b. 1973, Austria

Markus Schinwald Biography

Markus Schinwald's interdisciplinary body of work encompasses video, performance, dance, theatre, painting, photography, installation, and even puppetry. The artist creates mysterious and unsettling atmospheres that hint at their Viennese production context, through references to the austere Biedermeier style or to psychoanalysis. His work focuses on processes of manipulation and transformation of bodies and their environments. This emphasis is rooted in his early training in fashion and costume history, which not only awakened his general interest in clothing, but also drew his attention to the ways in which people are limited physically and emotionally by their cultural context.

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Schinwald has declared himself a 'builder of prostheses for undefined cases', and alters 19th century portraits by painting improbable apparatuses on the characters' faces and bodies, such as bandages, splints or wires that seem to fasten their limbs together. The artist has also developed a series of manipulated pieces of furniture, often using Biedermeier table or chair legs that are characteristic of the style valued by a growing middle-class in that period. He transforms these items by sawing off the legs and rearranging them in uncanny ways that often bring out their anthropomorphic qualities.

Born in Salzburg in 1973, Schinwald studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Linz and the Humboldt University, Berlin. He now lives and works between Vienna and New York. He represented Austria at the 54th Venice Biennial in 2011 and his work has been shown in solo museum exhibitions including Fondazione Coppola, Vicenza (2020); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Malága (2017); Magazin III Stockholm (2015); Museum M, Leuven (2015); SFMOMA and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2014); Kunstverein Hannover (2011); Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz (2011); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2009); Műcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest (2009); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2008); Augarten Contemporary, Vienna (2007); Aspen Art Museum (2006); and Frankfurter Kunstverein (2004).

Text courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.

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