Heimo Zobernig, who was born in Austria in 1958, is one of the most important in a generation of artists who, since the 1980s, have been pursuing strategies aimed at deconstructing art and the contexts in which art is received. From the outset, he was aware that it is impossible to get round the fact that art is a system of meaning. For this reason, Zobernig does not bring his external artistic analysis to art. Instead he works with the media of art in order to reveal their mechanisms of meaning and functionality.
Zobernig dissects the language of art into its syntactical components with analytical incisiveness and so empties it of its "transcendental" aura of meaning. It is this apparent "deficit of meaning" that makes Zobernig's art appear plain and transparent. His art's consequent apparent banality and simplicity should also be seen as criticism of (formalistic) avant garde art − an avant garde that insisted on elevating art in terms of its content. The attempt to turn art as an aesthetic experience critical to knowlege on its head is actually what is provocative and controversial about Zobernig's artistic strategy.
These introductory words also apply to Zobernig's drawings, which are being exhibited comprehensively and in chronological order for the first time in this exhibition. The earliest drawings in the exhibition are from 1982, a time when Zobernig was enrolled as a student at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. The most recent ones date from 2013. The rich selection of drawings affords a view into Zobernig's way of thinking and working, and shows the range of functions that the drawings occupy in Zobernig's creative process. This ranges from the cryptic notation of an idea to overly elaborate drawings of a pictorial nature. Taken as a whole, all the drawings display an undogmatic, often ironic playfulness and an infectious pleasure in the sensuality of the materials.