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The 1990s: Think raves, when sportswear hits high fashion and unisex styles became popular, when political activism grew in the wake of the global AIDS crisis, and the end of the Cold War signaled the reorganization of the world, think of the reunification of Germany, and how the mass-production and use of mobile phones came into being, as well as the prevalent spread of the Internet. Yet the nineties also appear to mark a point in history where the time horizon curves and the future and the past seem set in some kind of loop. From then on, there is seemingly nothing culturally significant that hasn’t existed before, albeit in slightly different guises.

The international travelling exhibitionThe Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue of the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum in Doha, Qatar will be on show at the Weltmuseum Wien after its stops in Valletta and Paris. The Majlis has shaped the Arabic and Islamic people for centuries, serving as a centre for social encounters, for political debates and decisions, and for teaching and discussion. Technically defined as a ‘sitting place’, the Majlis has in fact always been much more. It has been an integral part of Arabic society, the heart and soul of communities, the setting for passionate discussions and joyous celebrations.

Paintings by Caravaggio, sculptures by Bernini and other works of central importance to the early Roman Baroque are on view together for the first time ever at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.

Together with the special exhibition Caravaggio & Bernini, the Kunsthistorisches Museum is showing a new series of works by the Austrian artist Klaus Mosettig in the Bassano Hall. His series The David Plates is based on X-rays of Caravaggio’s painting David with the Head of Goliath from the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The fifteen large-scale drawings were created by artist Klaus Mosettig in his Vienna studio over a period of almost two years, from the autumn of 2017 through to the summer of 2019.

On the occasion of Arnulf Rainer’s 90th birthday, the Albertina Museum is presenting a selection of his works from its extensive holdings. The focus here is above all on early overpaintings and crosses, works from Rainer’s large group of Face Farces (of which the Albertina Museum is home to several particularly central and important examples), and a series of equally impressive “veiled pictures”. Five years ago, the Albertina Museum already honored Arnulf Rainer with a large retrospective in celebration of his 85th birthday, testimony to the great esteem in which this internationally renowned Austrian artist is held.

The Albertina Museum is marking what would have been the hundredth birthday of Maria Lassnig (1919–2014) with a comprehensive look back upon her career, thus showing impressive key works and masterpieces by one of the most important woman artists of the 20th century. Among the multitude of themes to which Maria Lassnig devoted herself over the course of her life (including self-portraits, science fiction, relationships with people, animals, and technology, and how we relate to violence and war), a dominant golden thread running throughout her oeuvre’s content is the act of rendering her body-consciousness visible. As early as the late 1940s, Lassnig placed her own body at the center of her work—long before physical feeling, body language, and gender relations became central themes of the international avant-garde. She thus marked an important turning point in the history of modern art whose echoes can still be heard today. It was humorously and seriously, wistfully and mercilessly that the artist placed her perceptions of her own self on the painting surface. In this, it was not what she saw, but what she felt became the image. Exhibition organised by The Albertina Museum, Vienna in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

It has been decades since so many works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) have been seen in one place: thanks to valuable international loans, Vienna’s ALBERTINA Museum – itself home to numerous world-famous icons of drawing by Dürer including the Hare, Praying Hands, and Large Piece of Turf – will be presenting over 200 examples of Dürer’s drawings, printed graphics, and paintings in autumn 2019. Upon its reopening in 2003, it was with an exhibition of works by Albrecht Dürer that the ALBERTINA Museum ended up welcoming a total of half a million visitors. And now, a selection of over 100 drawings, a dozen paintings, personal writings, and other rare documents will present the oeuvre of this Renaissance genius more comprehensively than ever before.

The Austrian artist Martin Roth (1977-2019) attracted attention with site-specific installations and interventions between art and nature. His ephemeral and temporary spaces, mostly apocalyptic-dystopic scenarios of rubble, bricks, or civilization waste, were literally animated with rescued animals (frogs, birds, snails, laboratory mice, etc.) and/or plants – on the one hand these act as catalysts together with the factor time for the decay of place and material. At the same time they are a promise for renewal and continuity of at least nature and matter. For the installation at KUNST HAUS WIEN, the artist has filled the entire floor of the “garage” with rubble and sculptural pieces – wild plants settle in the gaps – and stimulates the setting with a sound installation: The main sounds are birds that imitate technically produced sounds such as ring tones, car noise, sirens, etc. – an echo of our industrialized life. Roth has taken up themes of dislocation, substitution, decay, inequality and disorder in a network of relationships between artist / recipient, human / animal / nature and time / space and created subtle symbolic images of the state of our world. In october 2019 I listened to animals imitating humans. is his first museum exhibition in Austria, […]

The city is one of the most dazzling subjects in the history of photography: KUNST HAUS WIEN presents with the exhibiton Street. Life. Photography Icons of Street Photography from seven decades. From Merry Alpern, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank to Lee Friedlander or Martin Parr – with more than 35 photographic positions and over 200 works, the exhibition deals with the radical changes and aesthetic developments in street photography from the 1930s to the present. Street Life, Crashes, Public Transfer, Anonymity, and Alienation – in five kaleidoscope-like chapters, the exhibition shows the central themes of street photography and draws visitors into a wide variety of visual worlds, some of which seem surreal. Analogue photography is alongside digital photography, the 35mm camera alongside the large-format camera, black-and-white photography meets colour photography and familiar icons of photographic history. International classics of street photography are associated with young, contemporary positions such as Mohamed Bourouissa, Harri Pälviranta or Austrian artists such as Alex Dietrich and Lies Maculan – and open up a new perspective on the different spaces of the city that the observation of the urban environment offered in the past and today. Street. Life. Photography sheds light on the continuing fascination that this theme has exerted on 20th and 21st century photography, producing a […]

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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