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Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy

Programme | 06.11.2015


GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN /THE EXHIBITION "BETWEEN INNOCENCE AND EVIL"

Gallery-Legacy of Milica Zorić and Rodoljub Čolaković (2 Rodoljuba Čolakovića St.)
Salon of the MoCAB (14 Pariska St.)
November 6, 2015 - January 18, 2016

The Museum of Contemporary Art presents a global art star, the Austrian-Irish artist Gottfried Helnwein.

The exhibition “Between Innocence and Evil” will be officialy opened on Friday, November 6, at 18:30, in the Čolaković Legacy, and afterwards the gathering in the Salon of the MoCAB is planned to take place in 20:00.    

The speakers at the opening in the Čolaković Legacy: the Executive Director of the MoCAB Slobodan Nakarada, the Ambassador of Austria in Serbia Johannes Eigner, the Director of the Austrian Culture Forum Johannes Irschik, the artist Gottfried Helnwein, and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Information Saša Mirković.

On Saturday, November 7, at 13:00, a conversation with the artist Gottfried Helnwein will be organised (in English language).

With the statement „My art is not the answer, it is rather a question“, Gottfried Helnwein explained his work in the best possible way. This artist is concerned with the critique of the political situation, the crimes perpetrated during the WWII, Nazism and Holocaust, bringing these together with the motifs such as violence on children, children violence and pedophilia.   

The experience from the childhood spent in the post-Nazi Vienna, where nobody ever spoke about these issue irritated Helnwein, and so throughout his artistic career he expressed his critique and revolt against war atrocities and the politics of National Socialism. Instigated by the atmosphere of such an environment, he began to study the history of the phenomenon of cruelty and violence on helpless and innocent people, mostly focusing on the motif of a child. In his first watercolor he showed a wounded child smeared with blood, whereby he laid the foundation of his own visual iconography that will stick with him throughout his entire life as an artist, with realism and hyperrealism as his main stylistic features. By painting children in an unsettling way, but also in their unrivalled beauty, the artist presents them at the same time as symbols of innocence and evil.

Beside the child images occupying the central place in his painting and the critical-historical subjects, the artist also did series of photos―self-portraits in which, showing himself in the act of self-torture, referring to the vulnerable and opressed existence of contemporary individual. The selection of subjects and the modes of representation makes his works disquieting inviting, at the same time, the spectator to feel the agony and evil Helnwein points at, and to condemn them as the artist himself did.      

The exhibition Gottfried Helnwein―Between Innocence and Evil showcases 33 artworks from different phases of the artist’s work. The exhibition is set in two spaces: the Gallery-Legacy of Milica Zorić and Rodoljub Čolaković, with 17 paintings (oil and acrilic on canvas) from different series (Epiphany, The Murmur of the Innocents, Disasters of War…), whereas in the other space, The Salon of the Museum, the audience is presented with 16 photos, chiefly self-portraits, but also the photos from the series created in collaboration with Merilyn Menson.

Gottfried Helnwein (1948, Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian-Irish painter producing photos, instalations and performances. Since he provokes visceral reactions on the part of the spectator, the fact that his exhibitions are among the most attended exhibitions of a contemorary artist comes as no surprise: his retrospective show in the Viennese Albertina museum organised at the end of 2013 had 250 000 visitors, which makes it the most succesfull exhibition in the entire history of this museum. Except in Albertina, he had one-man exhibitions in Museum of Modern Art in Strasbourg, Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne, Russian State Museum in Sankt-Petersburg, California palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn, as well is many other globally renowned  galleries and museums, and participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world. Also, Helnwein is appreciated for his stage designs, and theatre, ballet and opera costumes. Using his photo lens, he immortalised famous people from the world of show-business, art, film and music in his series of photos Faces: Muhammad Ali, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson, Norman Mailer, Arno Breker, Leni Riefenstahl, and yet others, as well as the members of the bands Rammstein, The Rollingstones, etc. Currently, he resides and works in Ireland and Los Angeles.

The curator of the exhibition is a curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Mišela Blanuša (MA). The exhibition is opened every day from 12:00 to 20:00, except Tuesdays.

The exhibition is organised with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Embassy of Austria in Serbia, the Austrian Culture Forum, and Uniqa insurance company.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade thanks the private colectors for loans they kindly made.  

Also, we express our thanks for the support received to the general media sponsor N1, other media sponsors, namely Blic, NIN, Vreme, Seecult, Designed, Belgradian, DPC, Masel, Alma Quattro, Mediamix, as well as all media covering this exhibition.     



Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy
Gottfried Helnwein: Between Innocence and Evil, Čolaković Legacy