Hans-Jürgen Hafner

 Albert Oehlen, Rennkostüm , 2001 Inkjet print, computer painting on paper Courtesy the artist

Albert Oehlen, Rennkostüm, 2001
Inkjet print, computer painting on paper
Courtesy the artist

Artists’ assistants are omnipresent in the art business. Yet, as a rule, they are all but invisible. Ever nameless they disappear from view in artists’ studios; their work is absorbed into their employers’ production and their independent creative participation in the works is subsumed by the artistic “brand” they have helped to form. However, things do seem to be changing. Not only has “Artist’s Assistant” become a recognized occupation, but assistants are starting to emerge from their anonymity and raising their profiles as artists in their own right. Hans-Jürgen Hafner sketches out the situation.

 About A B order, 2013 Diverse Materialien / Mixed media 8-teilig / 8 parts 280 x 520 x 274 cm Courtesy Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, Wien Photos: Markus Wörgötter

About A B order, 2013
Diverse Materialien / Mixed media
8-teilig / 8 parts
280 x 520 x 274 cm
Courtesy Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, Wien
Photos: Markus Wörgötter

Though Austrian artist Heinrich Dunst is au fait with the ins and outs of painting and performance, his true medium is »discourse«. One must therefore assess his conceptual work with retrospect to its origins in the Viennese scene of the 80s. If today, the discursiveness of art has become brittle, Dunst is the man to dissolve its final binding ties.