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CARLONE CONTEMPORARY: Lena Henke

Aldo Rossi’s Sleeping Elephant

A yellow elephant appears to be asleep on the floor of the Baroque Carlone Hall—or, on closer inspection, is this actually a toppled row of arches? The elephant’s sleep is simultaneously the allegorical sleep of modern sculpture itself and the dream of its utopian realization as architecture. A sculptural dimension is thus added to this space in the Upper Belvedere, which is adorned with illusionistic trompe l’oeil architecture and a ceiling painting. Lena Henke’s diverse sculptural work has established her as a leading contemporary artist. Aldo Rossi’s Sleeping Elephant was given to the Belvedere by a private collector in 2021.

Kuratiert von Stella Rollig.

Tickets

Regular
Regular
€ 15,90 instead of € 18,00 on site
Seniors over 65
Seniors over 65
€ 13,40 instead of € 15,50 on site
Students under 26
Students under 26
€ 13,40 instead of € 15,50 on site
Children and youth under 19
Children and youth under 19
€ 0,00
Visitors with a valid Vienna City Card
Visitors with a valid Vienna City Card
€ 14,50
Visitors with a Disability Card / Assistance
Visitors with a Disability Card / Assistance
€ 4,00
Groups of 10 or more visitors
Groups of 10 or more visitors
€ 15,90

Upper Belvedere

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday
10 am - 6 pm
Address

Upper Belvedere
Prinz Eugen-Straße 27
1030 Vienna
Austria

Impressions

The Project

Installationsansicht "Lena Henke. Aldo Rossi’s Sleeping Elephant"
Photo: Johannes Stoll / Belvedere, Vienna

A yellow elephant appears to be asleep on the floor of the Baroque Carlone Hall—or, on closer inspection, is this actually a toppled row of arches? The elephant’s sleep is simultaneously the allegorical sleep of modern sculpture itself and the dream of its utopian realization as architecture. A sculptural dimension is thus added to this space in the Upper Belvedere, which is adorned with illusionistic trompe l’oeil architecture and a ceiling painting. Lena Henke’s diverse sculptural work has establisArchitecture, city planning, public space, urban existence, and a dialogue with the lived-in world are recurring themes in Henke’s sculpture. This work’s title refers to the twentieth-century Milanese architect, architectural theorist, and designer Aldo Rossi. In his book L’architettura della città (The Architecture of the City, 1966), Rossi advocated abandoning modernist dogmas, adapting historical architecture to new roles, and viewing urban planning as an ongoing process.  Henke’s large-scale objects, which she often arranges in spacious installations, and her artistic interventions in public space consciously break with traditional notions of sculpture.

The artist experiments with both innovative techniques and traditional skills, connecting them thematically with the here and now. A preoccupation with materiality, surface, molding and modeling as creative processes are intrinsic to her art.
hed her as a leading contemporary artist. Aldo Rossi’s Sleeping Elephant was given to the Belvedere by a private collector in 2021.

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The Artist

 

Lena Henke, born in Warburg (D) in 1982, studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main under Michael Krebber. She lives and works in Berlin and New York. In 2019 Henke was awarded the Siegen Rubens Prize and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. In 2015 she won the GWK Art Prize. Lena Henke has exhibited at Kunsthalle Zürich, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, New York; the New Museum, New York, and Kunstmuseum Luzern in Switzerland, among other museums. Her works are in acclaimed collections, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; ICA Miami; the Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York; Sammlung Verbund, Vienna; Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, and Kunsthalle Bielefeld.

Henke’s diverse sculptural work highlights and challenges existing social and architectural power structures, sexuality and fetishism, the body and animals in ways that critically and humorously subvert the patriarchal canon of art history. Her works open up a highly enjoyable imaginative space in which sculpture itself expands to encompass feminist and biographical perspectives, thus gaining a new relevance.

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CARLONE CONTEMPORARY

CARLONE CONTEMPORARY is a biannual exhibition series that showcases contemporary artworks in the Carlone Hall at the Upper Belvedere. Artists engage with the Baroque pictorial program of the frescoes and build a bridge between the classical world of Apollo and Diana and the present.

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