Johanna Kandl

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born 1954 in Vienna, Austria lives and works in Vienna, Austria and Berlin, Germany

Johanna Kandl’s snapshot paintings often confront language and reality: “Privatization” is a buzzword that still has dramatic connotations for many people. Kandl paints in a realistic style that invokes the return of figuration.

At the same time, however, she avoids outright figuration by using critical sentences and quotations from various sources such as daily newspapers to comment on the pictures. Precisely because of the historicity of the media she uses, she casts a much sharper light on the current situation of the world than could be achieved using new media.

By choosing to look at everyday life that seems to be fantastic, in a homeland that appears to be foreign, and by underpinning her choice with texts that often describe the pictures from a cold distance, she provides a window to the status quo of global society.


Installation view of Johanna Kandl
Untitled, 2003
Egg tempera on wood, 115 x 150 cm
Courtesy Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Artothek des Bundes
Photo by Nathalie Thonhauser