M. Temnitschka (A) - "Altes Eisen / Old Iron"

Temnitschka: Old Iron-1, 2019, 150 x 120 cm     Old Iron-12, 2019, 120 x 90 cm

Opening / Vernissage: Mi., 12. February 2020, at 18.00 o'clock
Duration of exhibition: 13th of Feb. - 21st of Mar. 2020
Opening speech: Andreas Hoffer (fine arts historian, curator at Kunsthalle Krems, NÖ)

Maria Temnitschka has been working for many years in variations on the theme of decay, it is for her a "life theme" to which she returns again and again. Her preference for industrial, aging architecture is well known and manifests itself in countless pictures on this theme.

The painter, who originally studied metal design and only later turned to painting, still feels the same enthusiasm for the hard material metal and especially for iron. An industrial ruin with old machines, for Maria Temnitschka the perfect source of inspiration, in the form of a former textile factory in northern Lower Austria, provided her with the appropriate motifs for her new cycle - "Old Iron".

The choice of the title is no coincidence, because on the one hand this term is used to describe things that are no longer needed, but on the other hand it is also used in a disparaging way for people who are no longer needed on the labour market due to their age. In addition, she wants her pictorial inventions to be understood as symbolic, whereby her pictorial content always goes beyond the mere representation of found situations. The painter is concerned with profoundly human issues, and even if the human being is not represented in her pictures, he is always present.

The abandoned rooms and the objects in them tell of the people who once worked here and, in the case of the old textile factory, of work processes that hardly ever take place in this form today. These machines come from a bygone era, have missed the connection to today's production conditions and wait in a kind of permanent sleep for their removal. Tender webs of threads and woven fabric are still in most of the rusting machines, inseparably connected to them, hard and tender in a last embrace. Here, the plug was pulled abruptly in the middle of the production process. That was a long time ago, but the shock rigidity is still present in the rooms today. These sceneries seem fantastic, a lancet-shaped thread spool lying on the floor does not coincidentally remind us of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.

In this way the painter alludes with a wink to her own person and work. The fast pace of time has long since taken hold in the art world, which is greedily throwing itself at the young generation to come. In this time of obsession with youth, she directs a loving glance at objects and patterns that were current in her youth and refers to their formal and/or functional quality.

Maria Temnitschka portrays such objects, devices and tools and sometimes places them in absurd relationships with each other, thus creating her own stories. A canister and a water pipe compete for a sealing ring, a metal bottle and a 50-dkg weight are tied together by a string, and pliers, a pair of compasses and a mounting clamp have bitten into each other. Not everything that is old is useless, the opposite is often true.

So the little pocket lamp from the 60s has already had countless battery changes and the still somewhat older fan whirrs quietly and powerfully against the ever hotter summers. It is doubtful whether such products from today's production will survive half a century of functioning.

If then a crumb grater and a tin can sit next to each other on one board, it seems like   - like an aged married couple...
"Old iron" - very human.

More information about the artist can be found in the following "download link" (work info), either at Kunst.Net Österreichdescription at Kunstnet, or at internal web-site directory ARTISTS .