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INSECTS

INSECTS

by Lisa Huber

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One feature that has proved to be particularly popular over the years is our Room for Artistic Intervention in our Museum of Fine Arts. This is a space with resonances, a special place in which the sacred and the profane, the expected and the unexpected can come together. Transformations and processes. The artists who have to date been invited to contribute have never ceased to amaze through their artistic projects with their unbelievably many-layered and complex allusions to Admont Abbey, a still active monastery with a cultural legacy dating back more than 945 years.

For the 2020 season, the Room will host an exhibition of cut-paper works by the artist Lisa Huber on the subject of 'Insects'. Our regular visitors will no doubt realise immediately that this installation makes reference to the collection of 252,000 insects that was put together by Father Gabriel Strobl and is currently in the Museum of Natural History.

Lisa Huber used to produce large works from wood, but in 2004 she changed her technique and started instead to make works from paper. This was because she had suffered a serious accident and had to spend some time recuperating. It was during this phase that she began to attach small pieces of copperplate engraving paper together with masking tape to produce large format backgrounds. To these, she now attaches her images cut from paper. The initial inspiration for her now extensive assemblage of paper works was the famous 'Rhinoceros' woodcut made by Albrecht Dürer in 1515. Lisa Huber's early cut-paper work based on this, a large format rhinoceros created in 2004, is also in the Abbey's collection.

Some time ago, Lisa Huber decided to look for animal motifs in the Admont Abbey Library. One source of inspiration she found here was a 1669 edition of the zoological work by Conrad Gessner (1516-1565), 'Historia animalium', originally published 1551-1558. In it, Gessner describes all animals known at the time, including many that have since been shown to be mythical, such as the unicorn, an animal which Lisa Huber subsequently interpreted in wonderful fashion. The paper works are made from several layers of wax paper superimposed over each other. Depending on positioning, variation and density of the layers, the resultant transparency is employed by the artist to masterly effect to create impressions of light and shadow, superficiality and depth.

It is not Lisa Huber's intention to construct naturalistic images but rather, borrowing from historical examples, to generate abstraction, schematisation and – not least – an attractive ornamental effect. A further cut-paper work by Lisa Huber dating to 2005 can also be seen in the stairwell that leads from the ground floor to the first floor of the museum – a larger-than-life, massive 3.7 metre crocodile.

The chronology of Artistic Interventions:

Franz Graf (2003), Ingeborg Strobl (2004), Markus Wilfling (2005), Norbert Trummer (2006), Thomas Baumann and Martin Kaltner (2007), Stefan Emmelmann (2008), Wilhelm Scherübl (2009), Werner Reiterer (2010), Karl Leitgeb (2011), Hannelore Demel-Lerchster (2012), Emil Siemeister (2013/14), Götz Bury (2015/16), Carola Willbrand (2017/18), Daniel Zimmermann (2019) and Lisa Huber (2020).

Curated by: Michael Braunsteiner

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