Art in the Underground

Michael Kienzer, Lines and Double, 2017

Location: U1 Troststraße, 1100 Wien

The Project

Permanent installation of coated steel profiles (color RAL 7004 signal gray). Safety glass, point-controlled, lighting; flat joint marking on enamel panels, color RAL 9002 gray-white.

On the ground floor of the subway station Troststrasse, Michael Kienzer responds to a space situation characterized by movement and dynamics with a sculpture. In addition to the existing double lift construction made of steel and glass, he created a third, distorted shaft from materials of the same construction.

This third shaft dissolves the functional order and translates it into a sculptural form. Intermediate function and dysfunction of the adjacent and comparable designs result in a tension. This principle continues in the second part of the work.

Some wall panels in the stairwell and next to the escalators are diagonally separated and reassembled, the joints are equally lined as between all the panels in the station.The newly created delicate asymmetry expands the pragmatic lines of the architecture, without injuring it. Michael Kienzer develops his artistic spatial perception by interfering with everyday architectural movements, which are not alienated or unused, but are affected by a sculptural approach.

The installation has been realized as a joint project by WIENER LINIEN (Public Transport Vienna), KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (Public Art Vienna).

The Artist

Michael Kienzer was born 1962 in Steyr, Upper Austria.
He lives and works in Vienna.

For more than twenty years, the artist has been a prominent figure in contemporary Austrian art. His objects are settlements in space, constructions of everyday objects. Gravity, statics, weight and balance are essentially recognizable sources of inspiration.

Influenced by the extended concept of art and work since the 1960s, he explores the tension between autonomous sculpture and space-related installation in his works, mostly of industrial materials. At the same time, it incorporates performative aspects, which have been developed internationally since the 1970s and 1980s. Since 1984, Michael Kienzer has been represented in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad.

In 2017, he first presented his work in two important solo exhibitions: on the one hand, in the newly opened, rebuilt Kunsthaus Zug as well as in the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Skulpturmuseum, Bremen.
The artist was awarded with important prizes, i.a. with the Otto Mauer Prize, Vienna, with the Austrian Art Prize for Fine Arts in 2012 and the Kunstpreis der Stadt Wien 2015.

Yves Netzhammer, Gesichtsüberwachungsschnecken, 2017

Location: U1 Altes Landgut, 1100 Wien

The Project

Permanent installation on 4 areas, powder-coated aluminum panels with flip-flop special lacquer (approx. 830 square meters)

Yves Netzhammer's work Gesichtsüberwachungsschnecken (Face Surveillance Snails) for the subway station Altes Landgut reflects the history of physiognomy and anthropometry, linking them with current issues of surveillance and control, and the history of portraiture.

Subway stations are zones of transit, where large quantities of human beings come together and are monitored accordingly. But they are also places of "the encounter with thousands of strange faces," as Yves Netzhammer writes. This is especially true for the subway station Altes Landgut, which is located in a multicultural district.

The 63 stylized portraits on the walls of the subway station are a playful tribute to the diversity of these people. Starting from the proportions and patterns of a facial recognition software, Yves Netzhammer has drawn a wide variety of physiognomies and "a panopticon of stylized faces, settled between animals and humans, between women and men, old and young".

They are humorous depictions with many loving details. If you look more closely, you notice that the faces are not simply drawn from dots and lines. Instead, snails suddenly become eyebrows, a small herd of animals forms into a human bit, a fir tree becomes a nasal fold. The users of the subway station will have fun exploring these subtleties over time. The relationship between humans, animals and nature as well as the constant transformation of elements are central components of Yves Netzhammer's work.

The installation has been realized as a joint project by WIENER LINIEN (Public Transport Vienna), KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (Public Art Vienna).

The Artist

Yves Netzhammer was born in Schaffhausen in 1970, he lives and works in Zurich.

Yves Netzhammer studied Art at the Zurich College of Art and Design.
Since 1997 he has been working on a widely ramified, poetic cosmos of imagery.
His video installations, objects, slide shows and drawings fascinate through their bodily charisma and their formal clarity. The playful recombination of elements which seemingly can not be combined leads to the threshold of our existence’s dark side: soothing aspects interlock with displeasing ones, the dead melts with the alive into creatures never seen before, and the depicted scenarios run from microscopic to giant scales.

Solo exhibitions include LWL, Münster (2016), Kiev Biennale, Kiev (2015), MONA, Tasmania (2013), Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai (2013), Kunstmuseum Luzern (2011), Kunstmuseum Bern (2010), Palazzo Strozzi (2009), SFMOMA, San Francisco (2008), Venice Biennale (2007), Karlskirche Kassel (supporting program documenta 12, 2007), Museum Rietberg, Zürich (2006), Kunsthalle Bremen (2005) and Helmhaus Zürich (2003). Group exhibitions include Liverpool Biennale (2010), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2007), Witte de With and TENT, Rotterdam (2006), Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg (2006) and National Gallery Prague (2005). Yves Netzhammer lives and works in Zurich.

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Published: January 25, 2023