The great mess

Springstreet Brooklyn NYC; Öl,Tusche auf Leinwand, 160x210cm, 2007

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Clemens Wolf
The great mess

Clemens Wolf, born 1981 in Vienna, has his artistic roots in street art. Even though he now works on canvas, the reference to urban space is a central part of his work. Years ago he started looking for dilapidated buildings and making them the subject of his paintings. The aura of decay, the ambiguity of destruction and the threat posed by the sight of these places fascinates him so much that he strives in his works to capture the aesthetics in the moment of decay. In the large format pictures of the series “the great mess”, the young Viennese painter counterpoints the eroding monuments, the decaying architecture in the middle of urban spaces, using a structuring combination of oil and stencil techniques. It is his way of dealing critically with post-industrial and social developments without being overbearing. The current development of the world economy gives Wolf's monochrome aesthetic of decay additional current explosiveness, as some of the motifs symbolize the decline of industrial companies during the economic downturn of the last century. Other motifs, such as the burned down Sofiensäle in Vienna, bear witness to the inexorable end of a historical place and thus a piece of contemporary history. Geronimo-Noah Hirschal, editor and journalist



1981 born in Vienna, A
2002-2007 Art University Linz, fine arts, A
2004 founded the artist group HW
2005 Academy of Fine Arts, Maastricht, NL
2006 artist-in-residence, Hildesheim, D
Diesel New Art Award winner, A
2008 Foundation of Artelier Reichsapfelgasse
Lives and works in Vienna, A 


Exhibitions (selection)

Nominations Koschatzky Prize, Mumok Hofstallungen, Vienna, A

In between, Genia Schreiber University Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, ISR
Austria conTemporary, Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg, A
I don't have enough dull eyes, Universal Cube, Leipzig, D
A touch of red, Phantom Galleries, Pasadena, USA
The great mess, The Continental Gallery Los Angeles, USA
Signs and Wonders, California Market Center, Los Angeles, USA
2007 Lacystreet arts, Los Angeles, USA
Art tour 07, Maastricht, NL
Artmart-Viennart, Künstlerhaus Vienna, A
Once upon a time, Gartenpalais Lichtenstein Vienna, A

Steelcitykids, Junglerushstudio, Los Angeles, USA
Diesel New Art Award, Concrete Salon Museumsquartier Vienna, A
Change of location, Kunstverein Hildesheim, D
Street art, the readable city, Freiraum Museumsquartier Wien, A
Shadows, McKinsey & Company Vienna, A
Higher than the sky, Art University Linz, A

Body politics, Art University Linz, A
Cover version / Fake, Landesgalerie Wels, A