Top 5 Exhibitions in Vienna | July

Our selection of Top 5 exhibitions this July features architectural and spatial gestures by artists that confront political and social developments of various contexts. Installations by Op artists at mumok tap into a variety of visual effects and optical illusions creating an immersive and visceral experience for its audience. From another context, Monica Bonvicini developed a site-specific installation at Belvedere 21, which is a spatial manifestation of male-dominated power structures, control mechanisms and institutional power. Lawrence Weiner’s sculptural statements at Galerie Hubert Winter points towards poignant questions just in time for you to extend your investigations in utopian futures at this year’s Vienna Biennale. Last stop is Nora Schultz’s exhibition “would you say this is the day?”, displaying everyday objects, go pros and other contemporary digital gadgets. 

Discover contemporary Vienna by visiting the exhibitions listed further.

VIENNA BIENNALE FOR CHANGE 2019 | Stubenring 5, 1010

On the basis of which values can the utopia of an economically and socially just and fair as well as ecologically sustainable future become reality? “With the possibilities of art, design, and architecture, the Vienna Biennale will contribute to shaping a future based on values,” Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, General Director of the MAK and initiator and head of the Vienna Biennale, states. Artists, designers, and architects from all continents will take a stance towards the future we really want. The VIENNA BIENNALE FOR CHANGE: BRAVE NEW VIRTUES. Shaping Our Digital World will focus on brave visions on handling artificial intelligence and new technologies, on shaping innovative (urban) ways of work, on new ways of living (together), and on responsible consumption.

Vertigo at mumok | Museumsplatz 1, 1070

Of all the art movements of the 1950s and 1960s, op art has hitherto received the least attention. Often it is denigrated as being too spectacular and superficial. This is a misconception—this art sharpens our awareness of the ambiguity of appearances and illustrates the impossibility of grasping “reality.” Under the title Vertigo, mumok presents a deceptive game of the senses, presenting a wide spectrum ranging from panel paintings, reliefs, and objects to installations and experiential spaces, to film and computer-generated art.

Op art works are by no means only directed at our sense of sight. With their powerful effects and optical illusions they lead to experiences of sensory overkill, which can then affect the whole body. In all of this, op art remains indebted to the anti-classical. In this sense, the exhibition also includes references to anti-classical art from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries and to precursors from the first half of the twentieth century, works that also use pulsating patterns, beating and ephemeral after-images, paradoxical illusions of space, and other methods of optical illusions

Lawrence Weiner at Galerie Hubert Winter | Breite Gasse 17, 1070

The exhibition at Galerie Hubert Winter marks the 35th year of collaboration with Lawrence Weiner. In a contribution to the exhibition “Radical Attitudes to the Gallery” in 1977, Weiner concludes with the following sentence:


One could take this statement as an impetus to read the sculptures on view in their political dimension. JUST IN TIME does not only open up the interval of timeliness, but rather is able to grasp our current social and political environment. From the impending firing of a spark (SPARK TO FLAME) to disoriented exposedness (CAST ADRIFT UPON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER)—possibilities of ambiguous readings unfold. Do we desert the sinking ship, are we literally going overboard?

Nora Schultz at Secession | Friedrichstraße 12, 1010

The exhibition at Secession will be the realisation of a complex proposal that Schultz submitted within the accompanying publication designed by the artist, which comprises five magazines and six posters in a slipcase, and includes the written proposal. Everyday objects, language, recording systems, and cultural displacements play key roles in Nora Schultz’s art, as do the observation and critical activation of the exhibition space and the artist herself as the work’s producer. Recently, she has employed various cameras (GoPro, video drone, etc.) as automated “co-producers” whose contributions to the creative process she cannot fully control and which have their own internal dynamics and probe the artist/author’s changing position vis-à-vis its operation. In performative interactions, she often develops large installations that involve and take possession of the venue’s structure and sometimes project beyond its confines.

Monica Bonvicini at Belvedere 21 | Arsenalstraße 1, 1030

Since the mid-1990s Monica Bonvicini has been exploring political, social, and institutional situations and their impact on society, as well as on the conditions of artistic production. Her work is direct, merciless, political, and not without a dry sense of humor. In the process, she focuses on the relationship between architecture, gender roles, control mechanisms, and devices of power. Bonvicini has a multimedia approach, using drawing, sculpture, installation, video, and photography. For the Belvedere 21—originally the Austrian pavilion at the World’s Fair in Brussels in 1958—she has developed a site-specific and space-consuming installation that reacts radically to Karl Schwanzer’s architecture. As such, it reflects male-dominated power structures, which are expressed just as much in the constructed space as in art history, politics and language.


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Save the Date
26–29 September 2019
Marx Halle Vienna


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