Hermann Czech
Approximate Line of Action

OPENING: 15/03/2024, 7 PM

Hermann Czech
ranks as one of Austria’s most acclaimed architects and is a profound voice in the current discourse. His diverse architectural work spans urban planning, residential, school, and hotel buildings as well as small-scale interventions and exhibition designs. Early interior designs of cafés, such as the Kleines Café(1970/1973-74) and the Wunder-Bar (1976), have long inscribed themselves in the cultural fabric of the city. Czech sees architectural theory as "thinking accompanying design": His critical writings on the protagonists of Viennese Modernism, on architectural matters such as "remodeling" and "transforming" or on the methodology of architectural production show an increasingly close relationship between the abstract and the concrete, between theory and practice.

The thought process underlying Czech’s designs is based on the conviction that planning decisions are only viable when they are not based on sudden "notions" but are methodically developed, while at the same time remaining open for the unexpected and the trivialities of daily life. "Hermann Czech—Approximate Line of Action" presents a varied selection of projects that reflect on this "multilayered" approach to design and the production of architecture. Ranging from the 1960s to the present, the designs and realizations included in this exhibition (some of which have never been shown in public before) are illustrative of methods ("how things take shape") and spatial effects ("how things look"). The striking juxtaposition of examples of his work gives visibility to the richness of design elements even in the most subtle details, while also examining aspects of participation, which, in Czech’s case, is linked to a conceptually well-founded Mannerist position. "Hermann Czech—Approximate Line of Action" represents an ambiguous architecture that does not seek to seduce, but to convince through profound planning decisions and the experience of space itself. The show is accompanied by a folding map linking it with locations of projects and realizations around Vienna as well as by a discussion program and excursions

Born in Vienna in 1936, Hermann Czech studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule and at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna under Ernst A. Plischke. In 1958 and 1959 he attended Konrad Wachsmann’s seminars at the Salzburg Summer Academy. He began working on architectural projects in 1960, from 1963 to 1967 he penned architectural criticism for Die Furche. From the 1970s, projects and realizations at various scales. In 1978, early writings were published under the title Zur Abwechslung (extended new edition 1996); in 2021, Ungefähre Hauptrichtung — Schriften und Gespräche zur Architektur followed (both published by Löcker Verlag). Hermann Czech has served as a visiting professor at national and international universities, including Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, ETH Zurich, TU Wien, and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He has received awards and distinctions for his architectural work. He participated in the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 1980, 1991, 2000, 2012, and, most recently, in 2023 together with the collective AKT. Hermann Czech lives and works in Vienna.
Curators: Claudia Cavallar, Gabriele Kaiser, Eva Kuß, Fiona Liewehr in cooperation with Hermann Czech
An fjk3–Contemporary Art Space exhibition in cooperation with Architekturzentrum Wien. The supporting program was developed in cooperation with ÖGFA.

Reviews (selection):
Detail (March 2024)
Der Standard (March 2024)
Falter (March 2024)
Falstaff (March 2024)
BauNetz (March 2024)
Hochparterre (March 2024)
Die Presse (April 2024)