Art in Austria,
1945 to 1980
Until 2 November 2020
First-Ever Comprehensive Overview of Austrian Art History
The opening exhibition of ALBERTINA MODERN, entitled The Beginning. Art in Austria, 1945 to 1980, offers the first-ever comprehensive overview of a period that numbers among Austrian art history’s most innovative. On exhibit are the most important artistic stances situated at the threshold of postmodernism—from the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism to early abstraction, Viennese Actionism, kinetic and concrete art, Austria’s own version of pop art, and the socially critical realism so characteristic of Vienna. The Beginning accords the towering, singular figures of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Arnulf Rainer, and Maria Lassnig their own separate rooms. And just what sculpture and object art were capable of during this period becomes clear in masterpieces by artists ranging from Joannis Avramidis and Rudolf Hoflehner to Wander Bertoni and Roland Goeschl and on to Curt Stenvert, Bruno Gironcoli, and Cornelius Kolig.
This exhibition presents works by a total of nearly 100 artists from this almost thirty-year period. And both the way in which these works attempt to come to terms with the Austrofascist state and National Socialism and the international networking engaged in by virtually all of their creators represent characteristics of this Viennese avant-garde that have frequently been overlooked in the past. This exhibition is based on the holdings of the Albertina Museum, which have now been greatly enriched by the acquisition of the Essl Collection. But an exhibition project of this ambition and magnitude, with its approximately 360 objects, also depends on the support of numerous lenders: artists, private collectors, and museums.