Helmut Grill
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Exhibitions

  • Publications

  • Links

Surreal landscapes full of hidden, cryptic details waiting to be discovered – media artist Helmut Grill creates fantastic scenes that appear to have sprung from a dream world. Located at the intersection of kitsch and romantic painting, upon closer inspection his images reveal an abundance of surprising elements. Grill integrates symbols of consumer culture, logos of famous luxury brands, and insignia of capitalism where we least expect them: The McDonald’s emblem on the side of an idyllic mountain hut, fashion labels engraved on the heads of poppies, and a billboard in the middle of a snowy mountain range. The fact that advertising and fine arts overlap has been clear at least since the time of Andy Warhol. But here, it is more than simply traces of mass culture that are left on the natural landscape. The patient observer can identify references to contemporary artists in many of Grill’s works – from Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture to a well-hidden Koons-esque rabbit.

Helmut Grill’s digital compositions play with our contemporary visual culture’s aesthetic norms, which have wrestled photography away from the grips of authenticity. He skilfully experiments with blur and focus. The artist himself describes landscape compositions as Kulissen (German for “backdrops”), stressing the staged character of his works. The surprising details, which are introduced as props, are drawn from an enormous archive of visual artefacts.

"I send viewers on a journey not only to find the secrets buried in my work, but also to discover their own unique story." Helmut Grill

Daniela Kummle
1965Born in Salzburg, Austria
Lives and works in Vienna, Austria

Collections (Selection)

Museum am Berg, Salzburg, Austria
MUMOK, Vienna, Austria
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Canada

Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

2014Helmut Grill, 3 Punts Galerie, Berlin, Germany
2013Sceneries, Galerie 2C for Art, Salzburg, Austria
Wagner Extase, Telegraph Office, Vienna, Austria
Dreamsscapes, Olyvia Fine Arts, London, UK
Helmut Grill, Gallery Lili Ubel, Paris, France
Sceneries, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna, Austria
2012Sceneries, Galerie Suppan Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
2011Helmut Grill, Museumspavillon, Salzburg, Austria
2010Kepos, Galerie Suppan, Vienna, Austria
Eyes on Photography, Suppan Contemporary, RZB, Vienna, Austria
2006Helmut Grill, Remy Toledo Gallery, New York City, USA

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

2014Wunderland, Aaartfoundation Kirchberg, Kitzbühel, Austria
2Y2C, 2C for Art Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
2012L’inauguration, Gallery Lili Ubel, Paris, France
2011Photo España, Fundación Antonio Pérez, Cuenca, Spain
Schöne neue Welt, Museum der Moderne Rupertinum, Salzburg , Austria
Our house in the middle of our street, Maison de arts Malakoff, Paris, France
2010Brave New World, Austrian Cultural Forum, London, UK
Maravee domus, curated by Sabrina Zanier, San Daniele, Italy
2006Ex sampling, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna, Austria
2005Web Biennial 2005, Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
2004New Photographic Approach I, Artcore Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2003Physics of Spirituality, Westwood Gallery, New York, USA
2002Gruppenausstellung, Galeria Gianluca Lipoli, Rome, Italy
2000Jahresausstellung 1999, Kunstverein Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

Dream within a Dream, Helmut Grill, Salzburg 2013.
The Refuge, Helmut Grill, Vienna 2010.
Astarte. Beauty, War and Love, Helmut Grill, Rudolf Budja Galerie, Salzburg 2004.
Faces – Surfaces, Helmut Grill, Rudolf Budja Galerie, Salzburg 2003.

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