02.09. - 05.09.2021 VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2021

02.09. - 05.09.2021

Alte Post

Postgasse 10, 1010 Vienna, Austria

Maksla XO Gallery  -   VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2021

Artists: Helena Heinrihsone, Paulis Liepa, Bodo Korsig, Michel Castaignet

Stand - A 08

From 2 September till 5 September 2021, an international contemporary art fair with unique focus VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2021 took place in Vienna, under the leadership of a new artistic director, Boris Ondreička, as a part of new, unifying concept Contemporary Vienna. Keeping up its consistent focus on art and galleries from Central and Eastern Europe, VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2021 presented itself in an experimental new format: from 2–5 September 2021, Austria’s leading fair for contemporary art exhibited a concentrated selection of 25 galleries from 10 countries, exhibiting them in a new venue – the historical Alte Post building, located at the very heart of Vienna. Alongside galleries from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Russia and Ukraine, Maksla XO Gallery participated in the art fair for the 5th year in a row.
In addition, a wide range of daily public tours, relevant expert talks, performances and events at unique places in the city, as well as synergies with longstanding cooperation partners completed the extensive offer of the lang fair weekend.
VIENNACONTEMPORARY acts as a strong networking platform by inviting collectors, international curators, and journalists from all over the world to Vienna, offering an insight into Eastern European and post-soviet art scene. Joining forces with the Viennese Galleries, curated_by, and Haus Wien, VIENNACONTEMPORARY is leading the transition towards a more flexible, decentralized art fair to best serve the interests of the thriving Central- and Eastern European art market. Around the world, the global pandemic has caused art events to re-evaluate their traditional models and use this time for experimenting with innovative new formats. In addition, a wide range of daily public tours, relevant expert talks, performances and events at unique places in the city, as well as synergies with longstanding cooperation partners completed the extensive offer of the lang fair weekend.
At the international contemporary art fair VIENNACONTEMPORARY 2021 Maksla XO Gallery presented works by four international contemporary artists – Helena Heinrihsone (Latvia), Paulis Liepa Latvia), Bodo Korsig (Germany) and Michel Castaignet (France).

The latest paintings by Helena Heinrihsone as a tribute to all the women in the world. In this series of new works a special emphasis is put on the emancipation of woman’s physical and mental beauty, drawing a parallel between the aesthetics of body and elements of nature. The beauty of a woman's body in relation to the nuances of daylight. Intimate direct transformation into generalization, on a level of images and symbols. Emphasizing the importance of intimacy and slightly erotic intuition both in the development of critical thinking processes and in the perception of body and natural processes today.
There is so much beauty in the world and the world is obsessed with beauty.
Roses and breasts have been the symbols of beauty troughout centuries. Treasures known to everyone – women, men, children.
Madonnas, courtesans, peasant women and noblewomen are celebrated in the world of art.
The source of life.
Even today. We are here. (Helena Heinrihsone, 2021.)

Helena Heinrihsone is one of the brightest and the most versatile artists in Latvian art. At the heart of her paintings is a woman, as well as emotional metaphors and poetic fixations of inner feelings. Also Helena Heinrihsone’ fascination with roses is well-known and their place in her body of work has had a significant role throughout the years. Some art critics have even named her “the Rose Painter”, or Helena the Rose. But for her, the rose is not just a symbol of beauty. For Helena Heinrihsone rose signifies a woman, beautiful at any age, throughout her cycles of life – from a rosebud to fallen petals. Rose expresses the sharp existential feeling of a woman.
Helena Heinrihsone has graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia (1973). 

Bodo Korsig’s main theme for over twenty years, has been the examination of the ways and conditions of thinking and feeling. Artist interested in the limited states of brain, the neurological processes as a reaction to extreme existential conditions, such as fear. One of the main features of Bodo Korsig work is the deconstruction of motifs, themes and things into symbols, into an abstract world of forms. Each individual revisits the past at some point in his life and interprets the memories on that path. Bodo Korsig represents his own personal memories – ranging from the happy, to the painful – in the installations of his works.
Within his work Bodo Korsig has always explored the relationship between art and social connections. His creating amplua includs sculpture, photography, video installation and stage design.  On multiple occasions he has collaborated with writers, musicians and dancers.

Michel Castaignet in his paintings talks about the concept of Time, about things and opportunities that we are given. He took his inspiration from the collection of writings by American painter Agnes Martin (1912-2004), where she explores nature, inspiration, clarity of mind and truth. Especially familiar Michel Castaignet is with her poetry-prose work “The Untroubled Mind”.
In the painting “Cronus devouring his children”, we see Cronus,  the king of the Titans, and the only one left of his six children in his hands. Michel, it seems, has imagined Cronus as symbol of Time, the rule of the past over the future and Time’s insatiable appetite – the children of Time will only manage to take from the earth what they can. In spite the mercilessness of Time and remorse. Michel Castaignet’s paintings are filled with great vitality, strength, purposefulness and hope.
Michel Castainget’s paintings aspire from his notebooks that are his formal mediations. Alike some writing that would constantly engrave the present time - like a diary – he talks about the transience of the world though a succession of equilibrium of simple shapes. Michel Castaignet (1971) has been engaged in a graphical reduction of the world for several years now, looking for a new rapport between drawing and painting. Michel Castaignet is interested in the abstraction history  of the fifties’; he’s always been keen on Greenberg’s concepts about figurative means, producing works that are both formal and representational. The paintings of Michel Castaignet follow logic of collage but nevertheless recall the systems of Buren.

For Paulis Liepa all starts with the idea (or fact) that life is a never-ending project – trying to build a perfect space around us, finding the best occupation, the right combination between hobby and work, our favourite wallpaper colours and food, the size of apples we like to eat, the type of slippers to wear, etc., etc. down to the most banal details.
Paulis Liepa – currently one of the best known Latvian graphic artists with his own bright and recognizable style. The aesthetics of his works have evolved from various influences of the modernist graphic culture of the 20th century, design, architecture and engineering blueprints, especially looking back at the visual aesthetics of the 60’s and 70’s, which the artist uses as his language of expression. To amplify this effect of “oldness”, Paulis Liepa  exposes his work to direct environmental influences – coagulated layers of glue, cardboard pieces scratched with knife, layers of paint, one over another, creating a sense that the have been abandoned and forgotten somewhere and rediscovered today. With subtle irony about graphic artists’ obsession with perfect and aestheticized image, works of Paulis Liepa “overstep” this occupational etiquette.

Helena Heinrihsone. Flaming. 2021, oil on canvas, 180x130 cm

On the 18th of April 2016 Mākslas galerija Māksla XO Ltd. has signed an agreement Nr. SKV-L-2016/57 with Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA)  for the project "International competitiveness promotion", which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.