Considering the Collection & Cranach’s Holy Productivity An Insert by Klaus Scherübel

Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Holy Kinship, c 1510–1512
© Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Holy Kinship, 1510–1512 © Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Considering the Collection & An Insert by … is a recently established temporary exhibition format presenting highlights from the Paintings Gallery collection, from Bosch to Rubens, as well as works with links to the Insert, an artistic intervention created by a contemporary artist as a critical statement on the Academy’s historical art collections. The second Insert in the series features Montreal-based Austrian artist Klaus Scherübel.

Considering the Collection

The exhibition concentrates on the Baroque period, presenting a cross-section of the core of the collection, the bequest of Anton Paula Graf Lamberg-Sprinzenstein from 1822. Other points of focus are the development of representations of space in early modern painting north and south of the Alps, the work of the Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, portraits and self-portraits of artists in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the use of architectural fragments in Baroque painting. These topics refer to Scherübel’s insert, Cranach’s Holy Productivity VOL. 28.

Works by Hans Baldung Grien, Hendrik van Balen, Herri met de Bles, Hieronymus Bosch, Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, known as Botticelli, Sébastien Bourdon, Dieric Bouts, Adriaen Brouwer, Joos van Cleve, Pieter Codde, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Anthonis van Dyck, Antonio da Fabriano, Barent Fabritius, Francesco Raibolini, known as Francia, Heinrich Friedrich Füger, Jan Fyt, Luca Giordano, Pieter de Hooch, Ambrosius Holbein, Jacob Jordaens, Bernardo Keilhau, known as Monsù Bernardo, Johann Baptist von Lampi the Younger, Nicolaes Maes, Hans Maler, Nicola Malinconico, Martin van Meytens, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Isaack van Ruisdael, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jacob van Schuppen, Christian Seybold, Pierre Subleyras, Jan Cornelisz. Vermeyen, Domenico Maria Viani, David Vinckboons, Cornelis de Vos, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Jan Wildens et al.

Curated by Claudia Koch

Cranach’s Holy Productivity VOL. 28
An Insert by Klaus Scherübel

Against the backdrop of his installations that engage with the museographical genre of the period room, and related conceptual works in which aspects of painting, the book, sculpture, architecture and exhibition design enter into relation with one another, Klaus Scherübel’s current project deals with modes of depicting space and architecture in connection with questions of artists’ self-portrayals and strategies of productivity, using the example of a work by Lucas Cranach the Elder, one of the most important painters of the German Renaissance and Reformation.

The work in question is The Holy Kinship (1510–1512) from the collection of the Paintings Gallery, thought to have been created by Cranach on the occasion of his marriage to Barbara Brengbier, the daughter of a patrician family. Due to its strongly portrait-like character, this painting is among the special forms of a motif that was common until the seventeenth century: Cranach portrays himself, his wife and his father-in-law in the roles of members of the Holy Kinship. Apart from this unorthodox interweaving of the two family portraits, in which religious themes overlap with real social relations and interests, Scherübel focusses above all in the architectural setting within which the Holy Kinship is placed. Among others, this raises the question of whether and how this setting can be linked to the specific context within which the painting was made, and to the commercial aspect of Cranach’s art production.
Scherübel’s intervention consists of a spectacular translation of the painting’s architectural setting into a three-dimensional stage. Further works made specially for the exhibition are on display in a separate room.

Curated by Sabine Folie

Klaus Scherübel (*1968 in Bruck/Mur, lives in Montreal) worked as fashion designer in the late 1980s and studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, with Vivienne Westwood among others. Starting from a critical stance towards the fashion system, Scherübel developed a Conceptual art and Institutional critique oriented practice, operating at the intersections of art and affiliated disciplinary fields such as literature, theater, film, architecture, etc. Within his work, Scherübel adopts various roles – as an artist at work, an editor, a curator, a sponsor – to engage in a performative way with the conditions and the history of the artistic production, presentation, and reception. His œuvre encompasses expansive installations, including a dialogical relationship with photography, printmaking, painting, time-based media and text. The book plays a central role both as object and concept, hereof a relevant book has to be mentioned, Klaus Scherübel edited – Mallarmé, Das Buch, Cologne 2001. The book has been published in several languages and has become a reference in the field of artist books. He published a survey on this work in 2011 entitled Klaus Scherübel VOL. 13. Since 2013, he has been creating architectural sculptures dedicated to the preservation and expansion of Martin Kippenberger's METRO-Net project.

His work has been exhibited internationally, including the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren (2023); VOX, centre de l’Image contemporaine, Montreal (2019, 2016); Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz (2016); mumok, Vienna (2015, 2012); Centro Universitário Maria Antonia USP, São Paulo (2014); S.M.A.K., Ghent (2009); MoMA PS1, New York (2009); Generali Foundation, Vienna (2008).

Paintings Gallery
of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Schillerplatz 3, 1st floor, 1010 Vienna

More info
Press release for download

Accompanying events

Lektionen / Lessons
Lecture series on the exhibition
Livia Cárdenas, Insa Christiane Hennen,
Gunnar Heydenreich, Guido Messling and Sandra Hindriks

Guided tours
Considering the Collection & Cranach’s Holy Productivity
An Insert by Klaus Scherübel
Every Sunday, 10:30 h (except in August)

Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna,
Schillerplatz 3, 1st floor, 1010 Vienna 

Opening hours 
Daily except Monday
10–18 h

T +43 1 588 16 2201 
F +43 1 588 16 2299