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Things to Do in Vienna - An Old New Art Capital

  • Belvedere Palace (courtesy of en.r8lst.com)
  • ShepardFairey, Faith47 in Vienna, 2013, Katharina Stoegmueller. Galerie Ernst Hilger
July 28, 2016
Deeply invested in contemporary art, Widewalls magazine aims to provide a unique experience for its readers in form of in-depth and quality journalism.

Rooted in buoyant tradition and history and at the same time so vibrant and buzzing with creative energy, Vienna is slowly proving to be a force of its own. There is the peace and quiet desired by many of the international and local artists who have decided to make this European city their home. And while some might take this tranquility is the sign that arrival of new things here is slow coming, many would disagree. In the end, doesn’t the saying go: Good things take time.

With the opportunity of gaining one of the most prestigious art education diplomas, many of the Vienness students understand early on that practice makes perfect and that a professional outlook and approach to creativity is a must. This stands at the core of various off-spaces, workshops, and artists’ studios that push the town towards becoming one of the top creative cities in the world. Against the traditional and famous institutions stand new spaces run on new energy. Maybe we should have kept this gem as a secret, but as we felt that this city is unjustly pushed to aside, so we bring Vienna and its diverse art scene into focus.

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Faile – Artwork at Brotfabrik. Cash Cans and Candy Festival, 2016. Image via wien.info

Things to Do in Vienna When You’re Looking for Art

Beautiful Blue Danube waltz, Secession legacy, old Schonbrunn Imperial Palace, wonderful Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture, old glamorous 19th Century cafes where Sigmund Freud used to go out – shadows of an Old Imperial metropolis are all over the Austrian capital. Even though a thriving contemporary scene is alive and well in the city, Vienna is perceived as an old Imperial, beautiful place, proud of its enormously rich history, the town of Habsburgs and Maria Theresa. Indeed, Vienna attracts millions of foreign tourists every year – and the majority of them come to see the Old, Classical Vienna; a city that has always been a bridge between Eastern and Western Europe, between the Orient, the Balkans and the West. But, this rich metropolis has so much to offer when it comes to Modern and Contemporary art. There are so many things to do in Vienna except visiting Palaces and Emperors’ Buildings. Unfairly marginalized on the global contemporary scene, the time has come to put Vienna on contemporary art map of the cities that every art lover has to visit.

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MUMOK

Different Faces of Creativity in Vienna

Following with the major trends of contemporary art, the creative production in Vienna (speaking of the visual arts, but also of literature, music, and theater) is another example of multi-originated diversity of expressions. From traditional paintings, installations, sculpture, performance, and mixed-media governing the production palette, one of the possibly most prolific rising stars are the emerging street artists. The urban art scene is booming and younger generation artists are quickly becoming recognizable for their own unique styles. This is especially true for the remarkable Austrian street artist Nychos, whose images of dissected animals and humans invite the public to dig deeper and to examine what lies beneath the vibrant paintings and murals. With a desire to promote and connect authors from all over the world, Nychos in 2005 founded the Rabbit Eye Movement. Originally started as a street art concept, today it is a full-time gallery and agency. Following closely, there are various events such as “ Cash, Cans & Candy” in organization of the Hilger NEXT Gallery, the Buckers Festival, and Calle Libre, describing itself as a Festival for Urban Aesthetics. Taking a stroll along the Danube canal we find one of many remarkable places where the eye is awarded with the bright and colorful murals and graffiti pieces. For sure, whereever you step around this magical town, art is will be there.

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Nychos: Project M – Greetings from New York

Vienna Museums – Albertina, Belvedere and KunstHaus, Hundertwasser Museum

The list of Vienna Museums is impressive. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough space to name them all, but we will mention the most important ones. In addition, we’ll skip some of the famous Viennese museums, but focus only on those who have amazing collections and exhibitions of Modern and Contemporary art.

Let’s start the walk through Vienna from Albertina, a museum set in an impressive building within the grand Hofburg Palace. The museum’s collection is vast, and it’s officially the Europe’s largest and most important private collection of classical modernist paintings. The collection includes works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne. In addition, those who like Cubism may enjoy a number of works by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. There are also expressionist masterpieces of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Wassily Kandinsky, and Emil Nolde. Figurative and abstract surrealism is represented by works of Max Ernst, Paul Delvaux, René Magritte, and Joan Miró. The art history of the second half of the 20th Century is presented with works by masters such as Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, and Alex Katz.

Belvedere is world-famous historic building complex that served as a palace for Habsburg Emperors, and it is located near the center. But, inside of this ostentatious Baroque complex there is the Belvedere Museum with its outstanding collection of artworks. The Belvedere Museum is best-known for having the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings. But, it’s not only about Klimt. While wondering the Belvedere’s corridors, visitors can see Impressionist paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, and Edgar Degas, a number of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. The collection contains numerous works by Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, and a number of works by Austrian artists who were part of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). Interestingly, Belvedere Art Gallery frequently hosts exhibitions by contemporary art masters, recently featuring works by Olafur Eliasson or the Icelandic performance artist, Ragnar Kjartansson before that.

Speaking about the Vienna artworld, it’s impossible not to mention Friedensreich Hundertwasser. One of the landmarks of the city is Hundertwasserhaus, a stunning apartment house built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Hundertwasser. It’s located 30 minutes on foot from the center. Near this amazing building is KunstHaus – Hundertwasser Museum. The Museum houses the world’s only permanent exhibition of Hundertwasser’s works.

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Hundertwasserhaus

Museumsquartier of Vienna

Museumsquartier (MQ) is the eighth largest cultural area in the world within which several museums are placed. Located in the center, each of the ‘member’ museums holds a collection, some of which pride themselves in displaying extraordinary works of Modern and Contemporary art. Leopold Museum is home to one of the largest collections of modern Austrian art, featuring artists such as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Richard Gerstl. In the past few years, there has been a lot of controversy over the Museum’s collection, as it has a number of artworks that were stolen from Jewish collectors by the Nazi regime before and during the Second World War. The Museum is now trying to resolve the dispute with the artworks’ previous owners’ heirs.

MUMOK is the more famous name for Austria’s Museum of Modern Art, also located in the Museumsquartier. It has a collection of 10,000 Modern and Contemporary artworks. Housed in a fascinating stone-clad building, the collection contains major works from Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, Wolf Vostell, Gerhard Richter, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein.

While it’s not unexpected that an old imperial center has an abundant cultural scene as well as a plethora of interesting sites to visit, Vienna still stands out. The very concentration of the cultural heritage, including the 20th century artifacts, makes it special, while its opulence continues to both inspire the daydreaming and challenge the rebellious.

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MUMOK, Vienna, June 2006, image via commons.wikimedia.org

Vienna Art Galleries

Almost every street in the center of Vienna has at least one contemporary art gallery. There are dozens of great art venues all over the metropolitan area, many of them globally renowned spaces that participate at the world’s most important art fairs. Ernst Hilger Galerie is one of the most renowned galleries in Vienna. Owned by famous curator and dealer Ernst Hilger, the Gallery represents artists such as Mel Ramos, Peter Krawagna, Karl Korab and many others. Galerie Ulysses is another Vienna-based famous gallery that represents works by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Franco Kappl, Rudi Stanzel, and others.

Having a difficult task to name some of our favorites along with the previous two galleries, on our must-go-to list there will always be Georg Kargl Gallery, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Galerie OstLicht, Galerie Andreas Huber and the list goes on. Every honest gallery-goer should keep in mind their own preferances and make a path accordingly. While some adore the big names such as Ramos, others might thrive on the thought of discovering a new artist. Whichever path is right for you, Vienna will have it, albiet sometimes in hidden places.

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Albertina (courtesy of wien.info)

What to do in Vienna this Summer?

There is always something interesting going on in the Austrian old capital. There are more hundreds of hidden places where you can see art performances, exhibitions and happenings, sometimes organized by the students of the Vienna Art Academy.

Here is a small selection of artistic events, where a Viennese tourist can spend a portion of their summer!

Akademie der Bildenden Kunste Wien organized the exhibition of major works by Hieronymus Bosch (will be on view until October 9, 2016). Albertina has the show entitled Albertina Contemporary featuring works by Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Arnulf Rainer, Georg Baselitz, Alex Katz, Maria Lassnig, and others (on view until March 19. 2017). In the KunstHaus Vienna, the visitors can enjoy the exhibition of Martin Parr that will be on view until November 2, 2016. Finally, Ai Weiwei’s exhibition at Belvedere should not be missed. Entitled translocation – transformation, the show runs through November 20, 2016.

Vienna is perfect place for urban and street production lovers as well. This summer, they will enjoy the exhibition and mural festival Look Again! Cash, Cans & Candy III/2016, organized by the Hilger NEXT Gallery. The show takes place at the Gallery’s venue in Vienna’s 10th district and will last until September. Some of the world’s most renowned urban and street artists are participating in this festival (i.e. Shepard Fairey, Ben Frost, ROA, etc). Following the Look Again! Mural Festival might be an all-summer endeavor, crowned in the early autumn with an array of freshly painted wall works across the town.

Finally, in September, Vienna will host a major art fair – Vienna Contemporary. It will bring together dozens of exhibitors from all over the world. Vienna Contemporary Art Fair takes place between September 22 and September 25, 2016.

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AlexisDiaz, Vienna, 2013, Katharina Stoegmueller, Galerie Ernst Hilger

Some of the Vienna’s Art Voices

With the wish to bring a more personal outlook to our Viennese guide for art lovers, not to mention a first-hand experience and opinion, in the last week we have contacted some of the major and important Vienna’s creative voices. Asking them to answer for us two questions about creativity, placement within the contemporary bubble and the atmosphere of the town, we also asked each of the participants to give us their own suggestions what places to visit and what are the up-and-coming art institutions at the moment. The answers we received from artists, young curatorial team members, gallery directors and assistants.

Scroll down to read about the Vienna views of the legend Ernst Hilger, gallerist Lisa Kandlhofer, Robby Greif and Andrea Kopranovic of Koenig Galerie, Nevena Jankovic of BLOCKFREI, art histrian and prospective gallerist Sophie Tappeiner, acclaimed artists Dejan Kaludjerovic, BOICUT, Peter Phobia and Andreas Leikauf.

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Boicut: Makebelieve. Image courtesy of the artist.

Ernst Hilger – Curator, Owner and Founder of Hilger modern/contemporary and Hilger BrotKunsthalle

Widewalls: As a renowned gallerist and a prominent art collector, you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why? Ernst Hilger : Vienna is probably now one of the most exciting places in Europe to be. We have the Albertina with a major program, the Belvedere which hosts Ai Wei Wei at the moment, a newly powered Leopold museum, an abundance of other cultural venues like two opera houses, many theaters with an exciting program, many city activities like the film festival in the summer and of course last but not least at all an abundance of international working galleries like Nächst St Stephan Georg Kargl and others – not to forget to mention my three spaces. Also the curated program which is cofounded by the city and starts this year on the 8th of September with 22 galleries participating and then viennacontemporary a truly exceptional fair in September which opens the eyes to worlds that are not at all other fairs like the eastern countries and Russia

Widewalls: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers? Ernst Hilger : I personally watch almost all exhibitions at Hubert Winter Gallery and think Hans Knoll gives an interesting insight in the Russian Scene , Peter Coelns Ostlicht is a magnet for Photography fans. The second district hosts many pop-ups which you have to find – super is most of the program of the Albertina – just now a magnificent Jim Dine show – a gathering place for the young art lovers are the –museum quarters with free wifi and lots of varying cultural institutions around, and a young gallery to look at is also Nathaie Halgand near the Naschmarkt.

Ernst Hilger Portrait

Lisa Kandlhofer – Gallerist, Galerie Kandlhofer

After closing her gallery LisaBird and now in the process of organizing and opening a new space, expected to happen 22nd September  2016, we were delighted that Ms. Kandlhofer found the time to give us her voice and answer our questions.

Widewalls: As a gallerist, you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why? Lisa Kandlhofer: I would not say that Vienna is underestimated. It only has much more to offer, than people may know. We have a new scene of young contemporary galleries emerging at the moment. In the years to come, international collectors will be more and more aware of the contemporary art scene in Vienna. The Viennacontemporary art fair is also growing in importance on the international scene. There are numerous museums in Vienna, from the Belvedere to the Secession, we have a very varied and excellent offer. Artists love to live and work in Vienna. It is less crowded than Berlin but has a similar vibe and infinite inspirational sites.

WW: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers?

LK: Supersense – 1020 Wien – It is a studio, coffee place, store and an interesting center for digital photography

Secession – one of the most avant-garde exhibition sites in Vienna

Theseustempel- a small antique (style) temple in a garden in the center of Vienna where contemporary artists are exhibited in solo shows.

Galerie Krinzinger & Krinzinger Projekte: Established since 40 years, this gallery is still one of the most contemporary & exciting spaces in Vienna.

Lisa Kandlhofer at Lisabird Gallery
Lisa Kandlhofer at Lisabird Gallery

Christine Koenig Galerie – The Director Robby Greif and Assistant Andrea Kopranovic

Widewalls: As the director/assistant of Christine König Galerie, you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why?

Robby Greif: Vienna is definitely not underestimated as a cultural center. Say Vienna and you immediately think of opera, museums, Klimt, Schiele, imperial architecture and of course coffee houses, but Vienna is much more than this. Vienna has a very vibrant contemporary art scene, a bunch of internationally operating galleries, two art universities with a respective output of young artists, high-class exhibitions in the institutions for contemporary art like the 21er Haus Belvedere and the Kunsthalle

Andrea Kopranovic: Due to it’s topography, functioning as a bridge connecting the east and the west, Vienna has always been a melting pot of various cultures, views, languages and artistic practices. In this strength lies the mindfulness of most visitors automatically perceiving this city as a distinguished cultural center. Vienna has it all if you look closely: from the renowned galleries and highly frequented museums to the artist-based off-spaces and student initiatives, to only stay in the fine arts sector.

WW: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers? (Please, note that we would like to hear about the contemporary art venues/galleries/museums)

RG: The best thing first: nearly everything in Vienna is in walking distance! If you’re visiting, you should not miss the Freihausviertel. Starting from the galleries in Schleifmühlgasse (König, Senn, Kargl, Engholm, Unttld) you may walk by the Naschmarkt, visit the amazing Secession, take a stop at the 2nd gallery cluster in Eschenbachgasse (Krobath, Janda, Crone, MeyerKainer) and head forward to the MQ Museumsquartier with its museums and its enchanting atmosphere. And if you happen to be in Vienna in autumn don’t miss the gallery festival “curated by_”!

AK: Of course our own and all the other galleries at the Schleifmühlgasse! I think it is quite prolific having different spaces within one quarter, or as we have it here, in one street. Beyond that I enjoy the twin-galleries and photography spaces Westlicht (http://www.westlicht.com/) and Ostlicht (http://www.ostlicht.at/) (second of which is located at the Brotfabrik area with other institutions and definitely worth a visit http://www.brotfabrik.wien/en/) and the space of the University of Applied Arts called Angewandte Innovation Lab (http://www.ailab.at/), to name only a few. Maybe it would be also interesting to your readers mentioning One Work Gallery founded and directed by Salvatore Viviano (http://www.salvatoreviviano.com/?page_id=916), which only exhibits one work at a time.

Robby Greif and Andrea Kopranovic

Nevena Janković and Jelena Kaludjerović – BLOCKFREI (Curators’ Agenda)

Widewalls: As one of the three members of BLOCKFREI, along with Jelena Kaludjerović and Jana Dolečki, you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why?

Nevena Janković: For centuries, Vienna nurtures an image of the city where culture and cultural policy have a significant influence on its identity. Furthermore, Austria’s economy system relies on the country’s attractive landscape and culture, thus sees a culture as an economic tool to increase tourism. After the World War II its cultural policy focused mostly on “prestige-oriented” arts and paid less attention to the contemporary cultural production. Today we have a more balanced situation, increasingly versatile. Perhaps Vienna is underestimated as a cultural centre because one part of the international community still perceives it as a place offering more commercialised content, tourist-oriented, and is not updated with its innovative contemporary art and culture. A more acquainted observer is aware of this other side of Vienna, multicultural and vibrant, with its central geographical position that attracted artists from former eastern block countries as “the closest west” and a focal point on the path towards the better life conditions and prosperity. It can be said that next to the local artists and cultural workers, there are many actors in the cultural field with different migrant origins, who are largely contributing and enriching the scene. The migrations are influencing political, economic and cultural landscapes and bearing in mind that the role of culture and cultural policies was always indicative in the constructing of the national identity, they are adjusting them to the current needs. Today, Austria’s cultural policy (on the federal level) focuses strongly on the issues of cultural diversity, internationalisation and promotion of young artists, with main focuses on the contemporary art, film production, promotion of public participation in arts and culture, as well as on the educational potential. By supporting different projects such as artists/curators-in-residence programs, it is encouraging the cultural exchange which helps Vienna’s culture to grow and expand, making it a cosmopolitan and interesting place to be.

WW: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers?

Jelena Kaludjerović: There are many interesting places in Vienna concerning contemporary art that I would recommend such as galleries in Schleifmühlgasse, Eschenbachgasse, of course Secession, Galerie Krinzinger, 21 Haus Belvedere, Kunstraum Niederösterreich, spaces of the University of Applied Arts – well well well and Angewandte Innovation Lab. These are just some of the places, which together with other institutions, make Vienna a very vibrant cultural spot. Through our work we are trying to present some of the most relevant representatives and places of the Viennese contemporary art scene. Since three years BLOCKFREI has been annually organising Curators’ Agenda, an intensive 6-week residency program for emerging, international curators. Interactive part of this program is very important for us, enabling the participants to get to know the scene in-depth, to build their own network as well as to possibly become part of the scene here – through their future work or by taking part of it somewhere else. The schedule of the program is pretty dense, which just shows how many worth seeing things are going on in Vienna. For those who visit in autumn, I would especially recommend the gallery festival “curated by_” and Vienna Contemporary Art Exhibition “Parallel”.

Left: Jelena Kaludjerović / Right: Nevena Janković. Photo by Vesna Bjedov

Sophie Tappeiner – Studio manager and prospective gallerist

The young art historian and a manager of the Constantin Luser studio, Ms. Tappeiner is working hard and researching for the opening of her own exhibition place in Vienna.

Widewalls: As an artist studio manager you are involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why? Sophie Tappeiner: I don’t think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center as such, but perhaps it’s international image is rather focused the city’s past than present. Concerning the contemporary visual arts, Vienna has a vibrant scene, which perhaps is not very visible internationally. It is an issue to be discussed at length. However, I believe that one reason may be that the city features fantastic artist-run and alternative project spaces. However, these great initiatives operate locally and it may be tricky for someone who isn’t in the scene to actually find out about these places. Further, these project spaces do not aim to represent artists on an international level as galleries would do…. there are hardly any young galleries around that act on an international level. However, this year has seen a few new initiatives, and I am planning on opening an art gallery myself later this year.

W: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers?

ST: The Secession, an association of visual artists hosts an excellent international program ranging from young experimental art to established positions.

The Theseus Temple, which is part of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, shows one work at a time.

TBA21, an initiative by Francesca Habsburg, features a fantastic international program.

Regarding galleries, I particularly enjoy the programs by Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Martin Janda and Emanuel Layr.

As I mentioned the project spaces before, I feel I should name a few here: Oststation, Wellwellwell, Gesso, Kevin Space and New Jörg.

 Portrait
Sophie Tappeiner Portrait

Dejan Kaludjerović

Widewalls: As an artist, you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why?

Dejan Kaludjerović: I wouldn’t compare Vienna to other art centers, especially not to New York, London or Berlin. Vienna has its own charm. From my point of view, it has perfect size of a city, the quality of life is very high, one can still get lazy here, that is very fruitful for creativity. Also Vienna is pretty affordable, which is very important for an artist. On the other hand Vienna is constantly evolving, improving and getting more and more interesting. The Viennese scene is becoming very dynamic, more international and livelier. When I came to Vienna as a young student it was rather a stuffy place. Now the art scene is active like never before.

W: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers? 

DK: There are lots of good art institutions in Vienna. I would definitely recommend Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Secession, Kunsthalle and 21er Haus among others. Sadly my favorite institution Generali Foundation moved to Salzburg. There is a great number of important galleries here: Christine Koenig, Hubert Winter, Georg Kargl, Andreas Huber, Martin Janda, Krinzinger. Apart from that, Vienna has some really good off-spaces where you can find contemporary art. (Moe, well well well, Schneiderei, etc).

Dejan Kaludjerović Portrait.Photo credits Jelena Kaludjerović

BOICUT

Widewalls: As an artist you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why?

Boicut: Yes I do think so. Vienna always had a strong connection with art and today there is still a vivid art scene with lots of emerging artists. What I like most about working here is that theres is no such thing as envy amongst us. At least not that I can sense it. I am always happy to see the others at openings, parties or drop by their studio to have a chat about what is going on.

Even after 12 years of calling this city my home, I still meet new people. I guess Vienna has a good size and the rent is not too high yet. Life in general is affordable without having a secondary income like another job.

I just wish there were more collectors here who are interested in buying art from young emerging artists or clients that are more open minded and willing to do more unusual projects. I guess it takes some more years for that. Austria in general is always a few years back when its about new things…

Widewalls: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers? 

B:I was recently at an opening of a kind of pop-up group show in a derelict building. It was refreshing to see something outside of the white cube galleries. Besides the art itself, there was even a room constructed specifically to hang and watch gourmet food documentaries while picking frozen food to heat it in the suspended microwave. I found that pretty funny.

Of course, museumsquartier (MQ) is always a good place to be. Not only for loitering in the huge patio but also to visit the mumok. There is also a small gallery there, called jan arnold gallery which is run by friends. They have already had a good program this year with some of my international favorites like Mr Penfold, Ben Frost and right now Anthony Lister. What more can I say?

Always worth a visit is the Atelier Olschinsky. Run by one of my favorite people Verena & Peter, it focuses on contemporary illustration. at the moment my artistic partner in crime Peter Phobia is having a solo show there. The place also offers a wide range of high-quality art prints for the smaller purse and suitcase. Go check it out!

Last but not least Galerie Hilger NEXT which is representing me. The gallery is off center but placed in a beautiful former industrial brick building in a larger complex. It is a huge space always showing 2-3 shows at one time. Peter Phobia and I just did a mural collaboration there opposite Zˋs mural and the three of us are currently part of the Cash, Cans & Candy group show curated by Katrin-Sophie Dworcak with a fantastic line up such as Tristan Eaton, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, POSE and many more. You see, there is a lot going on at the moment which demonstrates my first answer 🙂

Boicut: Portrait.

Peter Phobia

Widewalls: As an artist, you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why?

Peter Phobia: Vienna is a great place to live in as an artist concerning its quality of life and affordable prices. There´s a high variety in culture and arts as well and the young contemporary art scene is pretty vibrant. Nevertheless, Austria is a small country and you can also feel that, too. The Austrian way of life, which is a little bit slow and maybe too relaxed also reflects on the art scene sometimes. There are a lot of amazing artists and young creatives living here, but in my opinion sometimes a little bit of drive is missing. Still, Vienna is definitely on it´s way and therefore a city to watch out for the next couple of years, that´s for sure!

Widewalls: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers?

Peter Phobia: One gallery I can really recommend is Jan Arnold Gallery at Museumsquartier. It´s run by a group of creatives I really appreciate on an artistic and also on a human level. Even though the space is not that big, they always manage to put up great shows with a good line-up of national and international artists, like for example Anthony Lister, Ben Frost or Mr.Penfold. Furthermore, you should check out Atelier Olschinsky Art Store, a supercool gallery space with a focus on contemporary illustration. Last but not least, there´s Improper Walls Gallery. It´s a young, emerging street art & illustration gallery run by a group of awesome girls from Lithuania, Mexico, Austria & Germany.

Peter Phobia: Portrait

Andreas Leikauf

Widewalls: As an artist, you are very much involved with the art scene in Vienna. Do you think Vienna is underestimated as a cultural center? Why? Andreas Leikauf: Underestimated by whom? Ask them… I don´t know (and I don´t care…).

W: What are your favorite cultural or artistic places you would recommend to our readers?  AL: As a tourist you should of course visit the Museumsquartier. I personally prefer smaller venues, like projektraum viktor bucher, or fluc. there´s a lot of interesting places and events in Vienna, check the weekly magazin „falter“ to find out what´s going on…

Andreas Leikauf Portrait
Andreas Leikauf Portrait

Trusting that we have left you more than ready to pack your bags and head off to this amazing place we only wish that you will discover more than what we and our dear participants provided for you. The fact that this city offers a range of artistic disciplines and a broad spectrum of approaches to art, will for sure only rise and continue to develop. The fusion of the old and the new and the need of its citizens to preserve the beauty and originality of their town will continue to emphasize Vienna’s placement on the world’s map.

Editors’ Tip: Leopold. Masterpieces from the Leopold Museum in Vienna

Leopold Museum is one of the most regarded museums in Vienna. It contains the world’s largest collection of the works of Egon Schiele. The catalogue that is entitled “Leopold. Masterpieces from the Leopold Museum in Vienna” begins with the nineteenth-century paintings and drawings of Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller, August von Pettenkofen, Anton Romako, Carl Schuch and others, the catalogue moves chapter by chapter through the collection, tracing the history and development of Austrian art over the last two centuries. The catalogue concludes with essays on collectors and collecting, Expressionism, and biographies of the artists. Illustrated with over 200 colour and black-and-white plates, the publication completes the Leopold Museum’s project to preserve for posterity this unique collection.

Written by Silka P and Lorenzo Pereira.

Featured Images: Belvedere Palace (courtesy of en.r8lst.com); Stinkfish -Vienna, 2013 -Katharina Stoegmueller, GalerieERnstHilger; OJF-Anovercoming, Vienna; OJF – Cyrcle and Gaia, Vienna; ShepardFairey, Faith47 in Vienna, 2013, Katharina Stoegmueller. Galerie Ernst Hilger