• 18 Oct 2017

Today, Art-Trope highlights the Austrian artist Kiki Kogelnik. In spite of herself, she is the artistic reference of Austrian Pop Art, and has been present in the Parisian art scene for 2 years, particularly through the Natalie Seroussi gallery with exhibitions such as The Visible Woman and at Fiac during the 2016 and 2017 editions, and in New York at Simone Subal gallery.

kiki_kogelnik_female_robot_1964Kiki Kogelnik, Female Robot, 1964 © Kiki Kogelnik Fondation

From Bleiburg to New York

Initially close to Abstraction, a movement that was in vogue in Europe at the time, with artists such as Serge Poliakoff, Kiki Kogelnik decided to settle in the United States before moving from Santa Monica to New York in 1962, where she started collaborating with Pop Art artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Tom Wesselmann, among others.

A technological universe influenced by Pop Art

Although she denies any affiliation with this artistic movement, Pop Art has a strong influence on her works, adding vivid colors to her inanimate subjects such as robotized bodies, and disarticulation by means of hinges, making the link between parts of disarticulated bodies, themes that recall the milestones of his life (Vietnam War, World War II and Hiroshima). It is a whole technological universe, both fascinating and terrifying, that transcribes the artist through her artworks, representing anonymity, bodies without their own identity, in the heart of a post-war society of mass consumerism in full bloom, affected by violent political conflicts, as shown in her work Bombs in Love (1962), depicting female genitals by means of two painted bombs. Using diverse and various materials, the artist is known for her series of “Hangings“, showing human-sized bodies carved from vinyl sheets, on hangers, such as Hanging (1970).

A pop feminist

In a masculine environment, she stands out with a feminism with a sharp sense of humor, exploring the body of the human being through forms without faces and therefore without identity, asexual and flat, whose only life is brought by the striking colors of the paint or materials she chooses, such as vinyl. Beginning in 1970, her penchant for flattening the bodies goes side by side with her exploration of space when she created sculptural works of glass or ceramics.

Please check out the Kiki Kogelnik Fondation website here.
To learn more about us, please read the Q&A here.