “Einfach schön heut – über die Schönheit” (Simply beautiful today – about beauty). Curator and chairman Ferdinand Götz dedicated the exhibition to his mother Rosa Götz, who had died five days earlier. Two projects were specially presented during the opening ceremony:

On the one hand, the memorial room about Lotte Profohs (1934 – 2012), an Austrian artist who was close to the Expressionism and who, among other things, addressed the discrimination of women. Because she put her talent and her career on the back burner in favour of her husband Helmut “Maitre” Leherb, she fell into oblivion as an artist. The last exhibition of her paintings took place 30 years ago.

On the other hand, the Willy*Fred house project in cooperation with HabiTAT in Linz (Austria), where about 30 residents and various associations found a home. It is an initiative against real estate speculation and rising housing costs financed by crowd investing. The project was named after a resistance group in the Inner Salzkammergut during WWII.

Subtopics on the question of beauty

There were contributions on the following subtopics in an astonishing range on the subject of beauty:

Look here, the true guardian of beauty is nature
Social cohesion
Nudity is beautiful
Beauty thinking has a genetic component
What is beautiful about kitsch
The eye / The light
Beautysalon
Back then – a romantic look

13 rooms with beauty

These themes were reflected in different types of contributions in 13 rooms.

Naturally

  • in contrasting depictions of beauty in plants and oversized portraits, painted by Michaela Bruckmüller, whose picture also adorned the invitation;
  • the photographer Jacqueline Korber shows beauty through an expressive series of portraits of older people;
  • two stuffed birds from the Salzkammergut Nature Museum in Ebensee illustrate the beauty that is important during the courtship display.

Anatomically

  • drawings of eyes with the theme “The Eye / The Light”;
  • a photo series on the subject “Is Nudity Beautiful?” by Gerhard Brandl + Renate Billensteiner, who documented nudity in public space.

Socially

  • on the topic of “social cohesion”, which also includes the Willy*Fred house project in Linz;
  • Peter Niederschneider illustrates the same theme with the photo series “Lifting and being lifted”.

Painterly

  • pulsating blue colour fields – by Adelheid Rumetshofer from her series Floatings;
  • shot through drop formations – painted with ink and perforated with gun shots by Ekaterina Fischnaller;
  • genetically grown minerals – Bernhard Resch explores the question of how the understanding of beauty is influenced by genetics.

Ceramical

Kitschy

  • Meduza investigates the question of whether Kitsch is nice or whether it hurts rather, as Hundertwasser said.

… and a few more.
Last but not least:

Musically

  • from the Cimi Schultz Show, who put down a cool two-man conference/concert with jew’s harps, countless wind instruments and other accessories and of course their third team member Mr. Herbert (mechanical repetitor for looping) to general enthusiasm.

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder

All these contributions refer directly or indirectly to the frequently quoted saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and tried to answer the questions: Is beauty really subjective? What is the “eye of the beholder”?

When I first walked through the exhibition, it was not immediately clear to me what many of the contributions had to do with the subject. Contributions from the domain of fine art painting, appealed to me almost immediately. As such I found the strong contrast and the colourfulness of both Michaela Bruckmüller and Bernhard Resch very appealing. The colour fields of Adelheid Rumetshofer have particularly impressed me. It was my first encounter with originals of this art movement, whose most famous representative is Mark Rothko, and about which I have already read a lot. I can now confirm what I had only heard before – it is a special experience to stand in front of such a picture and sink into the colour.

When I reviewed these impressions, it showed me once again how essential colours, or rather the “right” colours and contrasts are for me, and how they have a significant influence on my understanding of art and beauty. Other visitors may have had quite a different experience. Which would once again prove the relativity of beauty.

How do you feel about it? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? In any case, I would love if you could tell us your agreement or arguments against it in the comment section below.

The exhibition at the Kunsthaus Deutschvilla in Strobl runs until 2 June 2019.
Opening hours: on weekends Fr/Sa/Sun from 3-6pm.
Rating: Highly recommendable!

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