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Ákos Birkás is nowadays best-known for his paintings addressing contemporary social structures and their conditions. His early work, however, was in conceptual photography of the 1970s and a deliberate counter-statement to classical painting. These photographs are an organic part of his œuvre and closely linked to his later paintings.
Birkás‘ photographs of 1975-78 testify to his strong interest in museums as institutions. He explored the paintings exhibited ontologically, aiming to find his own, very personal, perspective on painting. Birkás started his photographic work in the museum without a fully developed concept. Photography here served as a distancing medium: the contemplation of the paintings through the lens was intended to show him previously undiscovered aspects.
The resulting images were originally presented in a photographic essay; a selection of them is currently on show at the Institut für die Wissenschaft vom Menschen.
Exhibition open: January 10 until September 30, 2017
Venue: IWM stairwell (basement to 2nd floor)
Visits: during IWM opening hours, by appointment or at events
In cooperation with Knoll Galerie Wien + Budapest (www.knollgalerie.at)