Location: Upper Belvedere
Within the framework of the Intervention exhibition series, contemporary artists are invited twice a year to deal with the Belvedere’s collection and architecture. Such a balancing act between the past and the present is an inherent aspect of Marianna Gartner’s work in general.
The Canadian artist finds her material in portrait shots dating from the early days of photography, when the sitters were still frequently depicted against painted sets that were only occasionally furnished with accessories.
The issue of the relationship between figure and background also played an important role in 19th-century painting. Before Realism and Impressionism appeared on the scene and called for capturing visible reality in a picture, many painters had used invented backdrops for their elegant portraits. This analogy serves as Gartner’s starting point for her preoccupation with selected works from the Belvedere’s collection.
For her intervention, she created new paintings in which she took up aspects from works by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Anton Romako, Michael Pacher, and others in order to interpret them in her own artistic language.