This is my hope—that I always get somewhere that I can’t find otherwise. Always try to find new ways. An unknown landscape. This is a very poetic effort. I think you often go into the fog and feel your way through.
Rudolf Polanszky was born in Vienna, where he grew up in the 1960s in the wake of the Viennese Actionists, a group of artists who staged notoriously graphic and often bloody actions and performances using people and animals. In his early work, Polanszky reacted against this movement by performing his own ironic actions. In one example from the 1980s, he attached paintbrushes, sponges dipped in paint, and colored pens to his body and then filmed himself as he moved around and rolled on the floor of a paper-covered room, producing paintings. In his Sprungfedernzeichnungen (Coil Spring Drawings) (1983–85), he propelled himself around the space of his studio atop a large metal spring, wielding an elongated paintbrush in each hand and leaving behind painted traces of his uncontrolled motions. For the Schlafbilder (Sleep Pictures) (1983), he wore a jumpsuit affixed with painting and drawing implements while he slept on the floor, allowing his slumbering state to illustrate his body’s kinetic patterns.
The 1990s marked an artistic turning point for Polanszky. During this period, he began creating canvas-mounted and freestanding assemblages by combining salvaged industrial materials—such as acrylic glass, aluminum, mirrored foil, resin, silicone, and wire—into new aesthetic forms, freeing them from their original contexts and uses. His term for this process of assemblage, “ad-hoc synthesis,” reveals his enduring interest in combining conscious artistic strategy with the operation of random incident to generate new meaning. Polanszky has received solo museum exhibitions across Europe, including Translineare Strukturen (Translinear Structures), a 2015 retrospective at Zeit Kunst Niederösterreich, Krems, Austria; and Eidola, an exhibition of his recent work at the Secession, Vienna, in 2018. Polanszky lives and works in Vienna.
Photo: Xandra M. Linsin
The Armory Show 2020
March 5–8, 2020, Pier 94, booth 601
Piers 90 and 94, New York
Gagosian is pleased to participate in the Armory Show 2020 with a solo booth of works by Rudolf Polanszky including wall-mounted Reconstructions and two sculptures that transfer Polanszky’s signature improvisational process to a floor-based setting.
Rudolf Polanszky, Reconstructions, 2015 © Rudolf Polanszky
Art Basel Miami Beach 2019
December 5–8, 2019, booth D7
Miami Beach Convention Center
Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 with modern and contemporary artworks by Richard Avedon, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, John Chamberlain, John Currin, Edmund de Waal, Rachel Feinstein, Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jennifer Guidi, Simon Hantaï, Damien Hirst, Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Peter Marino, Adam McEwen, Joan Mitchell, Takashi Murakami, Albert Oehlen, Steven Parrino, Pablo Picasso, Rudolf Polanszky, Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Rudolf Stingel, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, Jonas Wood, Christopher Wool, and Zao Wou-Ki, among others.
Tom Wesselmann, Sunset Nude with Wesselmann Still Life, 2004 © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by ARS/VAGA, New York
Closing this Week
Rudolf Polanszky in
Discrete Austrian Secrets
Through March 31, 2020
Galaxy Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing, China
Discrete Austrian Secrets presents thirty-two contemporary Austrian artists exhibiting spatial installations and interventions, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and sound and video art. Work by Rudolf Polanszky is included.