Martha Jungwirth


15 December 2016 - 21 January 2017

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Kalfayan Galleries (11 Haritos Street, Kolonaki, Athens) in collaboration with Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna) are proud to present the solo exhibition of the internationally acclaimed artist Martha Jungwirth, with selected watercolours from the series ‘Paros’ (2015) created on and inspired by the well-known Greek island. The exhibition was conceived by Antonia Rahofer. The opening will take place on Thursday, 15th of December, 19.00 – 21.00.


Martha Jungwirth’s works reflect the intimate, indissoluble link between travelling and watercolour painting. Thus the term “Malfluchten” [“painting escapes”] has often been used to define the interconnection of the artist’s desire to travel and to paint. Over the last years Jungwirth has travelled repeatedly to the United States, to Israel, Morocco, Egypt and Oman, to Mexico and Guatemala, and several times to Bali as well as to Burma and Cambodia. In 2015 she returned to the Greek island of Paros and this experience is the protagonist of the series of works presented in her solo show at Kalfayan Galleries. Denying representation, Jungwirth’s works remain faithful to conveying the artist’s reactions to reality, translating her emotions and experiences into vivid colours. Each drawing not only opens a window into the process of its creation and Jungwirth’s fascination with nature, the real and the mythical but also it presents a coloured fragment of the artist’s autobiography.


Jungwirth’s works presented at Kalfayan Galleries belong to the series of watercolour drawings inspired by the Cyclades, a thematic that started after the artist’s visits to Paros and Naxos in 1995 and 1996. As Peter Gorsen states in the exhibition catalogue ‘Martha Jungwirth. Ein Malbuch’ (1997): “With her “Cycladic Idols and Landscapes from Naxos and Paros” cycle, Martha Jungwirth embarked on a journey into an archaic, preverbal world of expression, characterized by myths and ancient, magical forms. Looking at the Cyclades, we are confronted with a cultural landscape from earliest Greek history that challenges both viewing and contemplation. […] Gently washed by the Aegean Sea, the islands of Naxos and Paros, where Jungwirth spent two months in the summer of 1995 and 1996, respectively, granted her access – like Bali before – to a lost, juvenile paradise, an occult place for invoking spirits and myths. Here, off the beaten tourist track, Jungwirth created her watercolor landscapes on the pages of account books. The artist worked on the sheets simultaneously rather than on one after the other, spreading them out on the ground to let them dry in the open air. The final versions are the result of a process of alternately applying and removing, diluting and thickening color, traces of which remain visible in the finished paintings. This procedure draws a magical analogy to the coast’s seawater, washed up and washed away. Nature paints its beaches; the watercolors participate in the cosmic dynamics by imitating it.”


Short biography

Martha Jungwirth was born 1940 in Vienna where she lives and works. She studied at the Akademie für angewandte Kunst Wien (1956 -1963) and afterwards held teaching posts at Academy of Applied Arts (Vienna, 1967 – 1977), International Summer Academy (1991) and Summer Academy in Berlin (1992).


On September 2, 2016, Martha Jungwirth was awarded the Klocker Foundation Main Prize, a prize that is granted to “artists of outstanding importance to the development of Austrian art”.


Major solo and group exhibitions (selections): 2016: Paros (solo show), Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Painting 2.0 Malerei im Informationszeitalter, Mumok  (Vienna); Rendezvous – Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Essl, Essl Museum; Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg (Vienna). 2015: Martha Jungwirth, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Die achtziger Jahre in der Sammlung des MUSA, Musa (Vienna); Wirklichkeiten, Museum Liaunig (Neuhaus). 2014: Martha Jungwirth. Retrospektive (solo show), Kunsthalle Krems. 2012: Drawing the Line. Collected #3, Bank Austria Kunstforum, Wien. 2011: Schönes Klosterneuburg. Albert Oehlen hängt Bilder der Sammlung Essl, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg. 1999: Malfluchten (solo show), Museum Moderner Kunst – Stiftung Wörlen (Passau). 1979: Hausfrauenmaschinen (solo show), Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts (Vienna). 1977: DOCUMENTA 6, Fridericianum (Kassel). 1972: Martha Jungwirth, Franz Ringel, Secession (Vienna). 1967: Terre des Hommes, Österreichischer Pavillon Expo (Montreal). 1958: Die Jungen, Secession (Vienna).


All images: courtesy Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki and Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna