The poet, Robert Herrick, wrote: But ne’er the rose without the thorn. Or without the blade, as is the case with the installation by Renate Bertlmann that features in Belvedere’s Carlone Contemporary exhibition series.
- An arrangement of glass flower stems, each pierced by a blade
- Work adapted from Bertlmann’s contribution at the Venice Biennale
- Curated by Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein
- Runs Feb 20, 2020 – Jan 31, 2021
- See also:
- Current contemporary art exhibitions
(View of the Renate Bertlmann installation; press photo: Johannes Stoll / Belvedere, Wien; © Renate Bertlmann & Richard Saltoun Gallery, London)
OK, I have a soft spot for the Carlone Contemporary series of exhibitions at Belvedere. Each one places a piece of contemporary art in the heavily-frescoed Carlone Hall of this baroque palace.
The contrast of old with new and the interplay between art forms reflect Vienna itself, where history and modern development conduct a merry dance throughout the cityscape.
This iteration of the series features a piece by Renate Bertlmann, adapted from a part of her Discordo Ergo Sum contribution to the 2019 Venice Biennale.
The work features a large grid of single glass flower stems. Sharp knives emerge from the tops of the red blooms, adding another layer of duality to the Carlone Contemporary exhibition: the fragility of the flower contrasts with the fierceness of the blades.
It’s rare that I share something in common with an artist at Belvedere. Bertlmann once studied at Oxford and so did I (albeit Biology, which qualifies me to talk about real flowers, but not these stark statements made of Murano glass).
Bertlmann’s subsequent career and output crosses different media – everything from performance art to photography and drawing. But often with a radical bent and an eye for social and feminist issues. Her work has appeared in exhibitions all over the world, perhaps most notably at the Tate Modern.
In 2017, Bertlmann was awarded the Grand Austrian State prize, one of the highest accolades possibly for artistic achievement in the country. Previous winners include Walter Pichler, whose Alte Figur work preceded the roses in the Carlone Hall.
Dates, tickets & tips
View Bertlmann’s work from February 20th, 2020 through to January 31st, 2021. No extra ticket is required, just the normal entrance for Upper Belvedere.
They operate a time slot system there now. Since the exhibition extends across the busy summer months, my recommendation would be to book your ticket in advance. Or use something like a Vienna Pass for one-time free entry at any time.
How to get to the installation
Just follow the directions for Belvedere. The Carlone Hall is the first on the right once you get inside Upper Belvedere palace and past the ticket check.
Address: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna