Artlyst Podcast: Curator Ciara Moloney Discusses Forgotten Austrian Artist Kiki Kogelnik

Ciara Moloney

Modern Art Oxford presents the first solo exhibition in the UK of acclaimed Austrian artist Kiki Kogelnik (1935-1997). Working in New York in the 1960s, Kogelnik was a well-known artist and contemporary of figures such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Despite her early popularity, Kogelnik’s work was often overlooked by institutions and slowly written out of the history of post-war Western art.

‘Fly Me To The Moon’ surveys the diverse practice of this remarkable artist, focusing in particular on the works produced by Kogelnik during her time in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition includes a number of paintings, sculptures and drawings which reflect the tumult of the Cold War era, when the Space Race was at its height and fears of nuclear annihilation were growing.

Throughout her career, Kogelnik employed an exuberant palette, which belied its often apocalyptic subjects; from macabre skulls and severed limbs to disembowelled figures. These deathly bodies, rendered disposable in an increasingly mechanised world, sound a note of caution in an era continually transformed by new technologies.

Curator Ciara Moloney was kind enough to give Artlyst a tour of the exhibition of this once-forgotten artist, and gives a fascinating insight into Kogelnik’s practice.

Kiki Kogelnik was born in 1935 in Kärnten, Austria, and died in Vienna 1997. She lived and worked in New York and Vienna. Kogelnik’s work has been featured in recent exhibitions including MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria (1996); Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna (retrospective) (1998); Kunsthalle Wien, Austria (2010); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2010); Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg (2012); Louisiana Museum, Denmark (2012); Barbican Centre, London (2013) and Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (2013). Kogelnik’s work will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern, London (2015) and Mother of the Year at LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria (2015).

Ciara Moloney is Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford where she is responsible for organising exhibitions, publications and all aspects of programme presentation. She has curated exhibitions by Barbara Kruger, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Kiki Kogelnik, Debora Delmar Corp. and Patricia L Boyd. She has contributed to numerous catalogues and publications including Cura, Paper Visual Art and Circa. Prior to this, Moloney curated independent projects Victoria (2013) and Jerusalem (2012-2013) where she co-commissioned work by artists including Marlo Pascual, Aaron Angell, Allison Katz, Becky Beasley, Simon Martin and Ursula Mayer. She previously held positions at White Cube, London and mother’s tankstation, Dublin. Moloney received her BA in English Literature and History of Art from Trinity College Dublin and holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh.

Audio: Ciara Moloney. Photos, courtesy of the gallery, © Artlyst 2015 all rights reserved

Kiki Kogelnik: Fly Me to the Moon – Modern Art Oxford – until 18 October 2015


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