Max, Maria, Andi & Co. – A giant circular painting
Stefan Marx’s primary medium is drawing, which he employs in a wide variety of contexts. In addition to classic drawings on paper, he also illustrates record sleeves, T-shirts, skateboards and magazines. His drawings are spontaneous sketches of his observations of everyday life, with the individual and the landscape as recurring themes.
Marx’s idealised panorama for the Aula in the Ferdinandeum is a Tyrolean theme park, a place of urban styling. His pictorial worlds are psycho-geographic landscapes recruited from archaic and classical motifs of Tyrolean history. His panoramas reference historical and contemporary meanings; we witness the execution of Andreas Hofer in Mantua and are guests of Emperor Maximilian and his entourage. The panoramas present images such as one would expect of an idealised world. All the indicators of the good life are present: laughing landscapes, exulting animals, the naked Nordkette, etc. In contrast to classical portraits, his protagonists are not glorified; they are not there to impress. Free of all aristocratic privilege, no respectful distance is demanded of the viewer; more droll than impressive, they are a jibe at historical pathos.
Stefan Marx’s pictorial language requires no knowledge of art or cultural history and no familiarity with the subjects, but simply a willingness to explore the many and varied links of the narrative to the cultural history of the Tyrol. His panorama takes us on a journey of fantasy, on which we encounter fantastic figures and are confronted with purported history. His rectangular cyclorama is a quarry of Tyrolean history and culture. The pictorial spaces house a flurry of metaphors, and there are quotations and references to cultural objects from the Middle Ages to the present day, from the Museum of Tyrolean Regional Heritage or the Armoury.
For Stefan Marx, drawing is a democratic pursuit. His drawings are the work of an individual, but they belong to us all. Drawing is a gift, a message, a postcard. Drawing is as naked and simple, as direct and immediate, as being sad or in love.
Published by Nieves, 30 pgs, 19.5 × 25.5 cm, softcover, 2020, 9783907179246