Interview: Leo Hainzl
Luca Curci talks with Pamela See during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2022, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal.
Born in 1968 in Bruck/Mur (Styria, Austria). Already in my youth occupation with art history. Between 1987 and 1993 stays abroad in Italy, Iceland and Israel. From 1994 to 1999 study of painting and graphics at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. After graduating in the autumn 1999, the first solo exhibition “Interregional Aspects and Visual References” in the Kunsthaus Muerz Gallery. Since 2000 numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries and cultural institutions in Austria, Germany, Slovenia, England, Switzerland and Portugal. Works can be found in the art collections of the City of Vienna and the Neue Galerie at the Universalmuseum Joanneum in Graz. Since 2002 lecturer at the Institute for Art and its mediation at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg (Lower Saxony) in the module “Aesthetic- Artistic Practice”. 2009/10 five publications of exhibition reviews on the web portal art magazine.cc. In 2011, my previous formal and thematic work production was mentioned in the General Artists Lexicon (De Gruyter Publishing House, Munich).From 2011 to 2013 course in art and cultural studies at the University of Applied Arts. At the same time, starting in autumn 2021, two-semester integral studies at the Faculty for Interdisciplinary Research and Education (IFF) with a final certificate on the project topic “Titian’s body depictions between life, pain and death”. My works deal with questions and aspects of social issues that sometimes arise over a longer period of time. The picture elements are an examination of art- scientific terms, craft techniques and contemporary discourses.
Every medium demands a context. Drawing or painting does not necessarily arise in a sensual process, but rather is a basic conflict between concept, claim and implementation. The focus is on the processing of the material or the spiritual and the ambiguous essence in images. The application of the colours is partly strong or subdued, sometimes monochrome or structured with gradations in black and white. Another aspect is the questioning of the self-referential nature of painting as a hybrid artefact in the 21st century. The everyday image presence in social networks is shaped by consumption, greed, envy or suffering. How do we influence visual information and how do we process it? Drawing and painting are – often criticized in the art reception – ways of expressing a position. I am interested in the limits of perception and how much objectivity is necessary for the works. The areas of research, production and mediation include my fields of activity. Since March 2020 there has been a previously unknown lockdown on a collective level with restrictions for many people. Physical seclusion, reduced social contacts and visits to exhibitions, and digital video conferences create a paradoxical situation between nightmare and reality. Longing for mobility and broadening of horizons stand in the way of a restriction on a virtual level. In the graphic and painterly works, reflections on works by Jacopo Carucci da Pontormo (1494-1557) and René Magritte (1898-1967) were created parallel to independent motifs within a real radius of 50 meters in Krieglach (Muerz valley).
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Leo Hainzl – Art encompasses many media and is omnipresent. In daily practice, dealing with art is a constant challenge. For me, art consists of three areas: Conception. production, communication.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
LH – While painting I am self-critical and at the beginning, I always think about whether the draft and the underpainting are a good base for a continuation of the picture. My habit when the painting is constantly changing the position of the picture and the angle of view to check the effect. My ritual is to work on paper first and then continue to work on canvas. Relative stillness is important to me to focus on the painting process.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
LH – Of course, I’m happy about the reactions of the visitors. It is important to me that my work is integrated into real life and that people communicate their perceptions.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
LH – My motifs 25 years ago were body-focused, 20 years ago it was an examination of still lifes, ten years ago a series of depictions of people. Five years ago I was fascinated by portraits. I am currently working on hybrid figurative painting: still an analogue implementation, but with digital documentation in the various work phases.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
LH – The picture “Lux”, for example, is an examination of Venetian art history of the 16th century and the consequences of the current pandemic in interpersonal encounters.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
LH – I am very impressed by the professional and enthusiastic work of the team led by curator Luca Curci. Bringing together a group exhibition with artists from all continents in Venice at this high level is an extraordinary achievement.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
LH – Every collaboration with Itsliquid Group is exciting and a creative process for me. I am very happy to have the opportunity to speak Italian in addition to English. I am already looking forward to the next cooperation. Thank you for everything.