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With Siegfried Zaworka, mumok has for the first time invited an Austrian artist to fill the wall in the museum’s foyer with a site-specific work. Following photography-based installations by Cindy Sherman, Louise Lawler, and Jeff Wall, Zaworka focuses his artistic investigation on the devices used in pain- ting. Under the title Funktionale, he has arranged a group of image elements painted on bare canvas into a temporary mural that artfully toys with the vie- wer’s habits of perception. What looks at first glance like a surreal landscape with a mountain range, fir tree, and vegetal forms, turns out on closer inspec- tion to consist in a systematic analysis of the illusionistic potential of painting.

When Alfred Schmeller became the second director of the 20er Haus (today’s mumok) in 1969, he had already enjoyed a long and varied career. He had been influential in the Art Club, and had worked for many years as a critic. Alongside his extensive collecting and exhibition activities, Schmeller was one of the first directors to realize the significance of presenting museums to different groups of potential visitors. An important aspect of his work was, as he himself called it, “total cultural work.” He saw the museum as a “flashpoint” in which many different issues could be articulated. Schmeller opened the museum up in many ways. He invited the Vienna Festwochen to hold the avant-garde festival Arena there, and he was particularly concerned to attract young people via painting actions and other events. In 1970, the sensational work Giant Billiard by Haus-Rucker-Co was shown in the exhibition Live, which Schmeller had advertised with the slogan “The Prater is closed. Come to the museum!” This work is reconstructed for this exhibition at mumok today.  Visitors are expressly invited to use it! Alongside Schmellers most important acquisitions, documentation of his exhibitions, events and art education projects will be shown.


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