Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals and other objets d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods. Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner; as he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his "golden phase", many of which include gold leaf. Klimt's work was an important influence on his younger contemporary Egon Schiele.

Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary, the second of seven children—three boys and four girls. His mother, Anna Klimt, had an unrealized ambition to be a musical performer, his father, Ernst Klimt the Elder from Bohemia, was a gold engraver. All three of their sons displayed artistic talent early on. Klimt's younger brothers were Georg Klimt. Klimt lived in poverty while attending the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule, a school of applied arts and crafts, now the University of Applied Arts Vienna, where he studied architectural painting from 1876 until 1883, he revered Vienna's foremost history painter of Hans Makart. Klimt accepted the principles of a conservative training. In 1877 his brother, who, like his father, would become an engraver enrolled in the school; the two brothers and their friend, Franz Matsch, began working together and by 1880 they had received numerous commissions as a team that they called the "Company of Artists". They helped their teacher in painting murals in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Klimt began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings on the Ringstraße, including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems". In 1888 Klimt received the Golden Order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria for his contributions to murals painted in the Burgtheater in Vienna, he became an honorary member of the University of Munich and the University of Vienna. In 1892 Klimt's father and brother Ernst both died, he had to assume financial responsibility for his father's and brother's families; the tragedies affected his artistic vision and soon he would move towards a new personal style. Characteristic of his style at the end of the 19th century is the inclusion of Nuda Veritas as a symbolic figure in some of his works, including Ancient Greece and Egypt, Pallas Athene and Nuda Veritas. Historians believe that Klimt with the nuda veritas denounced both the policy of the Habsburgs and Austrian society, which ignored all political and social problems of that time.

In the early 1890s Klimt met Austrian fashion designer Emilie Louise Flöge, to be his companion until the end of his life. His painting, The Kiss, is thought to be an image of them as lovers, he designed many costumes that she modeled in his works. During this period Klimt fathered at least fourteen children. Klimt became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener Sezession in 1897 and of the group's periodical, Ver Sacrum, he remained with the Secession until 1908. The goals of the group were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the works of the best foreign artists to Vienna, to publish its own magazine to showcase the work of members; the group declared no manifesto and did not set out to encourage any particular style—Naturalists and Symbolists all coexisted. The government supported their efforts and gave them a lease on public land to erect an exhibition hall; the group's symbol was Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of just causes and the arts—of whom Klimt painted his radical version in 1898.

In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to create three paintings to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna. Not completed until the turn of the century, his three paintings, Philosophy and Jurisprudence were criticized for their radical themes and material, were called "pornographic". Klimt had transformed traditional allegory and symbolism into a new language, more overtly sexual and hence more disturbing to some; the public outcry came from all quarters—political and religious. As a result, the paintings were not displayed on the ceiling of the Great Hall; this would be the last public commission accepted by the artist. All three paintings were destroyed when retreating German forces burned Schloss Immendorf in May 1945, his Nuda Veritas defined his bid to further "shake up" the establishment. The starkly naked red-headed woman holds the mirror of truth, while above her is a quotation by Friedrich Schiller in stylized lettering: "If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please only a few.

To please many is bad."In 1902, Klimt finished the Beethoven Frieze for the Fourteenth Vienna Secessionist exhibition, intended to be a celebration of the composer and featured a monumental polychrome sculpture by Max Klinger. Intended for the exhibition only, the frieze was painted directly on the walls with light m

Eva Grubinger

Eva Grubinger is an internationally recognised sculptor and installation artist. Between 1989–95 Grubinger studied at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin where she worked with Valie Export and Katharina Sieverding, her graduation project, C@C, or Computer Aided Curating, provided a branching interface for visitors to explore a social network of artists. While Grubinger began her career with works that reflected and commented, in a pioneering manner, on the early development of the Internet, since the mid-1990s she has worked in sculpture and installation; these phases are not, disconnected: her latter-day focus on materiality and space, not least social space and how it subliminally affects us, might be seen as a reaction to the immateriality of the online world. Grubinger’s method is to focus on, unsettle via various strategies, recognizable objects, her scope in this regard is wide: she draws inspiration and iconography from such diverse worlds as seafaring, architecture, the theatre of politics, the recent history of art itself Minimalism and Conceptualism.

As a sculptor she has worked, accordingly, in materials. However, Grubinger’s approach is to take subjects that we might be familiar with to the point of no longer ‘seeing’ them, alter their scale and material with attention to surfaces – for surfaces, their deceptions, are a strong part of her interest – so that they register anew; as she works, the familiar comes to reveal not only itself but its subtle politicised workings on body and mind. In the 1990s and 2000s Grubinger had numerous residencies in Cologne, Paris, New York and Los Angeles, she was professor for Sculpture – Transmedial Space at Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria and is guest-professor at the Academy of fine arts in Düsseldorf, Germany. She lives in Berlin. Throughout the past twenty years Grubinger’s works have been shown in numerous international venues, with solo exhibitions at, among others, Abteiberg Museum Mönchengladbach, she has participated in many group exhibitions in Germany and abroad, e.g. the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg.

Sculpture Unlimited II/ Materiality in Times of Immateriality, Eva Grubinger und Jörg Heiser,with texts by Nathalie Heinich, Mark Leckey, Christiane Sauer, Jussi Parikka and Timotheus Vermeulen, Café Nihilismus, Kerstin Engholm Galerie Vienna, with a text by Martin Herbert Decoy, Landesgalerie Linz and Kerstin Engholm Galerie Vienna, with texts by Martin Hochleitner and Carson Chan Sculpture Unlimited, Eva Grubinger, Jörg Heiser, with texts by Jennifer Allen, Manuela Ammer, Nikolaus Hirsch, Aleksandra Mir, Vivian Sky Rehberg and Jan Verwort Trespassing, Museum der Moderne, with texts by Toni Stooss und Margit Zuckrigl, an interview with Eva Grubinger Spartacus, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, with texts by Hans Hollein and Matthias Ulrich Dark Matter, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, with texts by Sune Nordgren/Sarah Martin and Jan Verwoert, Literature by and about Eva Grubinger in the German National Library catalogue

Catherine Constantinides

Catherine Constantinides is a South African environmentalist, social activist and businesswoman of Greek descent. Constantinides established her first business, SA Fusion, a social enterprise, when she was 16, she was involved in the introduction of the Miss Earth concept to South Africa and was crowned the first Miss Earth South Africa in 2003. She serves as director of Miss Earth South Africa. Constantinides is the co-founder of a youth-led environmental organisation. During 2013 Constantinides was the youngest of a group of 20 emerging Africans named as an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow. Constantinides has written for the Huffington Post on climate change politics and the situation in the Western Sahara, she is an outspoken critic of the actions of the Moroccan government in the Western Sahara, describing the territory as the "last remaining colony in Africa". She has spoken of the Western Sahara as an "African state in exile, a cause and people forgotten". In May 2016 Constantinides was chosen as one of the Mandela Washington Fellows as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative.

Constantinides received the South African Young Woman Entrepreneur Award for Women Empowerment in 2012. She has been honoured with the South African Youth Entrepreneur award at the South African Premier Business Awards. In 2015 Constantinides was included in the 21 Icons project, a project that celebrates "human achievement through photography and narratives"; the Mail & Guardian listed Constantinides as one of its 200 Young South Africans in 2014. Constantinides was recognised with the Ubuntu Youth Diplomacy Award in 2016 at an event hosted by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Receiving the award Constantinides stated "I am proud to fly our flag high and will continue to be an ambassador for our country and the causes close to my heart, as we build the South Africa and Africa we believe is possible"