DANGER SEASON :: Marianne Vlaschits

February 11 - March 18, 2023
“Danger Season” reflects Vlaschits’ long standing fascination with “...fictional surrealist landscapes on Earth.”
Press Release
la BEAST gallery is pleased to present “Danger Season,” an exhibition of cerebral work by Austrian artist Marianne Vlaschits. Via traditional oil on canvas, Vlaschits contends with landscape as a fictional, idealized subject— reconstructing the classical genre through beautifully horrific amalgamations of human, beast, and elemental matter suspended in climatic ecstasy. The installation contemplates boundless consciousness amid eight works arranged as a light spectrum, each painting representing an interval that is invisible to the naked eye. Vlaschits’ abstract scenes offer intimations of the familiar, only for it to slip away into the ether of super-reality.

About the Exhibition + Artist

Born 1983, Marianne Vlaschits spent her early years in Wienerwald, the forested highlands of the Northern Limestone Alps in Austria. Vlaschits received her masters from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where she continues to live and work. Vlaschits has had solo exhibitions in New York, London, Berlin, and Salzburg, among others. In 2022, she was the stage designer for “Hyäne Fischer - Das totale Musical” at the iconic Volksbühne theater in Berlin. Vlaschits is a 2023 recipient of the City of Vienna’s working grant. She will participate in an exhibition at the Belvedere Museum in October of 2023. 

“Danger Season” reflects Vlaschits’ long standing fascination with “...fictional surrealist landscapes on Earth.” In her free-time, Vlaschits studies astrophysics. She approaches her fine art practice through the objective lens of a scientist while simultaneously operating in a “dream-like state of mind.” Vlaschits considers the climate crisis the single most important issue of our time and her concern is vividly manifested in this body of work. The exhibition title, “Danger Season”  references the term popularized by the Union of Concerned Scientists used to describe the period between May and October, that in recent years has become defined by a barrage of heat waves, wildfires, and hurricanes. Conceiving of a distant future where the complexity of life has collapsed in on itself, the artist illustrates a planet radically terraformed by the pursuits of man. The porous barriers previously ordering space, time, and matter have dissolved, fusing the tangible with the intangible, the grotesque with the divine. Our journey begins long after the end, and yet, every displaced atom seems connected by an omnipotent sentience. In the words of the artist: “There are no more familiar living beings… The representational melts into abstraction under the merciless sun, the real gives way to the fiery roller of the fantastic.”

Her harmonic configurations pierce the obsidian surface of a prophetic, cosmic mirror. Similar to humanity’s uncertain future, Vlaschits’ paintings take on hundreds of shifting shapes. The artist works without referential imagery and paints directly from her mind as she interweaves ephemeral objects with earthly anatomy. She found inspiration in Octavia Butler's "Lillith’s Brood" trilogy and Dietmar Dath's "The Abolition of Species,” drawing on both fantasy and scientific literature to inform her subconscious interpretations of a chimeric macrocosm. The resulting compositions are at once mythic and disciplined. Biological organisms bubble and blossom across an opaque, velvet sky. Phantoms emerge from the void while vaguely mycological textures unfurl like living lace. The binary of submission and domination is inverted to facilitate the proliferation of softness. Vlaschits’ “Danger Season” depicts the moments directly preceding rebirth, the egg is cracking, and the yolk of the universe is spilling out. From nothingness: everything. 

With thanks to the Austrian Ministry of the Arts and Culture for their support, “Danger Season” marks the internationally-recognized artist’s debut on the West Coast.