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b. 1951, Austria

Rudolf Polanszky Biography

This is my hope—that I always get somewhere that I can’t find otherwise. Always try to find new ways. An unknown landscape. This is a very poetic effort. I think you often go into the fog and feel your way through.

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—Rudolf Polanszky

Rudolf Polanszky was born in Vienna, where he grew up in the 1960s in the wake of the Viennese Actionists, a group of artists who staged notoriously graphic and often bloody actions and performances using people and animals. In his early work, Polanszky reacted against this movement by performing his own ironic actions. In one example from the 1980s, he attached paintbrushes, sponges dipped in paint, and coloured pens to his body and then filmed himself as he moved around and rolled on the floor of a paper-covered room, producing paintings. In his Sprungfedernzeichnungen (Coil Spring Drawings) (1983–1985), he propelled himself around the space of his studio atop a large metal spring, wielding an elongated paintbrush in each hand and leaving behind painted traces of his uncontrolled motions. For the Schlafbilder (Sleep Pictures) (1983), he wore a jumpsuit affixed with painting and drawing implements while he slept on the floor, allowing his slumbering state to illustrate his body’s kinetic patterns.

The 1990s marked an artistic turning point for Polanszky. During this period, he began creating canvas-mounted and freestanding assemblages by combining salvaged industrial materials—such as acrylic glass, aluminium, mirrored foil, resin, silicone, and wire—into new aesthetic forms, freeing them from their original contexts and uses. His term for this process of assemblage, 'ad hoc synthesis,' reveals his enduring interest in combining conscious artistic strategy with the operation of random incident to generate new meaning. Polanszky has received solo museum exhibitions across Europe, including Translineare Strukturen (Translinear Structures), a 2015 retrospective at Zeit Kunst Niederösterreich, Krems, Austria; and Eidola, an exhibition of his recent work at the Secession, Vienna, in 2018. Polanszky lives and works in Vienna.

Text courtesy Gagosian.

Exhibition view: Rudolf Polanszky, Gagosian, Paris (16 January–24 April 2021). Artwork: © Rudolf Polanszky. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Thomas Lannes.

Rudolf Polanszky Featured Artworks

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Reconstructions/Dark Mirrors/Bright Mirrors by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyReconstructions/Dark Mirrors/Bright Mirrors, 2016–2019Mirrored foil, silicone, acrylic glass, resin, polyurethane foam and acrylic on wood in artist's frame
237.8 x 197.2 cm
Gagosian Contact Gallery
Archeology / Archaic Fragments by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyArcheology / Archaic Fragments, 2020Copper, acrylic glass, and silicone on metal stand
60 x 67.5 x 17.9 cm
Gagosian Contact Gallery
Reconstructions / Translinear Fragments by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyReconstructions / Translinear Fragments, 2020Aluminium, resin, silicone, cardboard, mirrored foil, acrylic glass, pigment, and acrylic on canvas, in artist’s frame
131.1 x 155.6 cm
Gagosian Contact Gallery
Reconstruction dunkle Spiegel by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyReconstruction dunkle Spiegel, 2017Plexiglass, acrylic, aluminium, silicone
175 x 152 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Hypertransformations sculpture /
Hanging series by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyHypertransformations sculpture / Hanging series, 2005Acrylic glass, resin, metal wire, silicone, glue, plastic, with metal hooks, on metal stand
193.5 x 218.2 x 127.2 cm
Almine Rech Contact Gallery
Reconstructions / Archeotopics by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyReconstructions / Archeotopics, 2009Acrylic glass, plastic, aluminium foil, pigments, resin, silicone, glue, feathers, leaves, plastic foam mounted on wood, in artist frame
147.8 x 202.4 cm
Almine Rech Contact Gallery
Reconstructions by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyReconstructions, 2004Aluminium foil, plastic, acrylic glass, silicone, glue, resin, pigments on molino canvas, in artist frame
151.6 x 96.1 cm
Almine Rech Contact Gallery
Reconstructions / Rorschach transformations by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork
Rudolf PolanszkyReconstructions / Rorschach transformations, 2008Cardboard, acrylic glass, acrylic paint, pigments, aluminium foil, glue, silicone, resin on molino canvas, in artist frame
175 x 253.2 cm
Almine Rech Contact Gallery

Rudolf Polanszky Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Rudolf Polanszky, Rudolf Polanszky at Gagosian, Paris
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16 January–24 April 2021 Rudolf Polanszky GagosianParis
Contemporary art exhibition, Rudolf Polanszky, Hypotetic at Gagosian, Basel
15 September–28 November 2020 Rudolf Polanszky Hypotetic GagosianBasel
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, TEFAF Selection at Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf
19 March–31 July 2020 Group Exhibition TEFAF Selection Beck & Eggeling International Fine ArtDüsseldorf

Rudolf Polanszky Represented By

Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium Almine Rech Aspen, Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Shanghai
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian New York, Athens, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong

Rudolf Polanszky In Ocula Magazine

The Armory Show 2020 Ocula Photolog The Armory Show 2020

The Armory Show (5–8 March) features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions, and dynamic public programs. The 2020 edition of The Armory Show, welcomes 183 exhibitors from 32 countries, convening Midtown Manhattan at Piers 90 and 94.

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