Heimo Zobernig (b. 1958, Mauthen, Austria)
Heimo Zobernig was born in 1958, in Mauthen, Austria and currently lives in Vienna. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, and later at the University of Applied Arts, both in Vienna. After two visiting professorships in Germany, he has been teaching at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna since 1999. He was the recipient of the Otto Mauer Prize in 1993, followed in 1997 by the City of Vienna’s Prize for Fine Art.
Zobernig has mined various art historical moments and movements, specifically Modernism, post-Modernism, Geometric Abstraction and Minimalism, with a rigorous and interrogatory spirit. His often playful approach also includes a keen and abiding affinity with modes of display, set design and theatricality.
The artist has had numerous international solo exhibitions, including Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp (2020); Simon Lee, Hong Kong (2019); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston (2017); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2016); the Austrian Pavillion, La Biennale di Venezia (2015); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2015); MUDAM, Luxembourg (2014); Documenta 9 and X in Kassel, and additional solo shows at the Kunsthaus Graz (2013); Palacio de Veláquez, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2012); Kunsthalle Zurich (2011); Pestorius Sweeney House, Brisbane, Australia (2011); Musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux (2009); MAK, Vienna (2008); the K21, Düsseldorf (2003); Museum of Modern Art, Vienna (2002).
Zobernig’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at the New Museum, New York (2020); MAMCO, Geneva (2019); The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2019); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Whitney Museum of American Art (2015); Simon Lee Gallery, London (2014), and Kunstmuseum Basel (2012), among many others.
In 2016 Heimo Zobernig won the Roswitha Haftmann Prize, and in 2010 he won the Frederick Kiesler Prize for Art and Architecture in Vienna.
Zobernig’s work is part of many notable public collections including MAMCO, Geneva; MAK, Vienna; Augarten Contemporary, Vienna; Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; and Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria, among others.
Since the 1980s, Zobernig has coolly unpacked modernism as formal language and as social ideology, reminding us that design (gallery architecture included) is never neutral.
Excerpt from Joshua Decter’s “Hemo Zobernig: Friedrich Petzel Gallery,” Artforum, Summer 2008.