Heimo Zobernig’s work is structured as an examination and an expansion of two of the central tropes of twentieth century painting: the grid and the monochrome. His riffs on these themes spill out from his paintings – often classically modernist themselves in their square 100 x 100 or 150 x 150 cm formats - into sculptures, videos and room installations. Zobernig fundamentally subverts the high modernist ideal of the monochrome, compromising its aesthetic purity with the introduction of the decorative (Swarovski crystals on a white ground) the functional (the choma-key blue used in video editing) or the lightly comic.
Part of Zobernig’s studies were in set design and elements of mise-en-scène run through his work and inform the way in which he installs and exhibits it. He often uses fabric curtains or light to create monochromatic environments within which his works are installed. His sculptures, often minimal, playful or inquisitive, expand this monochrome field. Zobernig’s grid paintings, too, are ruptured and fractured, seeming to hold in balance both the rigorous logic of their structure and the random, broken lines which interrupt them.
Heimo Zobernig was born in Austria in 1958, and lives and works in Vienna. He studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna from 1977-1980, and at the Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst, Vienna from 1980-1983. He has exhibited extensively across the world, including recent solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Kunsthalle Zurich, Tate St Ives in Cornwall, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, CAPC, Musée d’art Contemporain, Bordeaux, and Essl Museum, Vienna.