Maria Männig: Hans Sedlmayr - Anti-Classical Condition

On a photo taken in 1964 Hans Sedlmayr poses as king Louis XIV of France with a coke bottle. The snapshot reveals his personal cultural critical attitude in a unique way merging together baroque nostalgia and modern consumer culture. Sedlmayr’s oeuvre is preliminary dedicated to an anti-classical canon, which again correlates with the anti-canon of the avant-garde. Strictly rooted in the tradition of the Vienna school of art history, present phenomena structure the analysis of the past. Therefore, Sedlmayr observes the history of modernity obsessively. In a long story of loss, it is baroque namely the work of the Austrian architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, which marks a moment of timelessness and perfection. From a postmodern and poststructuralist point of view baroque works as role model for current culture – a thesis that should be applied experimentally onto Sedlmayr’s thoughts.

Maria Männig is currently developing a research project on art historical slide collections. In 2015 she received the doctorate at the Karlsruhe University of Design (supervisors: Prof. Dr. Beat Wyss, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich). In 2008 she received a master’s degree in art history at the University of Vienna, in 2004 a Master’s degree in tapestry of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. From 2004 to 2013 she was working for several Austrian institutions, such as the Generali Foundation Vienna, the Federal Monuments Office Vienna and the Wien Museum. From 2014 to 15 she was graduate assistant at the Karlsruhe University of Design and 2015–16 research assistant there. Since 2014 she is editor in chief of the e-journal NEUE kunstwissenschaftliche forschungen. Her scholarly blog runs under: