Exhibit at Austrian Cultural Forum in New York gives a new perspective on beauty

The Austrian Cultural Forum in New York is currently hosting Beauty Contest, an exhibit featuring 20 international artists focusing their work on their interpretation of beauty. Some of the artists call upon their own experiences being a gay/lesbian, transgendered, or exhibitionist living in eastern Europe, while others comment on beauty’s evolution in terms of society. Visitors can expect these visions to be presented through an array of mediums, including sculpture, video, photography, and painting.

The majority of the artists working on this exhibit live and work in Vienna, Austria, however, there are still some artists who grew up in Austria and moved to New York, and others who have been raised in various American cities. Artists you may recognize include Cindy Sherman, Matthias Herrmann, Kalup Linzy, and Evangelia Kranioti.

The exhibit runs until January 3, 2012, and on certain dates there will be special events held as part of the Beauty Contest program:

  • October 19- A panel discussion will be held at 6:30PM, moderated by Gia Kourlas, the dance editor at Time Out New York as well as a dance critic for the New York Times. Other members of the panel will include French historian, dancer, and choreographer François Chaignaud, American author of The Man in the Grey Flannel Skirt Jon-Jon Goulian, Austrian dancer and choreographer Silke Grabinger, and the curatorial advisor for the exhibition Beauty Contest, Salette Gressett. The discussion will focus on “how emancipatory artistic reflection and practice has fought to reveal the hidden structures of repression toward gender, race, and age and to shake off antiquated visual preconceptions”.
  • November 10- A performance by Austrian artist Maria Petschnig will take place at 7:30PM. It will consist of video clips and live action that suggests fantasies, transitioning from the sensual to the grotesque. The performance will question the difference between public and private as well as one’s actual self verses the staged self.
  • Every Wednesday- Private tours are led at 5PM by co-curator Andreas Stadler.

The gallery is located at 11 East 52nd St. New York, NY 10022 (between Madison and 5th Ave) and the exhibit is open daily from 10am – 6pm.