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The exhibition 55 Dates invites visitors to explore 55 works selected from the mumok collection of around 10,000, in “blind dates” with art. These works do not present a classical perspective on art history but rather a diverse coexistence of ways of thinking, themes, and artistic media. The selection ranges from Paul Klee, Giacomo Balla, and Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol, uniting very different approaches in one show, with Anna Artaker, Cosima von Bonin, Günter Brus, Friedl Dicker, VALIE EXPORT, Marta Hoepffner, Ed Paschke, and many more. This exhibition presents a mix of the known and the lesser known, with artists whose names and works have entered art history and others still to be discovered. The unconventional exhibition design by Austrian artist Hans Schabus will facilitate interpretations that go beyond the normal expectations of an overview of art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The exhibition Photo/Politics/Austria takes you on a photographic journey through Austrian history from 1918 to the present. This project is undertaken in cooperation with Photoinstitut Bonartes and shows around 100 works from the mumok photographs collection, and additional loans from national and international institutions. Photo/Politics/Austria is an attempt to visualize Austrian history of the last 100 years using selected photos or photo series that show special events or situations. These include a postcard series of the fire at the Palace of Justice (1927), Friedl Dicker‘s socially critical collages (1931), Ernst Haas‘s Heimkehrer(1947), and Seiichi Furuya’s State Border (1981/83), images that are just as much part of a panorama of a turbulent history as Kiki Kogelnik’s Vienna Street Pictures (1967) or a screenshot of Hans Krankl in Cordoba (1978). Film theorist Siegfried Kracauer compared the reality of the camera with reality as constructed through historical knowledge. Both media show the present as just one part of the whole. This exhibition Photo/Politics/Austria, designed by the artist Markus Schinwald, uses press photographs, interventions, newspaper cuttings, posters, and film stills as “head pictures” (Michael Diers), that complement and sharpen the “headlines” of the past.

From humorous advertising slogans to socially critical statements, the MAK exhibition 100 BEST POSTERS 17: Germany Austria Switzerland offers a diverse spectrum of contemporary poster designs. On show from 27 June 2018 are the one hundred winning posters that this year’s international jury of experts chose from entries to the annual competition. The posters, all of which are considered equal winners, range from student projects to commissioned work by established graphic designers and advertising agents. In 2017, the selection manifests a pronounced trend towards serial poster combinations and unconventional graphic solutions.   The five-person jury for the graphic design competition, which is by now a well-established tradition, comprised communications designer Jens Müller (Düsseldorf, Chair), poster artist Peter Bankov (Prague), the graphic designers Albert Exergian (Vienna) and Michael Kryenbühl (Bern/Lucerne), as well as designer Daniel Wiesmann (Berlin). They received a record number of 2 293 posters from 657 different participants. During the two-stage selection process, 45 entries were chosen from Germany and 50 from Switzerland, along with one German-Swiss cooperation and four further entries from Austria.   The competition 100 BEST POSTERS: Germany Austria Switzerland has been presented in the MAK since 2006, and is displayed this year for the first time in the MAK […]

Larger than life, she kneels on a tabletop with her blouse pushed up. The only sign of her divinity is the frankincense emanating from an opening in her body. Unfazed by the viewer’s gaze, in an all too human manner she plucks a hair from her chin. The intimate nature of this representation is in diametrical opposition to typical depictions of Olympian gods. This is Hera by Ines Doujak. It is with this piece that the 2018 cycle of contemporary positions will begin in the Upper Belvedere.

From the opulent bouquet to the native thistle to Klimt’s sunflower: in the space of a century, flower painting underwent an enormous transformation. The centre was Vienna, where in the nineteenth century flower painting achieved unrivalled diversity and significance. 

The Kiss (Lovers) by Gustav Klimt is the most famous Austrian painting and the highlight of the permanent collection at the Upper Belvedere. It shows a couple swathed in richly embellished robes embracing in a meadow of flowers on the brink of a precipice. The painting dates from 1907/08 at the height of Klimt’s “Golden Period” when the artist developed a new technique of combining gold leaf with oils and bronze paint.

Vienna seen from the Belvedere is undoubtedly the most iconic view of the Austrian capital. It became famous because of the painting by Bernardo Bellotto, called Canaletto, and has been dubbed the “Canaletto view” as a result. Current debates surrounding the planned construction of a high-rise building on Heumarkt have recently placed it in the spotlight once more. 

As a collaborative artist duo, Anita Fuchs and Resa Pernthaller explore temporary interventions in the urban space, nomadic collective processes, and all manner of nature art. Their projects often begin with an ‘actionist’ approach: road trips that transfer plants across several states, the transportation of trees from a research station, or the sowing of a field with historical seeds. These ‘action art’ events are associated with contemporary societal topics such as climate change, terrorism, migration, history, global economies, and politics. Scientific, research-based endeavours and years of exchange with international institutions are all part of their conceptual work method. The artist duo has chosen to take a closer look at the KUNST HAUS WIEN and analyse ‘the Museum as host’ in terms of its flora. The KUNST HAUS WIEN lends itself particularly well to this, given that its founder and designer Friedensreich Hundertwasser chose to provide the inner courtyard, the façade and the roof with plentiful, luxuriant plant life. So what does the Museum’s botanical setting look like today, twenty-six years later? That’s the question that RESANITA will be keen to ascertain, document and implement artistically. Since autumn 2017 the artists have been busy compiling a photographic inventory of the flora […]

For the KUNST HAUS WIEN, Austrian artist Rainer Prohaska has compiled an array of proposals for making Vienna’s Danube Canal directly accessible from the Museum’s inner courtyard. The Museum, like Vienna’s third municipal district as a whole, is separated from the water’s edge at the right end of the Danube Canal by the Weissgerberlände, a busy three-lane thoroughfare.

The exhibition Double Lives focuses on visual artists who wrote or produced music, who performed music in public, or who were or are members of artists’ bands. The exhibition really “exhibits” music, with large projections of videos and photographs of concert and studio performances that give visitors a sense of being there “live,” while also illustrating the significance of different kinds of performance situation. The artists and works in the show range from the early twentieth century to the present day. We begin with Marcel Duchamp and the futurists, then move on to Yves Klein and Fluxus artists Nam June Paik and Yoko Ono, and then present key figures from the 1960s and 1970s such as A. R. Penck, Hanne Darboven, Gerhard Rühm, and Hermann Nitsch. Representatives of proto-punk like Captain Beefheart and Alan Vega were precursors of the many artists’ bands of the 1980s, in which artists like Mike Kelley, Albert Oehlen, Heimo Zobernig, and Pipilotti Rist played. The stylistically more heterogeneous scene of the 1990s to today is represented by Jutta Koether, Stephen Prina, Angela Bulloch, Carsten Nicolai, Christian Marclay, Billy Childish, Emily Sundblad, and others.

Gaby and Wilhelm Schürmann do not see their collection as just private property or a prestige object, but rather as an item of cultural value that needs exchange with the public. Their collection has been constantly growing since the late 1970s, and it provides an incomparable view of the development of contemporary art from the 1980s onward. This is a progressive statement on behalf of contemporary art that is anchored in social issues and sees itself as a form of communication. The rationale behind the collection, which is held in Herzogenrath near Aachen and in Berlin, is both creative and productive, and the two collectors’ practice can be described as a particularly free-spirited form of cultural production. The act of collecting is realized less in the processes of keeping and completing artworks and is instead understood mainly as an invitation to participate in the public production of connections. This very pragmatic and hands-on approach is manifested in sensual and unconventional gestures of presenting, including the principle of “comparative seeing.” In this sense, the Class Reunion exhibition, the title of which refers to a 2008 installation of the same name by Berlin artist Nairy Baghramian, will unravel an exciting, humorous, and surprising […]

Alexander Kluge (born 1932) has long been known as an engaged poet, polyphonic chronologist, and seismographer of the present. Using images, texts, and objects, the author and filmmaker creates ever new constellations, the meanings of which are mainly derived from the nature of their arrangement. Kluge has won a number of awards for his interdisciplinary works. In 2017, he was awarded the Jean-Paul Prize for his lifetime literary achievements.

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