Joan Miró, Le Journal, 1972, Zeitungslithografie, Epreuve d`artiste, © VBK, Wien, 2010

Until the 24th of October – The museum der Moderne on the Mönchsberg

The exhibition “Press Art. The Collection Annette and Peter Nobel“ at the MdM MÖNCHSBERG is devoted to art associated with mass print media. The private art collection gathered by Peter Nobel, a prominent Swiss media and commercial lawyer, which today comprises more than 700 works of art, is presented in Austria for the very first time. A selection of 360 works, chosen by guest curator Christoph Doswald, will be shown in Salzburg. The collection is not an encyclopaedic presentation of various works dealing with print media, but is based on the principle of randomness. The collection randomly and effortlessly combines works by renowned international artists with works that only have regional significance. The resulting combinations, interrelations and juxtapositions give visitors an insight into 20th century art related to print media but also highlight the influence of mass print media on our society and culture.

“Press Art“ shows works of art which are in some way related to printed words and printed images, which transform a cheap consumer good, that is replaced
every day, into a unique and precious item. Artistic approaches to mass media, alternating between adoration and criticism, are as varied as the multifarious applications, numerous techniques and unlimited subjects of print media. For example, newspapers are used as picture carriers or design element. The exhibition includes collages made of newspaper cuttings, e.g. the work “Fourrures” by Georges Braque or “ohne Titel“ (“Untitled“) by Kurt Schwitters, 1947. Gouaches by Joan Miró and drawings by Alberto Giacometti use newspaper as substrate. Since the Dadaist movement artists have made use of the large-scale dissemination of information through print media to make their art accessible to a wide audience. In the 1960s art movements like PopArt, Nouveau Réalisme, Fluxus and Arte Povera aimed at the dissolution of boundaries between art and life and used mass print media to achieve their goal.
Andy Warhol, for example, elevated seriality to a principle of art. His work “Marilyn“, created in 1967, is a stylized screenprint based on a press photograph. Apart from Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys was probably the most important pioneer among post-war artists, who turned their use of mass media into a new genre of art. He used newspapers to disseminate his concept of “social sculpture“ which aimed at uniting art and life. “Das Schweigen der Schrift” (“The Silence of Script“) is a work by Günther Uecker, consisting of a newspaper perforated by nails on both sides, making the contents of the newspaper illegible. Vik Muniz, a Brazilian artist, uses shredded magazines to compose his accurate portraits. The original contents of the magazine are completely lost in this process. The magazine is turned into a colourful means of design.
Today the media sector is undergoing a profound transformation. Our society is on the verge of being dominated by digital instead of analogue mass media.
“Press Art“, i.e. the artistic exploration of the print media, therefore plays a significant role. Contemporary artists, such as Sylvie Fleury or Daniel Buetti, explore the seductive strategies of the consumer industry and their use of mass print media.
A comprehensive publication on the Collection “Press Art“ has been published by Stämpfli (Bern).