Out of the Dark

The decades between 1918 and 1938 were a period of transition in Austria. Having barely realised the demise of the Habsburg Empire, the country drifted straight into an autocratic regime and further on to fascism and another global war.

“Menschheitsdämmerung” (Twilight of Humanity) is the title of a Leopold Museum’s exhibition presenting the oeuvre of Gerhart Frankl, Josef Dobrowsky and nine other artists. Featuring the sinister portrait of countryside poverty by Albin Egger-Lienz but also Herbert Boeckl’s timeless colourfulness, this selection is much more than just an addition the Viennese gallery’s outstanding permanent exhibit.

For information on upcoming exhibitions, guided tours, ticket prices and Covid-19 restrictions, go to http://www.leopoldmuseum.org

Come and Sea

Gerhard Richter is nothing less than one of the most important contemporary German painters. Now a Viennese museum provides fascinating insights into his oeuvre.

The Bank Austria (BA) Kunstforum’s “Landschaft” (Landscape) underlines the strong influence of avant-garde photography and the large canvases of Emil Jakob Schindler, Caspar David Friedrich and Gerhard Brandl on the 88-year-old artist from Dresden.

Covid-19 restrictions will keep modern art enthusiasts from visiting this astonishing exhibition after Christmas. Curated by Lisa Ortner-Kreil and Hubertus Butin, “Landschaft” is a true gem with its variety of lesser-known paintings from private collections. But Richter’s almost sinister clouds and sea horizon canvases turn this exhibition into an invaluable experience.

For information on post-lockdown opening hours, guided tours and events, please visit http://www.bankaustria-kunstforum.at

This is the modern way

A refurbished Viennese museum offers the opportunity to discover some of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

“The Essl Collection” features paintings by Arnulf Rainer, Elke Krystufek and Albert Oehlen as well as several photographs and sculptures and is now on display at the Albertina Modern. Located at the city centre’s Künstlerhaus, the gallery focuses on contemporary art from Austria and abroad.

The Künstlerhaus got an extensive makeover between 2017 and this year thanks to the generosity of Hans Peter Haselsteiner. The entrepreneur has also supported various refugee and children relief organisations throughout the past years.

The current exhibit might not be as comprehensive as some visitors expect it to be. Nevertheless, “The Essl Collection” does not disappoint as the brilliance of artists like Georg Baselitz and Alex Katz makes an instant impression.

Visit http://www.albertina.at/albertina-modern for information on opening hours, Covid-19 restrictions and ticket prices.

Souperb

The oeuvre of Andy Warhol has been celebrated for its disarming sense of humour and colourful variety. A new exhibition confirms such preconceptions but focuses on little-known aspects.

Pinkish Marilyns or soup can kaleidoscopes are nowhere to be found in the Museum for Modern Art’s “A Glittering Alternative”. On two floors, the Viennese gallery presents cheeky drawings of ladies in a shopping frenzy and graceful ink and gold leaf on paper artworks, a selection of snapshots and a video installation.

Warhol’s works might lack depth and complexity, but the Big Apple whizzkid’s talent as an entertainer are already evident in his earliest works of art.

>> http://www.mumok.at

Brandl’s brilliance

Perfectly graceful glaciers are arguably the outstanding part of Herbert Brandl’s unique oeuvre. Now a gallery provides a more comprehensive view on an artist who has refused to make concessions throughout his career.smart

Consisting of paintings from private collections and public institutions, “Herbert Brandl. Exposed to Painting” is currently drawing the crowds at Belvedere 21, one of the most renowned venues for contemporary art in Vienna.

Brandl might have made a name for himself with his epic glacier canvases. But there is so much more to his recent creative output, as the exhibit curated by Rolf H. Johannsen confirms. Bronze sculptures and depictions of flowers and lakes are creating a totally new perspective.

>> http://www.belvedere.at

From Faistauer to Kokoschka

Franz Hauer’s life was a truly remarkable rags-to-riches story. Born to an impoverished family in rural Lower Austria, Hauer’s tavern quickly turned into one of the most popular locations in Vienna. But the landlord was also one of the most busy collectors of art of his time.smart

Hauer died at the age of just 48 in 1914. However, the vast array of paintings he had garnered leads to the assumption that acquiring art must have been his chief priority. An ardent admirer of various artists active at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the Hauer collection was especially dominated by Albin Egger-Lienz and Anton Faistauer but also featured artworks by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.

Now a museum in Lower Austria presents works from his astonishing collection which are today part of private collections and the stock of public institutions in Austria and abroad. Landesgalerie Niederösterreich (State Gallery of Lower Austria) – which opened only last year – is drawing the crowds with “Franz Hauer. Selfmademan und Kunstsammler der Gegenwart”. Hauer’s collection featured meticulous Wachau landscapes but the sumptuous still lifes and intimate portraits underline Hauer’s wide-ranging interest.

>> http://www.lgnoe.at