People / Places

School Of Happiness Lesson 3: Good Art Makes Viennese Happy

A few years ago scientists discovered that looking at art induces the same feelings of pleasure as being in love. In search for this feeling, I visited openings at the Secession and TBA21–Augarten. And I found it, as the exhibitions of Robert Irwin and Thomas Locher at the Secession and Cerith Wyn Evans at TBA21 were great. The guests at both spaces were very excited and I heard a lot of rapturous exclamations. I met Robert IrwinRudi SchmutzThomas LocherSylvie LiskaChristine König, Robby Greif, Francesca Von HabsburgChristian Rosa, Anna Jermolaewa, Salvatore Viviano, Roberto Lhotka, and many others and tried to figure out what makes the Viennese art crowd happy…

The Secession presented three exhibitions: Double Blind by Robert Irwin, Homo Oeconomicus by Thomas Locher, and The Side Room by Rossella Biscotti
While giving autographs Robert Irwin told me that if he didn’t work he wouldn’t be happy at all. Collector Rudi Schmutz confessed that he is always happy and the reason is, of course, art. This was also the case for the president of Friends of Secession Sylvie Liska: Good art makes her happy as well.

Artist Thomas Locher finds happiness in love. Ice cream, champagne, …and a good man – elements of happiness for Christine König. Gallerist from Berlin Robby Greif was very happy to be in Vienna at the moment! Indeed, the Austrian capital makes us all happy!

After the Secession I went to see the exhibition The What If?… Scenario (after LG) by Cerith Wyn Evans at TBA21. If you missed the opening, you have to visit this one, the show is very good. Our photographer Alexander Schwarzinger captured everything, so check out the impressions.

Music and family for the DJ Hans Kulisch; a new friend Roberto (dog) for artist Salvatore Viviano; sun, love, and money for artist Christian Rosa; surfing for architect Marc Paulin – everyone has his or her own happiness.


Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
TBA21–Augarten, Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Cerith Wyn Evans
The What If?… Scenario (after LG)
July 5 – November 3, 2013
Curated by Daniela Zyman
Free admission

In The What If?… Scenario (after LG), Wyn Evans literally sets the stage for a multitude of potentialities, contingencies, and uncertainties about given conditions and structures of what we see and what we know and how we come to know, without ever solidifying his position into a positivist affirmation but rather remaining suspended in “weak connections”. His luminous works, collected by TBA21 over 10 years and shown here together for the first time, unfold a spider web of artistic, literary, and referential signifiers, waiting to be glimpsed and grasped by a viewer who cannot but become an active performer in a play of multiple meanings and speculations.

Wiener Secession, Association of Visual Artists
Secession, Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna

Robert Irwin 
Double Blind
Juli 5 –  September 1, 2013

The US artist Robert Irwin presents his new installation Double Blind in the Secession’s main gallery. The work is a response to the properties of the space, a way of working for which the artist has coined the term “site-conditioned.” Double Blind is but one of a number of site-conditioned installations that Irwin has realized in Europe and the most recent opus in the artist’s long-term engagement with the themes of perception and experience, of light, aesthetics, and questions of reality and illusion.

Thomas Locher 
Homo Oeconomicus
July 5 – September 1, 2013

A pioneer of neo-conceptual art since the late 1980s, the German artist Thomas Locher examines the rules of language and the complex ways in which it functions. His exhibition Homo Oeconomicus, specially conceived for the Secession, continues his examination of the relationship between language and economics as well as the subject acting within this system, themes he has focused on for some years now. In a series of images, objects, and animations, most of them new, Locher treats aspects of exchange, structures of credit, belief, and credibility, and the impact of these notions on the constitution of the subject.

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