Florian Pumhösl


September 8 — October 27, 2019
88 Eldridge Street



Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce the opening, on Sunday, September 8th, of Saltern, Florian Pumhösl’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. The show will be on view at our 88 Eldridge Street location and will present a new body of painted reliefs.

The type of saltern Florian Pumhösl refers to in these square works is a coastal horizontal structure consisting of ramparts, canals, and plains. Composed of a network of basins divided across a surface, saltworks store seawater, which evaporates over time to leave behind a salt deposit. As Pumhösl notes, the saltern is a “man-made landscape between sea and inhabited territory with modules characterized by flow and stagnation.” As an intervention into the seaside that modifies and inhabits the local terrain, the saltworks enact an abstraction that is perceived as natural. Following a morphological line of thought that adapts the spatial, temporal, and pictorial aspects of the saltworks, Pumhösl identifies the saltern as “an abstract image par excellence, because it is able to dissolve everything that appears manifest in it into relations.”

With Saltern Pumhösl continues his practice of making paintings in the form of a relief, foregrounding the picture plane as a space in which relations between creative equivalents emerge. Folded, malleable ridges allude to the saltworks’ embankments, creating boundaries and thresholds within the field of each work. The paintings are made of 1mm foldable metal foil sheets, which are folded and sometimes cut following the preparatory drawings. Utilizing bookbinding techniques, the sheet metal is folded with a bonefolder and aluminum cliché. Some works consist of a single sheet, while others involve overlapping two. Following mounting, occasional segments of the folds are cut according to the drawings and pressed against the mount. These cuts point to the openings of the basin within the imaginary saltern and resist the common notion of a painting as a closed structure. An acrylic primer receives a French slate pigment resolved in matte acrylic medium in the artist’s studio. The natural stone pigment is not processed and does not resolve within the medium, which explains the painterly aspects of the surface. Along with the group of grey relief paintings, Saltern includes a preceding series of small studies in thin red aluminum foil, which departed from compositional situations at the Guérande saltworks.


Florian Pumhösl was born in 1971, he lives and works in Vienna and Munich. Institutional solo exhibitions of his work have been staged at Kunsthaus Bregenz (2012); Mumok (Vienna, 2011); Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen (Düsseldorf, 2010); Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Luxembourg, 2009), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2008); Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen (2005); Kölnischer Kunstverein (Cologne, 2003); Secession (Vienna, 2000; among others. In 2012, he exhibited his work in Parcours, a two-person show at The Art Institute of Chicago with Liz Deschenes. His work was featured in Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture in Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (2015), Documenta 12 (Kassel, 2007), São Paulo Biennial (2006) and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Recently, Pumhösl’s work appeared in group exhibitions at the V-A-C Foundation (Venice), Punta della Dogana (Venice), The Museum der Moderne Salzburg, City Gallery Prague, Museum Abteiberg (Mönchengladbach), Generali Foundation (Vienna), MACBA (Barcelona), Raven Row (London). Pumhösl’s works are held in the permanent collections of Tate (London), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), MUMOK (Vienna), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Generali Foundation (Vienna), Grazer Kunstverein (Graz),  MACBA Collection (Barcelona), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), and the Pinault Collection, among others. Previous exhibitions at Miguel Abreu Gallery include Grounding Vision: Waclaw Szpakowski(2017), No One´s Voice(2016), and an eponymous exhibition (2014).