Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Announces Programme of Modern and Contemporary Art Exhibitions

The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, is pleased to announce a new programme of modern and contemporary art exhibitions beginning in 2012. Under the guidance of a new Adjunct Curator, Jasper Sharp, the museum has committed to a long-term engagement with art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A series of exhibitions, projects and artist talks will begin at the museum in January 2012.

Details of paintings by Rogier van der Weyden, Andrea Mantegna, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Bernaert van Orley, Moretto da Brescia, Peter Paul Rubens, Lorenzo Lotto, Carlo Saraceni, Aegydius de Rye, Correggio, Guido Reni and Palma Giovane from the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Courtesy KHM, Vienna).

During the next years, internationally renowned artists will be invited to the Kunsthistorisches Museum to listen in to the conversations that have taken place across the centuries of art history, and to become part of those conversations themselves. Through display, debate and discussion, the museum aspires to deepen the understanding of its own extraordinary history and collections.

The Theseus Temple
Beginning in 2012, remarkable single works of contemporary art will be displayed within the Theseus Temple, a neo-classical building located in the green of Vienna’s central Volksgarten. The temple was constructed between 1819 and 1823 specifically to house a work of then-contemporary art, Antonio Canova’s masterpiece ‘Theseus Slaying the Centaur’. The sculpture was subsequently moved in 1891 to the newly-completed Kunsthistorisches Museum, where it remains to this day on the museum’s monumental staircase. In April 2012, the temple will return to its original function: to house remarkable works by contemporary artists, one at a time. An affinity of approach or subject matter will connect each series of works both to each other and to the historical collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and new writing on the works will be commissioned from the museum’s historical curators. A first list of artists will be announced shortly.

Ed Ruscha
Beginning in 2012, a renowned international artist will be invited each year to select an exhibition of works drawn from the historical collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The artist will be encouraged to disrupt temporarily the museum’s chronological, geographical and departmental displays, to alter the position and context of familiar objects in order to reveal new and unfamiliar attributes. The exhibitions will also serve to illuminate the artist’s own work, and the thinking and decisions that lie behind it. The museum is delighted to announce that this series will be inaugurated in September 2012 by the American artist Ed Ruscha.

Lucian Freud
Beginning in 2013, the Kunsthistorisches Museum will present a major solo exhibition of a renowned modern or contemporary artist each year. The exhibitions will focus primarily on international artists that have not previously exhibited in Austria, and will be accompanied by fully illustrated scholarly publications and educational programmes. The museum is delighted to announce that the British artist Lucian Freud (1922–2011) will be the subject of the first exhibition. Organised together with the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, the exhibition was planned in close collaboration with the artist in the months prior to his recent death, and will open in October 2013.

Joseph Cornell
The second monographic exhibition, will be dedicated to the influential American artist Joseph Cornell (1903–1972), whose work will be shown for the first time in Austria, in 2014. The reopening of the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s remarkable Kunstkammer in late 2012, with its extensive holdings of scientifica, exotica, naturalia and artificialia, will provide a unique context for Cornell’s extraordinary oeuvre.

Talks and conversations
The exhibition programme will be accompanied by a series of monthly talks and conversations at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, beginning in January 2012. Leading international and Austrian artists, museum curators, collectors and critics will be invited to discuss their work and projects, and to debate the nature of the relationship between historical art and contemporary art practice and display today. Talks will be held in both German and English, and will be open to the public. A list of guest speakers will be announced in late 2011.

Kunsthistorisches Museum
Burgring 5
1010 Vienna, Austria
T + 43 1 525 24 4021
F + 43 1 525 24 4098
[email protected]

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