Skip to content

Franz Kapfer
Atlanten – Ich oder das Chaos

Isabel Lewis, Dirk Bell 


Franz Kapfer, Before the Law, 2012/24; Isabel Lewis, Total Romance: Partial Repair, 2022

Courtesy the artists; Photo: Franz Kapfer / Roxana Rios

HALLE FÜR KUNST is delighted to announce the openings of the upcoming exhibitions on June 21 at 6 pm. At 5 pm there will be a prolog to the exhibition by Franz Kapfer in the Styrian Armory, Herrengasse 16.

History does not only shape the present; the after-effects of the supposed past that we feel echoing in our current times will also stretch far into the future. Mythical narratives inscribe themselves into society and its political bodies, which in turn influence whose stories are told and whose remain untold. In his research and interpretation of objects overloaded with historical signifiers, Franz Kapfer investigates methods of historiography and scrutinizes how these approaches may be used and misused both politically and by the media. His works thus reveal the political dimension of historic symbols, ciphers and monuments as well as their influence on today’s societies and their composition. As part of the Province of Styria’s appreciation prize for visual arts 2022, Kapfer has created a group of new large-format works dealing with the mythological figure and sculptural tradition of atlases. Drawing from this titanic sky bearer of Greek mythology, atlases are male, muscular and larger-than-life architectural figures, often appearing as carved pillars supporting the threshold of a building. Kapfer’s newly produced installation will be shown alongside older works by the artist, providing a comprehensive overview of the artist’s methodology. In a combination of new and old works, the exhibition retrospectively constitutes a representative selection of the artist’s oeuvre to date.

How we perceive ourselves is deeply interwoven with our experience of interactions with others. Self-perception is always based on a reflection vis-à-vis another person. Ever/​Repair is the collaboration of two artists who have found each other and mutually taken risks: over many years, Isabel Lewis and Dirk Bell have each individually created independent and unconventional bodies of work, which they now combine both as within their personal relationship and in their exhibition at HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark. The title Ever/​Repair plays with language insofar as it makes use of metaphors in order to approach new levels of subject matter. Alongside the meaning of always/​reparation,” the title also refers to an onomatopoetic conflation of the two words every and pair. The entanglement of the words is a symbol of the two individuals now intertwined as if in a ballroom dance. The exhibitions at HALLE FÜR KUNST draws on a performance from 2022, for which Lewis and Bell worked together to develop the stage design. Ever since, they have collaborated on various occasions. In their joint practice, the artist couple is concerned with the creation of spaces enabling an all-encompassing sensual experience and an exchange between individuals.

Both exhibition projects share an interest in history and addressing forms of oppression. Whereas Kapfer aims at sharpening and emphasizing these aspects in order to name them as clearly as possible, Lewis and Bell focus on a playful and tangible resolution of oppressive violence. Both projects benefit from each other in their mutual juxtaposition.

Shuttle Service for free: Vienna – Graz – Vienna on the occasions of the openings

Departure: Friday, 21.06.2024 at 2 pm (meeting point 1:45 pm)
Boarding point Operngasse No. 4 bus zone, Vienna State Opera, 1010 Vienna
Journey to Burgring 2, 8010 Graz

Return: Friday, 21.06.2024 at 10 pm
Boarding point Burgring 2, 8010 Graz
Journey to Operngasse No. 4, bus zone, Vienna State Opera, 1010 Vienna

Registration: bz@​halle-​fuer-​kunst.​at; 0316 740084

Other openings on the same day

Grazer Kunstverein
Jason Dodge
69 pm, Burggasse 4

Neue Galerie, Studio
Abdul Sharif Oluwafemi Baruwa
7 pm, Joanneumsviertel

Joint After Party
9 pm Kombüse, Erzherzog-Johann-Allee 2


Participating artists

Franz Kapfer

*1971 Fürstenfeld, lives in Vienna

Solo (among others): Kunst am Bau, Graz (2025), Club Hybrid, Graz (2021), museumORTH, Orth (2020), Museum Hartberg (2017), GPLcontemporary, Vienna (2016), Kunstpavillon Innsbruck (2009), Belvedere, Vienna (2008), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Wörlen, Passau (2007), Salzburger Kunstverein (2006), Galerie Hohenlohe, Vienna (2006), Bétonsalon, Paris (2005), Galerie Hohenlohe, Vienna (2004), Neue Galerie am Universalmuseum Joanneum, Studio, Graz (2002). Shows (among others): Kyiv Biennale, Vienna (2023), EVN collection, Maria Enzersdorf (2022), Neue Galerie am Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz (2022), HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Graz (2021), Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz (2021), Sala Omnia, Bucharest (2019), Würtembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2019), EVN collection Plovdiv (2019), Kunsthaus Graz (2018), Zeta Art Center & Gallery, Tirana (2018), Belvedere 21, Vienna (2017), Biennale Gherdëina 5, Ortisei (2016), MUSA, Vienna (2016), GFZK, Leipzig (2015), Kyiv Biennial, Kyiv (2015), Kunsthalle Mainz (2015), University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong (2015), National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Nizhny Novgoradd and Moscow (2014), Leopold Museum, Vienna (2014), Secession, Vienna (2014), Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck (2013), Ludwig Museúm, Budapest (2013), Depo, Jewish baker and Austrian Cultural Forum, Istanbul (2013), Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz (2012), Busan Biennale, Busan (2012), MUAC, Mexico City (2012), Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2011), Museum of Contemporary Art, Cracow (2011), BWA SOKOL Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nowy Sącz (2011), im Rahmen von Franz West Extroversion, 54. Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2011)

Isabel Lewis

*1981 in Santo Domingo, lives in Berlin

Solo (a.o.): Galerie Wedding (2022, with Dirk Bell), Belvedere 21, Vienna (2021), Kunsthalle Zürich (2020), Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019), dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2013), MoMA PS1, New York (2010), New Museum, New York (2009); Shows (a.o.): Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2023), 58. Biennale di Venezia (2019), 14th Sharjah Biennale (2019), Klöntal Triennale, Kunsthaus Glarus (2017) Tate Modern, London (2017), Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2017), Mofo, Contemporary Arts Tasmania, Hobart (2017), McaM Shanghai (2016), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016), Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2016), Dia Art Foundation, New York (2016), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2015), Gothenburg Biennial of Art (2015), Liverpool Biennale (2014), Kunsthalle Basel (2014), PS122, New York (2010)

Dirk Bell

*1969 in Munich, lives in Berlin

Solo (a.o.): Galerie Wedding (2022, with Isabel Lewis), BQ, Berlin (2022, 2016), QBBQ’s, Berlin (2019), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York (2016), The Fireplace Project, New York (2015), SVIT, Prague (2013), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2011), The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2011), Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2009); Shows (a.o.): Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2023), Kewenig, Berlin (2022), Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (2022), BravinLee Programs, New York (2021), 1969 Gallery, New York (2021), Halle am Berghain, Berlin (2020), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2020), Sexauer Gallery, Berlin (2017), Halle für Kunst Lüneburg (2017), Haus Mödrath ­– Räume für Kunst, Kerpen (2017), Kunsthalle Bremerhaven (2016), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK) (2015), Witte de With Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Rotterdam (2014), GAK Bremen (2013), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2011), Drawing Room, London (2010), Chelsea Art Museum, New York (2009)

Franz Kapfer, Before the Law, 2012/24; Isabel Lewis, Total Romance: Partial Repair, 2022

Courtesy the artists; Photo: Franz Kapfer / Roxana Rios