Summer is already just around the corner and with it, of course, a summer full of culture in Vienna! Today we’ll share which current exhibitions you shouldn’t miss at the mumok – Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna.
Good timing: it pays off to visit the mumok this weekend, because on June 19th and 20th you can enjoy the full museum experience with free admission.
The mumok is the largest museum for modern and contemporary art in Central Europe. Its extraordinary collection presents major works of classical modernism, pop art, minimal art, and much more, and features artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Albert Oehlen.
Two new exhibitions start this weekend at the mumok, which we would highly recommend visiting. Take a look and see for yourself!
Enjoy – the mumok Collection in Change
June 19, 2021 – April 18, 2022
With the exhibition “Enjoy – the mumok Collection in Change,” for the first time, mumok director Karola Kraus has packed all the central donations and acquisitions of the last decade into one huge exhibition, which you can see on all levels of the museum. Thus, on the one hand, the exhibition is a retrospective – the mumok opened 20 years ago in the MuseumsQuartier – and on the other hand, it shows perspectives on how collections and exhibitions can be conceived and developed in the future.
As a place to engage directly with art, the mumok wants to bring its visitors up close to the history of art since modernism in this exhibition – and as a living process, not as rigid, unalterable facts. After all, social developments and discourses are always changeable and are reflected and processed in art. It is precisely these processes and changes that are shown in “Enjoy,” whose poster is adorned with a motif by Corita Kent (Sister Corita). She takes texts and images from consumer and popular culture as well as from art, politics, and religion and appropriates them, thus breaking with traditions and conventions – which you can see again and again throughout the exhibition.
In “Enjoy” you will find everything that modern art has to offer: Works from classical modernism, to neo-avant-garde art movements of the 1960s and 70s, to contemporary art! What is important here is not a chronological overview, but rather to show the influences society and science has had on modern art. You will also find conceptual and performative art that has been strongly concerned with the body and nature since the 1960s, the possibility of a critical-ironic view of Pop Art, and art that deals with current issues such as migration and borders. The exhibition is divided into the following parts: Revue Moderne, Present of History, Figure and Sculpture, (Anti)-Pop, Abstraction. Nature. Body, Re/Actions, and The Borders of Our World.
To get to know the highlights of “Enjoy” even better and be inspired by the extensive collection on site, we recommend visiting it on a guided tour.
June 19, 2021 – October 17, 2021
The second exhibition, also starting on June 19 and curated by Karola Kraus, will show you works by Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig.
Zobernig’s work is versatile and cross-media; in addition to sculptures, performances, and design, he has been painting since the 1980s. He has a special approach to this, as he tries to explore color like a “scientist.” With his painting he wants to generate knowledge; for this he simplifies, standardizes, and systematizes, and works according to fixed rules. He also appropriates patterns and industrial norms, which he processes artistically.
Back in the winter of 2002/2003, the mumok presented the development of the then-emerging artist in a retrospective. Fast forward to 2021, Zobernig is probably one of the most internationally renowned contemporary Austrian artists! The architecture of this year’s exhibition was designed by Zobernig himself, and the focus is on his expanded concept of painting. Why “expanded concept of painting”? Heimo Zobernig creates works that initially show abstract geometric forms or works made of cardboard painted with monochrome paint. For these three-dimensional objects on the threshold of painting and sculpture, he even defined a five-part color palette of so-called “achromatic colors,” which he calls his “sculpture colors.” Can you guess which colors these are? Zobernig chose gray, black, white, brown, and orange. For his “stripe paintings,” on the other hand, which he created starting in 1987, he specified a palette of 15 colors. In these two examples, one can see well how he imposes rules on himself in his way of producing art.
A lot happens on a meta-level in Heimo Zobernig’s work; in his works you can find processes of art production as well as questions of representation or questioning the mechanisms by which museums and galleries function. He views art as a contradictory object of research, and in turn examines art and its mechanisms in the production of art itself. Sounds abstract? Well, perhaps it is. But it is worth the dive into the work of Heimo Zobernig, and when visiting the exhibition you can see and feel his approach and interpretation of art directly in his works.
Hopefully, this has whetted your appetite for a visit to the mumok! If it’s hot, the cool halls of the impressive dark cubicle in the MuseumsQuartier are a good place to be, and afterwards you can refresh yourself in one of the many bars nearby. You can find an overview of the MuseumsQuartier and its diverse offerings here in our blog article. We wish you a nice weekend with lots of art and culture, and see you soon at the mumok!