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Katarina Schmidl, A Beautiful Piece of Austria, 2002
Katarina Schmidl, A Beautiful Piece of Austria, 2002


Aug. 26, 2011

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Here's an idea for the new art season -- an exhibition about "beauty," and we do mean "sex." New York’s Austrian Cultural Forum and MUSA Vienna presents “Beauty Contest,” Sept. 21, 2011-Jan. 3, 2012, at the cultural forum's East 52nd Street redoubt. Curated by Andreas Stadler, Berthold Ecker and Claude Grunitzky, with assistance from Natascha Boojar and Roland Fink, “Beauty Contest” features all manner and medium of artwork -- including, notably, a woman’s plump derriere constructed entirely out of red straws -- by 20 international artists, from Kalup Linzy to Cindy Sherman and Maria Lassnig.

The show posits our “daily encounter” with human beauty as “one of the most trivial everyday experiences,” and explores the definition of beauty as it has morphed and manifested throughout history, from ancient Greek philosophy to the sexual revolution to the LGBT movement. The show is also slated to feature performances by Clarina Bezzolaand kinky Austrian Maria Petschnig -- whose recent show at New York’s On Stellar Rays presented videos of the artist gyrating in homemade bondage -- organized in conjunction with NYC’s Performa 11, Nov. 1-21, 2011. Expect to see some skin.

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