The documents exhibited in the Ambrosi Museum throughout the opening show Simon Starling in collaboration with SUPERFLEX—Reprototypes, Triangulations and Road Tests are a selection of the records found in various archives in Vienna and Berlin. They were researched and collected as part of the investigation on the life and work of Gustinus Ambrosi. Starting with his application for membership in the NSDAP (the National Socialist German Workers’ Party) from May 1938, they represent copies of correspondences between Ambrosi and his patrons in Berlin: Albert Speer and his staff in the Reich Chancellery and the construction management of the proposed New Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Voßstraße, for which Ambrosi was commissioned to create several figures for the park. The commissions date from 1938 and 1942. The first contract was for a monumental fountain with larger-than-life figures of Orpheus and Eurydice, Diana, Bacchus, Venus, and Narcissus. The second commission from 1942 is the Maiden with Cow, from which only the models and preliminary drafts still exist. Several of these are shown at the exhibition. The last correspondence out of the Third Reich is a letter by Ambrosi from 1945 describing the destruction of his studio in the Prater, Vienna, and touching on his financial problems, the cow purchased for the second contract, and his request to Speer for help. Ambrosi’s assertion from July 4, 1945 in the context of his plea for “dispensation from the requirement to register” as a National Socialist after the war, in accordance with the denazification initiative following the prohibitive laws of May 8, 1945 (Verbotsgesetz) is reproduced in its entirety. The plea was granted. An undated handwritten note by Ambrosi from after the war comments on his biography after 1938.
The complete set of facsimile documents was on display at the exhibition. Additional information, particularly the historical account by Oliver Rathkolb, has been published in the accompanying booklet, available at the Augarten and free to be downloaded HERE.
TEXTS AND DOCUMENTS:
LOCATION: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary,
TBA21–Augarten, Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna, Austria