It has been exactly 20 years since I first came to Vienna to participate in the opening exhibition at T19 Gallery. Since then I have made deep connections and friendships here, despite never having lived here. I am grateful for yet another opportunity to show my work in Vienna. My first exhibition in New York had a lot to do with European history. albeit in an indirect way. This time I am showing work which reflects on my own country.
The political situation in the United States is unprecedented. The nation is bitterly divided. People who never paid any attention to politics now hang on every detail and development of the Administration, and the ongoing investigation into the 2016 election. There are many parallels in many other Western democracies, but there is a sense that the period of relative peace and stability (at least in the Western Hemisphere) with the United States as its anchor is ending.
For artists, this leads to a dilemma: Does one ignore what is going on, and make art which is non-political and serves other very valid functions of art? Make polemical art which specifically references the events? Or, choose a third way, which is to allow what is going on to inform and influence one’s work without directly commenting on it.
This is what I am trying to do.
First and foremost I have chosen the images which I have painted because there is something about them which fascinates me from a visual standpoint. But there is a thread between the film of the Kennedy assassination, to the landscape of Vietnam, to symbols of American power such as Air Force One, or American Football players protesting police brutality. All are polarizing images, almost Rorschach tests for one’s political beliefs.
But most importantly, there is something in them which inspires me to paint them.
It will be interesting to show these in a European context.
Jonathan Podwil, Brooklyn NY Jan 17 2018
Jonathan Podwil b. 1966 Philadelphia, PA. Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York
– SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018 Pax Americana >RAUMSTATION Vienna
2015 Claus Prokop + Jonathan Podwil, KUNSTWERKSTATT, Tulln
2011 The Golden Age of Cinema 443 PAS, New York
2008 State of the Union Incident Report Viewing Station, Hudson NY
2007 Meeting, 1983 Plane Space, New York
2002 Plane Space, New York
2000 Reisen Sie in Eine Neue Welt T19, Vienna
1998 This Has Happened AU Base, New York
– SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018 NADA Art Fair; The Half Gallery, Curated by Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Miami FL
2014 Fiction in Reality ISE Cultural Foundation, New York
2012 Adult Contemporary Mayson Gallery, New York
2011 Social Photography II Carriage Trade, New York
2011 In Like a Lion curated by Christopher Warrington 443 PAS, New York
2010 Social Photography Carriage Trade, New York
2009 Opening curated by Björn Ross. Galleri Rostrum, Malmö SE
2008 Le Grand Miel Curated by Martina Schumacher, Atelier 63 Leipzigerstrasse, Berlin D
2008 Gangbusters, Plane Space, New York
2008 Nightmares & Dreamscapes Curated by Ombretta Agro’ Andruff, Galeria Alberto Peola, Torino IT
2006 Pineapple Video Bar Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin D
– GRANTS AND AWARDS
2012 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant
2003 Creative Capital, New York, Professional Development Workshop.
1996 American Scandinavian Society, New York. Cultural grant