Kiki Kogelnik - Photo of the artist - Image via tateorguk

Kiki Kogelnik

Austria 1935 - 1997

Pop Art

Kiki Kogelnik
Kiki Kogelnik
August 17, 2017
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Kiki Kogelnik was an Austrian painter, sculptor and printmaker widely considered to be her nation’s most important Pop-related artist despite the fact she has been known to take issue with being considered a part of the Pop art movement. This was primarily because she withheld from relying on the movement’s traditionally commercial subject matter, instead making work that concentrated on emerging technologies such as space travel and missiles. Nevertheless, Kiki Kogelnik did draw her palette and materials from Pop art, so linking her to the last great modern movement is far from a mistake.

Doll Festival is an intriguing painting made by Kiki Kogelnik that displays all of the usual visual characteristics this artist had in her creative arsenal
Kiki Kogelnik – Doll Festival, 1966 – Image via

Kiki Kogelnik in the Big Apple

Kogelnik began her artistic career at the Galerie Nächst St. Stephan in Vienna in 1961 where she started showing her early abstract works. At the time she was influenced by Serge Poliakoff of the École de Paris. However, Kiki quickly found her own unique genre while surrounded by the Pop art movement’s representatives in the Big Apple. During her stay in New York City, Kogelnik was close to Sam Francis, an abstract expressionist who offered another source of inspiration to Kiki, as well as influencing her away from Pop art. Despite the fact she did not agree with many aspects of Pop art, Kiki Kogelnik still spent a lot of time with the movement’s representatives, becoming a big part of their group in the process. This close-knit group of artists included the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, among other big names. Her work during that time was strongly influenced by the Pop art colors and materials, resulting in numerous brightly colored, euphoric space-themed paintings.

Kiki Kogelnik painted this piece called Death With Sunglasses in 1963, after which her name was on everyone's lips and she became a hit of the international art scene
Kiki Kogelnik – Death With Sunglasses, 1963 – Image via

A Creative World of Her Own

Unlike the pop artists she considered close friends and colleagues, Kiki Kogelnik avoided the celebration of commerce and quotidian objects. In the 1970s, her focus shifted to what later became known as her Women works, paintings that were specifically addressing the female role portrayed in commercial advertising. Approaching feminist issues with a strong use of irony, humor and a cool pop-art aesthetic, the art of Kiki Kogelnik was so unique that her name quickly became the hot topic on the international scene of art. In the year of 1974, she also began to work occasionally with ceramics, employing sculptural form as an extension of her painterly concepts. During the next decade, fragmented people, signs and symbols begin to fill Kogelnik’s portfolio and she also directed a short 16mm B&W film CBGB that featured Jim Carroll. The 1990s were a time Kiki would depict highly abstracted yet expressive faces. She also dedicated a lot of time to developing her sculptures – Kogelnik created a series of glass sculptures through which she sought to comment on decorative and commercial themes in art-making. Kiki Kogelnik died of cancer on the 1st of February in the year of 1997, in Vienna.

Although she did not support its traditionally commercial subject matter, Kiki Kogelnik was still considered to be a very important segment of the Pop art movement

Lady With a Hat is a work of art made by Kiki Kogelnik that reveils her fondness of the Pop art aestetic
Kiki Kogelnik – Lady With a Hat – Image via liveauctiongroupnet

A Vital, Yet Somewhat Reluctant Part of Pop Art

Observing the world from a critical feminist perspective, Kogelnik made works that offer a timeless commentary on the portrayal of women in promotional media. A long and rich career that started with expressive roots of Art Informal and finished with Pop-like pieces, the work of Kiki Kogelnik is a true hallmark of Austrian art and a feministic milestone that heavily influenced the roles women had in the world of art. However, it also put art historians in a bit of a predicament as this artist’s name deserves to be mentioned along the lines of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, but doing so would be going against the wishes of the great Kiki Kogelnik.


  1. Kogelnik, K., Kiki Kogelnik: I Have Seen the Future, Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 2013
  2. Borchhardt-Birbaumer, B., Hennig, A., Längle, S., Kiki Kogelnik, Moderne Kunst Nürnberg; Bilingual edition, 2014
  3. Vogel, W., Sorkin, J., Kogelnik, K., Kiki Kogelnik: Inner Life , Hatje Cantz, 2017

Featured image: Kiki Kogelnik – Photo of the artist – Image via
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Wouldst Thou Like To Live Deliciously?Koppe Astner, Glasgow, Scotland Group
2017When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your yearNew Galerie, Paris Group
2017CondoEmalin, London Group
2016Kiki Kogelnik | Works from 1962-1968König Galerie, Berlin Solo
2016la femme visibleGalerie Natalie Seroussi, Paris Group
2016I Am SilverFoxy Production, New York City, NY Group
2016Skins: Body as Matter and ProcessGarth Greenan Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2016Aktuelle Ausstellungen im Schloss EbenauGalerie Walker, Weizelsdorf Group
2016Untitled Body PartsSimone Subal Gallery, New York City, NY Group
2015Kiki KogelnikGalerie Kovacek & Zetter, Vienna Solo
2015Kiki Kogelnik: Fly Me to the MoonModern Art Oxford, Oxford Solo
2015Rabenmütter: Zwischen Kraft und Krise: Mütterbilder von 1900 bis heuteLentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Linz Group
2015The EY Exhibition: The World Goes PopTate Modern, London Group
2015Flirting with Strangers21er Haus, Vienna Group
2015Aktionistinnenforum frohner, Krems Group
2015Die achtziger JahreMUSA Museum auf Abruf, Vienna Group
2015Bilder und Skulpturen von KünstlerInnen der GalerieGalerie Walker, Weizelsdorf Group
2015Trans.form 5Künstlerhaus Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt Group
2014Kiki KogelnikSimone Subal Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2014Kiki Kogelnik: No Coca-ColaJohann König, Berlin Solo
2014I Multiplied Myself To Feel MyselfKunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna Group
2014WELTENGalerie Walker, Weizelsdorf Group
20144 X 4Stephen Friedman Gallery, London Group
2014Aktionistinnenforum frohner, Krems Group
2014Die andere sichtEssl Museum, Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg Group
2013Kiki KogelnikKunsthalle Krems, Krems Solo
201325 Jahre für die KunstGalerie Judith Walker, Weizelsdorf Group
2013Die Sammlung #3Schweizergarten, Vienna Group
2013Fokus Sammlung 04MMKK, Klagenfurt Group
2013Österreichische Kunst des 20. und 21. JahrhundertGalerie Kovacek & Zetter, Vienna Group
2012Kiki Kogelnik: I have seen the futureKunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg Solo
2012Kiki Kogelnik: Early Works, 1964-1970Simone Subal Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
2011The Excitement ContinuesLeopold Museum, Vienna Group
2011Power Up! Female Pop ArtStädtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen, Bietigheim-Bissingen Group
2011Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA Group
2010POWER UP: Female Pop ArtMuseumsquartier, Vienna Group
2010Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958–1968Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NY Group
2010Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE Group
2010Long time no seeThe Brno House of Art, Brno Group
2008Kiki KogelnikGalerie Rhomberg, Innsbruck Solo
2006Kiki KogelnikGalerie bei der Albertina, Vienna Solo
2005Kiki KogelnikKünstlerhaus Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt Solo
2005Kiki KogelnikGalerie Judith Walker, Weizelsdorf Solo
2005Kiki Kogelnik Sonderausstellung zum 70. GeburtstagWerner Berg Museum, Bleiburg Solo
2004Kiki Kogelnik: Palais LiechtensteinForum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Feldkirch Solo
2004Pop Art und Venetian HeadsGalerie Kovacek & Zetter, Vienna Solo
2001Kiki KogelnikGalerie bei der Albertina, Vienna Solo
1994Kiki KogelnikGalerie Freihausgasse, Villach Solo
1988Kiki KogelnikGalerie Sikoronja, Rosegg Solo
1961Kiki KogelnikGalerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna Solo