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.

Rudolf Polanszky
featured artworks

Folding Sculpture, Flying Series No. 1 by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork sculpture
Rudolf Polanszky Folding Sculpture, Flying Series No. 1, 2018 Copper and steel pedestal
204.5 x 163 x 75 cm
Almine Rech Request Price & Availability
Coil spring drawings by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Rudolf Polanszky Coil spring drawings, 1983 Acrylic on paper, photopaper, glue, mounted on wood, in artist frame
107 x 187 x 4 cm
Almine Rech Request Price & Availability
Reconstructions by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork painting
Rudolf Polanszky Reconstructions, 2020 Mixed media on canvas, artist's frame
151.7 x 140.6 cm
Almine Rech Request Price & Availability
Reconstructions / Choros by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, mixed media
Rudolf Polanszky Reconstructions / Choros, 2020 Aluminium, copper foil, mirrored foil, resin, silicone, cardboard, acrylic glass, pigment, and acrylic on wood, in artist’s frame
156.1 x 173.2 cm
Gagosian Request Price & Availability
Reconstruction dunkle Spiegel by Rudolf Polanszky contemporary artwork mixed media
Rudolf Polanszky Reconstruction dunkle Spiegel, 2017 Plexiglass, acrylic, aluminium, silicone
175 x 152 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Request Price & Availability

Rudolf Polanszky
recent exhibitions

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Represented by these
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Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in Brussels, Belgium
Almine Rech London, New York, Shanghai, Paris, Brussels +2
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, United States
Gagosian Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris +6
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