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Hannes Mlenek: Homo Humanus

In these endeavours the main subject of the artist is the human body. With expressive unfaltering lines based on the dynamic and power of his own corporeality, Hannes Mlenek sets fragments oft he figurative to canvas. Certain details suggest the bodily while at other points the line fades into the surface. The drawings and paintings always tell of life itself and describe the relationship oft he sexes, from „Ecstatic Meditation“ and „Physical Dynamics“ to themes like „Initiation“ and „Transforming“. One is tempted to think of Michel de Montaigne, who once said: „I do not portray the thing in itself. I portray the passage.“ This balancing act between being, becoming, the desire but also the violence and dynamic of an omnipresent existential struggle is a main component in the work of Hannes Mlenek: vigorous, vital, lively, robust, passionate. Knowledge of nature is always a reference point in the work of Hannes Mlenek. Yet the artist takes his works far beyond, both in their content and conceptual framework and in their dimension, as they unmistakeably claim the space for themselves. Between the poles of an affinity with nature and an abstract formal language, I would like to conclude with a quote by Dürer (1528): „Art is embedded in nature and they who can extract it, have it.“ (Dr. Silvie Aigner, extract book Der Erreger)

Hannes Mlenek was born in Wiener Neustadt in 1949. A guest student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, he has been working as a freelance artist since 1976. He lives and works in Vienna and Lower Austria. Mlenek has had solo exhibitions and installations in Waiblingen, Salzburg, Graz, Vienna, Dornbirn, Wiener Neustadt, Linz, Thalheim, Jennersdorf, Bratislava, Venice, Frankfurt, Prague, New York, London, and elsewhere. He has also taken part in well-known group exhibitions and fairs in Salzburg, Krems, Klosterneuburg, Linz, Neuhaus/Suha, Strasbourg, Vienna, Paris, Lyon, Riga, Oldenburg, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Karlsruhe, Beijing, Bratislava, Eppan, Dresden, Cologne, Palm Beach, Munich, Nuremberg, and Verona, among others. Mlenek’s works are represented in numerous public and private museums and collections at home and abroad.

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