We dreamed of a past future | Andreas WERNER
We dreamed of a past future | Andreas WERNER

September 11, 2019 - October 19, 2019


VILTIN Gallery is delighted to announce WE DREAMED OF A PAST FUTURE, the first solo exhibition of Andreas WERNER since joining the gallery. One of the most talented and acclaimed Austrian artists of his generation, featuring his newest works, Werner unfolds a story with an arrangement evoking museum exhibitions.   

Numerous pilgrimages pave Andreas WERNER's artistic path - expeditions dotted with small adventures at times. During his temporary recluse, he developed an unintentional synthesis between the past and the imaginary future by the alternation of looking inward and outward. He often wonders about the simple questions of our existence, about our place in the universe.

Moving away from the idealistic or utopian traditions of landscape painting, WERNER's latest works are influenced by the constructivist-metaphysical direction of the architectural spaces of the first half of the century. The source of his notion's inspiration is science and the sci-fi literature, as well as the first modernist-based utopian creations of the movie production's heydays. The works of Stanisław Lem, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Fritz Lang influenced him as much as the scientific results of Hermann Oberth or Wernher von Braun.

The body of work for his first solo exhibition was created this summer during his residency at the Nida Art Colony program. WERNER arrived at his studio with specific ideas inspired by The Star Diaries (1957), the futuristic adventure story of Stanislaw Lem's Ijon Tichy cycle. The Sinbad-like travels of the main character, Ijon Tichy and one of his 'world-branches' come to life in the gallery space. His tenderly modeled drawings created on delicate frottages appear as a metaphor for star charts, thus being the documents of cosmic travels and getting on the road in the comprehensive exhibition installation. In the other part of the exhibition,masses of non-functional constructions dominate the weight-accented drawings of geometric elements; meanwhile, they hover in the space free from any visual cues or context. The weightlessness that underlines the reminiscent of classical architecture, the surreality of the heavily sectioned objects, while the monumentality of the compositions drawn with an exaggerated perspective evokes the prefix of the Russian constructivism. The abstracted, two- and three-dimensional models appearing within one composition are utopian constructions based on architectural elements that serve as a metaphor for the intention of stepping from the technological society towards an unmanned landscape and an urban environment.

Moving concurrently away from the fantasy world, WERNER's set-like, static buildings bearing only exterior property, can instead be considered as the pillars of his iconography which are the aesthetic projections of the subject's state of mind.  

His lyrically toned previous works blending painterly and graphical elements now gain striking visual features. The scientific fable/fiction meets the technological utopia on his highly contrasted monochrome images, which can be considered as the visual expression of longing for the unknown that follows his earlier period of romantic translation of landscapes.  

Andreas WERNER (1984, DE-AT) lives and works in Vienna. He graduated from the Graphic Arts Department of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna as a student of Gunter Damisch's class in 2012. Previously, he studied graphic arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna from 2004 to 2006 and attended the Faculty of Theater, Film, and Media at the University of Vienna from 2003 to 2005. Among the many international residencies he had won, he spent longer periods in Hungary in the frame of the Lower Austria Art Scholarship and as a resident of Krinzinger Projekte since 2015. He received the MUSA Award for Young Art from the City of Vienna and the Recognition Prize for Fine Art by the State of Lower Austria in 2016. His works are included in several Austrian private and public collections (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Universalmuseum Joanneum/Neue Galerie Graz, Collection of the State of Austria - 21er Haus Vienna, Collection of the city of Vienna, Collection of the State of Lower Austria) and in the permanent collection of the Budapest History Museum - Budapest Gallery of Contemporary Art as well.