Our selection of Vienna’s top 5 exhibitions in April features contemporary and 20th century artists engaged in pivotal perspectives and important stylistic movements.
Magda Csutak responds in visual translations of mathematical equations in the exhibition at Christine König Galerie. On the New compiles young perspectives in the Viennese art scene at Belvedere21. Kunsthistorisches Museum presents a comprehensive overview of Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionist and early figurative paintings along with his contemporaries. Lastly, on a feminist note, City of Women at Belvedere and Ulrike Müller at Galerie Meyer Kainer brings back the focus on women in the art world, body and identity politics.
Discover contemporary Vienna by visiting the exhibitions listed further.
Magda Csutak’s artistic production and series of works in the exhibition “Null und Etwas” at Christine König Galerie are constructed interactively. In the process, constitutive factors remain the sensuous desire to try to experiment, and the translation of mathematics into language via the path of visual art. Her work is frequently visionary, ahead of the actual scientific proof of theories. As early as 2002, for example, she created a 15-part pictorial formula that delineates her cosmos. In 2006 and 2007 she attended the lectures of the mathematician Rudolf Taschner in Vienna. There she discovered, in the lectures relating to Euler, the “most beautiful of all mathematical formulas”. This is a metaphor that not only Taschner draws on, but one which also touches on a central nerve in Magda Csutak’s work. She constructs her artistic binary system in which elements convene which otherwise remain separate. – Andrea Kopranovic, 2019
Mark Rothko at Kunsthistorisches Museum| Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010
Kunsthistorisches Museum presents for the first time in Austria an exhibition dedicated to the great American artist, Mark Rothko. Together with his contemporaries, Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, and Willem de Kooning, Rothko was one of the Abstract Expressionists, whose works made New York a centre of modern art. Rothko undertook three extensive trips to Europe, visiting as many churches, architectural monuments, and museums as he could. Art and architecture of the recent and more distant past are a vigorous presence in his work. The exhibition presents an overview of Rothko’s artistic career from the early figurative works of the 1930s to those of the 1940s, and the classical abstract paintings of the 1950s and 1960s that made him famous.
Ulrike Müller at Galerie Meyer Kainer| Eschenbachgasse 9, 1010
In her artistic work, Ulrike Müller explores the relationships between abstraction and bodies through a conception of painting that is not limited to brush and canvas. Investigations of the visual strategies of modernism and of feminist practices of the 1960s and 1970s result in images that are closely related to current questions of body and identity politics. The geometries of figure and color in her compositions are never “purely” abstract. They carry erotic and sexual associations, they tease, touch, and penetrate each other without collapsing into binary logics. Müller uses abstraction as an idiom that can be figuratively appropriated, emotionally charged and politically connoted—depending on the context and the viewer. – Manuela Ammer, Mumok, Vienna, 2015
On the New. Young Scenes in Vienna at Belvedere 21 | Arsenalstraße 1, 1030
“On the New. Young Scenes in Vienna” aims to reflect the vitality of Vienna’s art communities: artistic and curatorial formats combine to create a dynamic structure that will alter over the course of the exhibition. On the one hand, constellations of existing and newly created work provide an insight into the practice of eighteen artists up to the age of thirty-five. On the other, twelve project spaces were invited to conceive one presentation each—without any guidelines—adding various perspectives from the city to the show. These presentations will be displayed in three spaces within the exhibition at an interval of three weeks.
City of Women at Belvedere | Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030
At the beginning of the twentieth century, women were firmly anchored in Vienna’s art scene. They exhibited on equal footing with Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele and made notable contributions to the era of Viennese Modernism. With the 1938 Anschluss (annexation), they were banished from art history and seemingly forgotten. “City of Women” takes an important step in bringing these artists back into focus and paying tribute to their enduringly impressive achievements. With works by around sixty artists, the show offers a comprehensive view of artistic creation by women as an essential part of Vienna’s exhibition scene in the decades between 1900 and 1938. Chronologically following their biographies, it makes an impressive case for the extent to which classic modernity was shaped by female artists.