How Kiki Kogelnik Outsmarted Her Pop Art Counterparts

Oh, to skip back in time for an interview with the late Kiki Kogelnik. We’d track her down in 1960s NYC, quickly spot her at a party (she was always elaborately dressed), and ask as many questions to Austria’s most important Pop artist as she’d be willing to indulge. But her friends would be waiting. Although having just moved to the city from Vienna, her social circle would already read like a who’s who of the Pop Art scene, and friends like Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, Tom Wesselmann, Joan Mitchell, and Robert Rauschenberg would summon—perhaps for an evening at The Factory, which Kogelnik was known to frequent.

Instead, we’ll step into Johann König’s booth at Frieze Masters, where Kogelnik’s solo show will drop us in the midst of ’60s and ’70s New York City. And just like that, we’ll be amongst the bright colors and new materials of the era, no doubt influenced by Kogelnik’s peer group—but sans Coke cans and art about consumerism. Instead, Kogelnik captured the discoveries of the era, like science, technology, and space-age phantasmagoria. “I’m not involved with Coca Cola,” she once said. “I’m involved in the technical beauty of rockets, people flying in space and people becoming robots. When you come here from Europe it is so fascinating … like a dream of our time. The new ideas are here, the materials are here, why not use them?”

On view at Johann König, Frieze Masters 2013, Spotlight, Booth S12, October 17th – 20th.

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