LOCATION: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary - Augarten
Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Kuh is a new work by the Danish artists' group SUPERFLEX (Rasmus Nielsen, Jakob Fenger and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen) developed for the Augarten studio. It focuses on the history of the premises and therefore of its initial inhabitant, Gustinus Ambrosi.
In 1942 the sculptor Gustinus Ambrosi was commissioned by Albert Speer, then minister of armaments and war production for the Third Reich, to model the sculpture Jungfrau mit Kuh (Maiden with Cow) for the park of the New Reich Chancellery in Berlin to pair with Louis Tuaillon’s already existing Youth with Bull. Ambrosi identified the perfect Fleckvieh cow in Kitzbühel, Tirol, to pose as a model for this prestigious artwork. In 1945 he wrote to his formidable patrons, pleading with them to provide the means to secure the upkeep for the cow - named “Königin” (“Queen”) - even in the final throes of World War II.
Ritta and Hektor, the female heifer and male yearling who have been transported from Kitzbühel to Vienna, are descendants of Königin from the original Tirolean herd. SUPERFLEX have brought them to Ambrosi's last studio to serve as a living portal to the past and as tokens of the sculptor’s affection for the cow.