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Ahhh Vienna

On a recent trip to Vienna I had the opportunity to view what I thought was the best selection of artwork I’d ever seen.
Not only was I blown away by the art, I thought the city was also very beautiful, with grand architecture and large parks, sculptures and fountains dotted around. Perhaps you get that in any city in the UK, but I felt I could appreciate them more because graffiti and litter didn’t distract my attention.

Natural History Museum in the Museum Quarter
Natural History Museum in the Museum Quarter

In total I visited three galleries and the Hundertwasser House, which I thought was a lot in two days, along with the usual sight seeing you do in a city, I could have crammed much more into my trip, but in all I enjoyed what I saw and was able to take it in and digest it without having to rush to the next gallery.
Here is a summary of the highlights and the things that stood out the most for me.
The Albertina had the largest diversity and biggest collection of work. The Drawing Now exhibition was fantastic; two artists in particular grabbed my attention. The first being Fritz Panzer’s wire escalator that immediately got you hooked as you came down the gallery’s own escalator to the basement gallery. The way they positioned it in the first room made you question whether it was a sculpture or a drawing, as it was hung delicately from the ceiling with strands of wire growing from it like a trees roots searching for water. The contrast between the large metal manmade escalator and the organic strands of wire, which it was made up of, was executed brilliantly. My interpretation, was that the artist wanted to create organic looking sculptures that looked like free sketchy drawings of mundane objects to represent that everything is made from the earths resources.
The second artist was Mithu Sen; I loved the strangeness of her work, as she depicts unfinished bizarre sexualized images that are layered with etched Perspex. When a light is shone on the work the shadow from the etched Perspex completes the image behind. They are very subtle because the shadow only creates a soft grey outline onto the painting below that is almost ghostly to the viewer.
This exhibition really pushed the boundaries of drawing, with artists using unconventional mediums to create pictures.
The Belvedere is a Baroque, 18th-century palace, which holds more traditional, work as well as housing Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. People seemed to flock to this gallery to see this painting so I thought why not, I had traveled all this way so I might as well see a classic, and it didn’t disappoint. The grounds were beautiful as well as the impressive architecture of the palace itself. When I eventually got to The Kiss, the room was darkened slightly with a soft light shining on it. This made the painting have an ethereal glow; at this point I welled up with emotion because the painting was so beautiful and overpowering as it towered over me. I could see the layers of paint and gold that created so much depth to the background, which the viewer just can’t see in a book or on a post card. These feelings were sadly cut short as a tour bus full of people entered the room and swarmed the painting and pushed me out of the way. I still enjoyed the work though, and some of Klimt’s lesser known works were just as impressive.
I didn’t get the chance to look at the Hundertwasser exhibition but I did spend time examining the impressive structure of the Hundertwasser House. So much so I have to admit that I took pictures of the toilets. There isn’t much I can say about this other than it was like some fantasy building from a kids TV programme but all the same very impressive. It was just nice to walk around and appreciate the imaginative designs, shape and colours.
Hundertwasser toilet
I saw so much more than I can write about so here are a few videos of the exhibitions and galleries I visited:
Has anyone got any arty travel tales from this summer, if so I would love to hear about them?

Posted by author: Leanne Putt
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5 thoughts on “Ahhh Vienna

  • I would have liked to have gone to the Kunsthistorische but unfortunately I didn’t have time in two days, but there is always next time.

  • Thank you Leanne. Are disabled people catered for in Vienna especially the Hundervasser .I’ve been an admirer of his for years but now I think twice about visiting art galleries……

  • Hi, I also went to Vienna recently and was absolutely taken by the Kunsthistorisches Museum, especially the fine art and the automatons in the Kunstkammer, fantastic. We visited the Leopold Museum to see Schieles, Flimts and Tracey Emin had some drawings hung alongside the odd Schiele nude drawing. It was a great visit, and so was Salzburg, for baroque, the medieval and the more modern in art and architecture.
    I added some bits on my learning log: http://www.fibrepatterns.blogspot.com

  • Lorna – Thank you for sharing your learning log. We visited the MUMOK instead of the Leopold but I think now from your comments I would have preferred the work in the Leopold. I think to see all the galleries you need a week rather than two days. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    Iona – In all the galleries I visited there were lifts. As for the Hundertwasser architecture you mainly view it from the street anyway. The Hundertwasser House is a residential building so you can’t actually go inside. The Hundertwasser Kunst Haus Wien, which I saw has the gallery, unfortunately I didn’t see a lift but I was pushed for time so didn’t spend a great deal of time looking round inside.
    Vienna is a very flat city, I have found a link to more information about accessibility on public transport in and around Vienna: http://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/accessible-vienna/accessible-public-transport. I hope this helps.

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