The New York Optimist
January 2009
The next two columns of R-Town Extended will be in response to work viewed in the context of large thematic group
exhibitions and serve not only to introduce the readers to the work of two painters but  show how the work respectively  
stood out as the unlikely hereon in each.

The Road to Metaphor Runs Through its’ Factual Self.

Painting by Ingrid Pröller.                                        

I entered the “Austrian Contemporary” show here at the Essl Museum in Klosteneuburg with much eagerness. It’s an
exhibition focusing on the next up and coming enclave of emerging artists in Austria in which the painter Ingrid Pröller is
included. Ironically in light of its title, I discovered a moderately recurring theme in this show to be “The Landscape” with a
“seen but not heard” compliancy as if it were being considered as an alternate form of subject matter for portraiture with a
clandestine approach particularly in the “Multi Media” installations. That is not to say “The Landscape” cannot be re issued to
provoke our historical references to the genre, but in the context of “Contemporary Art” perhaps its best to be direct when
taking on such an endeavor and share with the viewer one’s point!

It’s in the purposefulness and transparency in the emotional investment combined with the solid curriculum in the
fundamentals of a work of art that permeates an essentiality of form. Where you can’t imagine it to either look like or contain
anything else other than what one is confronted with. It’s in this audacious insistence in light of any developing nuances that
may be as transparent that a work will permeate the vitality and vibe to fascilitate the dispatch of contemporary content.

I can hear Metalica’s new single, “Enter Painting”

Ingrid Pröller’s early works, small study portraits on canvas-board, were mainly of regional sport heroes rendered almost too
vivaciously for their easy to carry, take home sizes and came off more like illustrative supplements for the same media
source from which she’d obtain her subject matter. But in hind sight this juncture represents the arduous mission of a painter
leaning forward with the fervor and unrelenting determination to develop their language that is required to give ones’ work its
pertinent form.

The paintings now are large, sumptuous and well articulated canvases that offer a more suitable framework for her talent to
be accessed.  Spanning some 4 meters in width, none of the fierce application of line, form and color dispersion has been
tempered or watered down.  The structural integrity of the image is even more fortified as there’s more space in the image
field itself for ones eyes to engage. The subject matter now reflects a more anonymous sector of a youthful and playful
culture still athletic but not associated with high profile professional sport personnel heralded as public figures. These are
large multi-panel landscape paintings that are more clear and direct in their assertion. These landscapes manipulate its
figurative guest as an ephemeral presence or “mirage” less defined in structure than the affirmative rendering of the
environment around them which is almost a reversal from the earlier works.  Ms Pröllers’ canvases reveal a more personal
rapport for the rural endowment and the infinite options of engagement one can have with their surroundings that play a
significant component in the infrastructure and maturation of ones life’s work and play.

Sequential time lapse digital clips of folk lore Film and TV heroes, inductive activated interiors dimly lit, oversized cushy
figures with mammoth genitalia, and snaps shots of boys and girls “working it” all presented in one fortress of benevolence
doesn’t imbue the sense of vivacity and critical power one comes to anticipate when entering a show with “Contemporary”
included in a two word title there at the Essl.

Ingrid Pröller’s paintings of active youth in emblazoned serenity embody an authenticity via the efficiency of impact in getting
the image (message) to the viewer. I can’t help but wonder, on occasion an apple being addressed as an apple carries enough
metaphorical impetus in which to create and from produce.

Alexander Viscio
Ingrid Proller
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