West Palm Beach, FL (November 3, 2016)—The Norton Museum of Art today announced that Austrian painter Svenja Deininger was selected as the 2017 Recognition of Art by Women (RAW) artist – a living female artist working in painting or sculpture who is honored with a solo exhibition at the Museum. Svenja Deininger Second Chances First Impressions, on view from Feb. 4 through April 16, 2017, is the sixth exhibition in the RAW series. More than 20 examples of Deininger’s mature work comprise this exhibition that will be the greatest representation of her efforts and first solo show in a U.S. museum. The artist’s keen understanding of color, examination of formal elements and conceptual approach to painting will be revealed through works selected by Deininger, who will also collaborate on the installation with Cheryl Brutvan, the Norton’s Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Contemporary Art.
The exhibition represents work dating from 2012 to 2016. The installation will reveal the artist’s broad exploration of abstraction during that period through juxtapositions requested by the artist. The range of her interests will be evident in the selection, from the early small scale “notebook” paintings to more recent constructed and shaped canvases that measure more than eight feet tall.
While Deininger’s paintings are independent objects, the exhibition will not be a typical chronological installation but an attempt to expand the meaning of her efforts in these juxtapositions. The artist considers each painting as a word creating a comprehensible sentence through their appearance together. As Deininger explains, “It is about the sentence...there is a subject and a verb, and more important words than others, but it does not function without all the parts.” Her exhibition titles are poetic, while individual works remain anonymous. Svenja Deininger Second Chances First Impressions will both introduce Deininger to new audiences, and—through rarely seen canvasses—reveal another side of her creative process for those already familiar with her.
The intimate scale of Deininger’s work belies the depth and breadth of the processes in their realization, with the borders of the unframed canvas showing the multiple layers of paint applied, scraped, stained, pushed, and – when Deininger is satisfied with the result – ultimately deemed completed.
“It is as if the artist’s paintings are objects, excavated through process, time, and thought in the manner of a sculptor finding the form within rough, unfinished stone, rather than a painter controlling a liquid on a surface,” said exhibition curator Cheryl Brutvan. “Deininger’s abstract paintings are complicated and deeply affecting, but not easily categorized. “They reward the viewer who spends time with them, and may be best placed in the realm established by the meditative abstractions painted by Piet Mondrian, Agnes Martin, and Suzan Frecon while engaged in a rigorous inquiry into process which is so prevalent today. We’re excited to work closely with Deininger to create this first overview.”
A fully-illustrated catalogue, with a contribution by art historian Agata Jastrzabek who has followed Deininger’s career in Europe, will accompany the exhibition.
About Svenja Deininger
Artist Svenja Deininger’s (Austrian, born 1974) paintings have been critically recognized for the subtle palette and complexity of composition. Her work has been seen primarily in Europe, receiving multiple awards with accompanying solo exhibitions including the Georg Eisler Prize in 2010 awarded by Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna as well as the Strabag Artaward in 2012 with a solo exhibition at Strabag Art Lounge, Vienna. Group exhibitions included Reductive Minimalism: Women Artists in Dialogue, 1960-2014, University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), Ann Arbor. She studied at Kunstakademie Munster and Kunstakademie Dusseldorf with Albert Oehlen. Deininger lives and works in Vienna.
The Norton’s Recognition of Art by Women (RAW) program, made possible by the Leonard and Sophie Davis/MLDauray Arts Initiative, highlights and promotes living women artists working in painting and sculpture. RAW launched in 2011 with the first U.S. museum survey of British artist Jenny Saville’s paintings and drawings. Subsequent exhibitions featured Sylvia Mangold’s study of landscapes over three decades (2012), Phyllida Barlow’s large-scale sculptures (2013), the first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. of Sweden-based Klara Kristalova’s ceramic sculptures and drawings (2014), and the first U.S. museum survey of Los Angeles-based, Nigerian born painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2016). The RAW program also supports publications, research, and educational programming, including the funding of the Leonard and Sophie Davis Curatorial Fellow.