Günter Domenig: Exiistenzmaximum


‘Günther Domenig was born in Klagenfurt in 1934. He is one of the leading exponents of Austrian architecture in the post-war period. His artistic history, which reflects and at the same time interprets the cultural atmosphere of his ti-me, has passed through various phases. After the utopistic experimentation of the sixties (the Ragnitz ‘structure city’ – Grand Prix d’Architecture et Urbanisme, Cannes 1969), his genious expressed itself with two masterpieces which, inspired by the expressionist wave of the seventies, made him famous throughout the world: the Graz-Eggenberg Multifunctional Hall (1974) and the Vienna-Favoriten Zentralsparkasse (1979). After 1980, Domenig slowly abandoned the cult al mono-theme expression, of the ‘key-word’, which had di-stinguished his previous works and went on to elaborate a new language able to express the anxiety of our times, the breaking down of life into significant and polarizing fragments. A leading example of this phase is the ‘Steinhaus’ at Steindorf in Carinthia, a sort of tormented common home for students and teachers, where the private and public dimension intertwine: a place for archi-tectural research as a totally expressive experience of life. The title of the exhibition, ‘Existenzmaximum’ indicates that Domenig’s quest does not stop at the ‘minimum’ of ‘constructivistic’ architecture, is not satisfied with the search for a habitat tailored to the functional needs of human beings. Beyond functionally, the ‘maximum’ must be achieved, because the space of human beings is open to greater values than more ergonomic mechanically. With the construction of the Steinhaus. Domenig sensed the profound spirit of his age, marked by uncertainty, instability and, at the same time, rationality, expression, intelligibility. His architecture has been called neo-Baroque (Gilles Dorfles), super-modern (Charles Jancks) deconstructivistic. But probably it is none of these. The aim of his quest is life. For him Architecture is only a mean of finding himself and going back over the road toward his origins. The most outstanding exhibits are the original sketches and drawings for the ‘Steinhaus’, the ‘Rikki Reiner’ boutique built in Klagenfurt in 1982, the ‘Technische Universität’ the Graz Faculty of Architecture, the original model of the ‘Steinhaus’ and the ‘Nix-Nutz-Nix’, stainless steel and neon overhead suspension facility. The exhibition is completed with black and white and colour photos and axonometries of Domenig’s major works.’


24 Agosto 1991 - 31 Agosto 1991


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions