Club or Participation Object
Club or Participation Object

Bruno Gironcoli

Mixed Media

Dom Museum Wien


Mixed media
Graphic art
Modern and Contemporary art

On view

Reproduction request
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Photo: Leni Deinhardstein, Lisa Rastl, Dom Museum Wien
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Club or Participation Object

In this work by one of the protagonists of the Austrian Art scene, Bruno Gironcoli, we experience the fullness of his oeuvre: Through the title and the use of copper bronze the drawing becomes present as as sculpture.

Most of the lower half of the picture, which consists of four sheets of squared paper glued together, is taken up by a circular plate with a seemingly uneven surface on three legs. The two forms growing from it resemble over-sized chains of sausages forming a heart. The structure recalls an object frequently found in pubs where it identifies a certain table as that of the regulars by means of a plate. This ties in with the title of the work, “Vereins od. Teilhabeobjekt,” which means “club or participation object.” Gironcoli’s representation lends the structure something monumental by relating it to a figure behind the table: the figure that might be a man or a woman and wears a suit forms the center of the work. With her or his hands raised, the person holds a brown oval suggesting a loaf of bread in each hand. The impression conveyed is that these pieces have just been plucked from the chains’ ends. The picture shows a symmetric composition – with the exception of the shadow-like areas on the table surface and the sketch on the right that seems to repeat the representation in miniature profile.
The table and the structure on it, as well as the two oval shapes, are painted with copper bronze—a material Gironcoli frequently also relied on for his monumental metal sculptures. These sculptures explore existential issues such as the relationship between man and woman, violence and power. Grapes and edelweiss, babies, but also phallic and vaginal forms are the recurrent motifs in the artist’s sculptural oeuvre. Beyond that, Gironcoli also left a wide range of graphic works that span from designs for his sculptures to studies of the human body in the tradition of Alberto Giacometti. Regarded as a great independent and loner, Gironcoli ranked among the key protagonists of Vienna’s art scene: Otto Mauer dedicated several exhibitions to him in his “Galerie nächst St. Stephan.” Gironcoli taught sculpture at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts for almost three decades. He represented Austria at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.