|The Woman of Society - 7.5.2015|
The IDEA Society in cooperation with the Vienna International Center Art Club present
An Artistic expression in dialogue between two artists (4.-15.May 2015)
Opening: Raymond Nader, President - VIC Art Club and Dr. Stefan Stoev, Chairman - IDEA Society
Key Note: Marinela Stefanc, Womens Federation for World Peace
Curator: Yoshiko Pammer
Vernissage: May 7th, 4:30pm
Needed information for Registration are the following:
Title: Mr. or Mrs; First Name: Last Name: Date of birth: Type of ID: ID number: Issuing Country:
Those who would like to enter the VIC and attend the exhibition opening on May 7th are requested to present this identity document at Gate 1 of the VIC.
Women have, throughout history and throughout the world, been a source of inspiration for and one of the greatest subjects of art. Their representation in these works may tell us much about the impressions held of women across the different periods, and particularly since the emancipation of women, we may observe how these impressions have or have not changed.
As the art of each age inevitably reflects the ideas, concerns, and state of the human condition and society as a whole, we might ask what the contemporary artwork of today reflects about our modern world. Living at a time where more women are working and leading than ever before and gender equality on all levels is given such importance, what does the artwork of today express about the position of women and her contribution to society?
This exhibition brings together the artwork of two Vienna-based artists, Lea Fuchs and Ljubomir Dimov, to establish a dialogue based on the notion of woman as a role and women as driver of today’s society. For both artists, the human figure is a prominent feature of their work, the medium which carries the desired concept from creator to beholder. Fuchs and Dimov offer us both a man’s and woman’s perspective of the much-discussed figure that has the right to be seen for who she is.
The representational women figures in Lea Fuchs’s “The Beauty and the Beast” compositions can be seen lying in various poses amidst an array of abstracted shapes and colours. Geometrical patterns and animal printed textures weave across the canvas, creating a dynamic backdrop to the silhouette-like figures. A tension is created however between the vibrant, colourful visuals and the darker symbolism of the imagery. In these works, Lea Fuchs portrays women not as subjects but as objects of passivity dominated by their environment. The shapely figures represent typically beautiful women, and their poses exhibit the attractiveness of femininity, but Fuchs exposes the problematic relationship between women and beauty as a socially constructed connection since the beginning of history which has led the woman to be seen (and even to see herself) as an object to be observed, enjoyed and owned. By making herself a passive object, an object of seduction, woman is also dominating. Whilst being the Beauty, in other words, she also becomes the Beast.
This conflicting position of the woman is wrestled with in Fuchs’s paintings, and also brings the viewer to question his or her own position to the figures on canvas.Fuchs’s figures remain indistinct, without any facial descriptions apart from occasional lipstick-defined mouths. It is the position of the human that Lea Fuchs is most concerned with, rather than direct depictions of the person, for the individual is so greatly defined by their position.
In Lea Fuch’s “Fereastra”, however, the liberation of women is depicted both literally and conceptually, whereby the woman herself takes an active position in breaking out of the frame that has defined her. “Fereastra,” the Romanian word for “window,” invites us to regard this structure which creates the ideas of positions and perspectives, depending on where one chooses to stand. The woman in this piece is no longer directed at the viewer, but is choosing the direction she takes, leaving the dark forest behind her as she moves outwards, towards the light. The movement of the figure, her flowing garment and the curtains, represents the freedom to decide one’s position and direction.
Likewise, “Mneme,” which represents the three Muses of Greek mythology, presents the encouraging picture of women coming together and taking an active position, again with the window motif in the background. The women are at ease, but sit confidently, and unlike the passive reclining figures in “the Beauty and the Beast”, their heads have become the highest point rather than the lowest. In this composition, the books they hold represent the empowerment of knowledge and the freedom which comes with the ability to think and to decide.
Simone de Beauvoir’s quote, “One is not born a woman but becomes a woman,” could therefore be read in both its criticism of the socially constructed view of women but also in the positive implication that the freedom exists for the woman to become her own person.
The paintings of Ljubomir a much softer and warmer palette than Lea Fuchs’s works, which in contrast are mainly composed with colder colours of blue, green and black. His painting style is a more traditional one, which takes inspiration from older movements such as impressionism and at times, cubism and pointillism. Moreover, where Fuchs presents an uglier truth cloaked in aestheticism, Dimov expresses more the joy of life, in a painterly lyrisicim. His paintings carry the impression of being visions from fantastical dreams, myths and tales, where the human figures are heralded as dramatic characters, rather than positions, on the dynamic stage of life. He in fact describes his work as monologues or dialogues with all the personalities in himself, where he is both the King and the peasant, experiencing the full palette of the emotional rainbow. The human being in all its facets is his inspiration.
The woman is rarely a solo subject in Dimov’s paintings, but is mostly seen in context with others and particularly in relationship to men. Although she is usually a minority in these works, Dimov tends to bring her to attention from the crowd. She is either dressed in eye-catching colours or sits in a focal position to the whole composition. Other portrayals however show the woman serving men, with her body exposed, or taking a submissive curtsying position in the background. For Dimov, the woman is the composition of everything, of darkness and light, of joy and suffering. Above all, however, she is the source of love.
“The woman holding a piece of the sky” is one of the few pieces where Ljubomir Dimov has made a dedicated portrait of a woman. This woman is “Luna Krasa” and represents the Slavic Mona Lisa. The action of holding a piece of the sky is a picture of both strength and fragility, and represents the notion of holding everything yet at the same time, nothing. The woman’s reassuring gaze towards the viewer in this piece invites us to reflect on this idea and at the same time it casts an air of tranquillity which silences our qualms and questions. Luna Krasa represents the peaceful strength of the woman. In Ljubomir Dimov’s opinion, the human figure can get easily lost, but in his work it finds a place of comfort.
Lea Fuchs and Ljubomir Dimov’s different approaches give us space in finding our own understanding of womanhood, of how we view them or ourselves, of how they can be seen either through their position or their character, and how they have been shaped by and/or are shaping our society.
Opening address by Raymond Nader, President, VIC Art Club:
“…. staging this remarkable exhibition organized by the IDEA Society demonstrates strong co-operation between various cultures in the International Community.
Those cultures represent your nations, your interesting differences. From this venue we step up to value our differences and accept others as others accept us.
As we continue to make progress in this domain, and with closer cross-boundary collaboration, I look forward to more cultural exchanges between the VIC Art Club and the IDEA Society.
We, in the VIC Art Club, think with one mind, act in one motive and speak one language, called Art. Although we represent various cultures from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas, I can only assert to you how proud we are to set example of the unique opportunity to gather so many nations in one club.
Women representation in the VIC Art Cub reached more than 68 %.
We extend our arms to them and to everyone else who share our value, the more we know the better we feel, the better we grow.
Cultural exchanges are very significant part of the cooperation between VIC Art Club and the International Community, given their unique role to enhance mutual understanding, trust and friendship between various nations.
This reflects the all-around friendly relations and the harmony in the mosaic of our society.
I invite you to take a close look at every aspect of those differences without comparing it to your culture, race or gender, but with an open mind and an open window to another interesting value and what it carries with it.
Woman is vital in our existence and for the reason she brings into development. It influences development through its various forms of expression…
… we would NOT have been able to achieve what we have achieved up to today if it wasn’t for the curiosity of women.
..the whole story started in the Garden of Eden, when God commanded us NOT to eat from the tree of knowledge. We, men, complied, it was only Eve and her curiosity challenged the word of the lord and ate form the tree. Without her, yes we would have been in a heaven but without knowledge, progress or success stories.
Eve curiosity has always fascinated me knowing that nothing happens without challenges and trying something new. Most of the innovations happen out of curiosity.
Today, I feel that the IDEA Society and its Women in Society and the VIC Art Club are becoming closer to each other, especial thanks to Antoine Karam and Stefan Stoev the president of IDEA Society for their initiative….”