This year the focus is in two projects: contemporary art from Armenia and the program Invisible Museum.
VIENNA. From 27 to 30 September 2018, viennacontemporary present in legendary Marx Halle (Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna) a comprehensive program with individual presentations by young and established artists at ZONE1, extraordinary booth presentations in the context of Explorations, and an impressive overview of the development of the Armenian art scene over the past 25 years in the special presentation Focus: Armenia. Special projects include Living Image (Augmented Reality) and Invisible Museum, which is based on the idea of a museum of Roma culture. The accompanying discussions of Talks as well as an educational program with guided Tours on selected topics and the Family program provide visitors with easy access to art for all age groups.
„The rise of contemporary Vienna is clearly visible in the 4th edition of viennacontemporary. Young Viennese galleries that have been founded in the last years can be seen next to established Austrian galleries. Eastern Europe is well represented including galleries from Ukraine and Serbia. The focus is also visible in two exciting projects: the presentation of contemporary art from a young European country, Armenia, and the program Invisible Museum, which embodies the idea of a Roma Museum. Increasingly, galleries from Western Europe find their way to Vienna. The curators of the special shows have selected exciting, attractive artistic positions that represent rising artists as well as trend-setting representatives of an older generation. Thanks to our extensive services we can welcome even more international art collectors in Vienna this year. Together with the Talks program, in which art collectors, curators, and art critics discuss current issues in the art scene, and the communication program for all art lovers, viennacontemporary has not only become a highlight for Vienna, but also an internationally acclaimed art fair”, summarizes Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, Artistic Director viennacontemporary, this year’s highlights of Austria’s largest international art fair.
Dmitry Aksenov, chairman of the board of viennacontemporary: „Thanks to the outstanding work of our team, viennacontemporary has become one of the leading art fairs in Europe. But viennacontemporary is way more than a fair: it has become the center of a variety of art events that make Vienna one of the most exciting places these days for galleries, artists, and art lovers from all over the world. In 2018, we build bridges again: This year, with our CultTech event, we are focusing on bridging the rich cultural heritage and the opportunities of the future, and will work on digital solutions for cultural institutions around the globe.”
„The continuity of viennacontemporary has been guaranteed by a contract with the Marx Halle until 2027, including fixed dates in the second half of September. This forms a great basis to build upon the success of the fair so far. Our partners are part of the story. We want to thank Erste Group for their support and the project of tranzit.org at the fair. Longstanding partners also include BDO, AON, the Austrian Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Vienna Business Agency, the Romanian Cultural Institute. In Museumsquartier Wien we have found a new partner that fits well into our strategy of working together with key institutions in Vienna to promote and strengthen the concept of „Standort Wien”, says Renger van den Heuvel, viennacontemporary Managing Director.
Special Presentations 2018
ZONE1: Solo presentations of young Austrian artists
ZONE1 presents artists under the age of 40 who are born, educated or living and working in Austria. Curated by Victoria Dejaco, the 2018 edition showcases artists with the ability to look closer at the stories of everyday life, political situations, materials and the „conditio humana” (human condition). The way they unpack the world in their practice, express themselves, treat their subjects or dive into topics makes them heralds of their time with each approach differing widely from the other.
Anne Speier’s (Galerie Meyer Kainer) alienating figures, which fluctuate between the 2D and 3D, draw the viewer into a parallel universe in its own right. Nana Mandl (Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer) is a crossover between a contemporary Fluxus and post-internet artist. Philip Patkowitsch (bechter kastowsky galerie) lays bare all work processes and stages of his drawings and prints. Simon Lurino (418 GALLERY) often finds materials with intriguing characteristics and brings the essence of their raw aesthetics to life. James Lewis (Galerie Hubert Winter) is a neo-materialist who dives into forgotten narratives, legends, and histories, thus creating peculiar forms that are inseparable from their titles. Charlotte Klobassa (Zeller van Almsick) explores ever new identities and moods by copying anonymous strokes and combining them into a new formal language. Julian Palacz’s (SCAG) works deal with the aesthetics of data and traces of information we leave behind digitally and physically. Sasha Auerbakh (: BARIL) has a painterly approach to sculpture that often leads her to unfamiliar results. This presentations is realize with the kind support of the Austrian Federal Chancellery.
The new Explorations section presents curated booth presentations by featured galleries. It unites a wide spectrum of artistic practices concentrating on both excellent quality and advanced approaches.
The section is overseen by Berlin-based curatorial adviser Nadim Samman, whose fresh take on art has taken him to numerous international exhibitions and biennales.
Explorations showcases vital positions throughout Western, Central, and Eastern Europe – bringing together both emerging and senior artists. The presentations reflect the unsettled mood of 2018: from Philip Aguirre’s (Belgium) meditations on the refugee crisis, and David Krňanský (Czech Republic) and Alex Urban’s (Poland) painterly exploration of the collapse of all systems, to Kaja Redkie’s (Poland) excursus on black, and the ludic-macabre sculptures of Maen Florin (Netherland) and Michaël Dans (Belgium). Exploring conceptual genealogies of the present, Luchezar Boyadjiev (Bulgaria) conjures the historical specters of Marxism, Christianity, and more, while Budapest’s acb gallery showcases the neo-utopian artistic agendas around the influential Pecs Workshop – István Gellér, Károly Hopp-Halász, and Sándor Pinczehelyi (all Hungary). More open meditations on language and objecthood play out on canvases by Robert Maciejuk (Poland), Irmina Staś (Poland), and Paweł Matyszewski (Poland), from Warsaw’s Le Guern, and in Christof Mascher’s (Germany) suggestive not-historical paintings. Come to your own conclusions about all of this at the open bar by Vienna’s Croy Nielsen that was transported from their gallery space.
Focus: Armenia – Dreaming Alive
This year, Armenia will be the focus country at viennacontemporary 2018, which is the first overview of Armenian contemporary art at an international art fair. The artists exhibited include: Ayreen Anastas, Rene Gabri, Mher Azatyan, Arman Grigoryan, Piruza Khalapyan, Rebecca Topakian, Mika Vatinyan.
The velvet revolution of love and solidarity, which took place in May 2018, directed the world’s attention to Armenia, a former republic of the Soviet Union in the South Caucasus. This unprecedented case in the history of the young state has questioned the boundaries of professional identity, uniting citizens online and offline, breaking down the distance between the center and the periphery, and erasing the barriers between the artistic and the non-artistic. Artists – the permanent and invisible fighters against authoritarian regimes since the late 80s – came closer to their dream and thus found themselves in a transitional reality, whose discursive boundaries cannot yet be clearly defined. The turning point that we are witnessing now opens the way to a new system of inclusive and effective institutions and equal opportunities. „Dreaming Alive” tells about the discourse of the latest three decades of Armenian contemporary art through catalogs and interviews gathered in the mediatheque zone. It sets today’s current art map and offers a glimpse of the Armenian realities in the rethinking of six contemporary artists.
Sona Stepanyan is a curator at Armenia Art Foundation in Yerevan and co-founder and member of the curatorial studio Triangle, Moscow. Previously she worked at the education department of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Stepanyan graduated from Svobodnie Masterskie curatorial school, the Critics and Curatorship program of UNIC Institute, and State Moscow Pedagogical University.
Armenia Art Foundation (AAF) is an independent non-profit organization aiming to support the development of contemporary art in Armenia. Based in Yerevan, it was established in 2016 by art historian and museum specialist Anush Zeynalyan as well as David Nazaryan and Rafael Nazaryan, both businessmen of Armenian origin.
Special Exhibitions 2018
Corporate Collection. Art Collection Deutsche Telekom
Since 2010, the Art Collection Deutsche Telekom has been focusing on contemporary art from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Parts of the collection have already been exhibited in Berlin, Bucharest, Warsaw, and Zagreb. At viennacontemporary, works by four female artists: Aneta Grzeszykowska, Maria Kulikovska, Sanja Iveković, and Šejla Kamerić – are presented. In addition, visitors can take a virtual tour using VR technology and „walk” through the exhibition I Am the Mouth that took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb in the beginning of 2018.
tranzit.sk presents the Nadikhuno muzeumos
Nadikhuno muzeumos / The Invisible Museum is a project organised by tranzit.sk in cooperation with ERSTE Foundation, and initiated by the artist Oto Hudec. It features his vision of a Roma culture museum, as well as the works of Robert Gabris, Daniela Krajčová, Emília Rigová, and Marcela Hadová, together with Marka romňakero gendalos, which reflect on Roma history, cultural representation and problematic established stereotypes. In a condensed form, these works strive to broaden the view of Roma history, culture, and contemporary art. Curators: Judit Angel and Oto Hudec.
Film- and Video Presentation 2018
Evolved from Cinema, the program Living Image feature artistic films surrounding the topic of music, in reference to the theme of the current mumok exhibition Doppelleben. Bildende Künstler_innen machen Musik [Double Lives. Visual Artists Making Music]. The project is curated by Daniela Hahn from mumok and showcasing video works or films featuring visual artists who have written, performed, produced music, or have participated in band projects. The selection include works by artists from participating galleries and from the exhibition Doppelleben. The special program Living Image installed at the entrance area of the fair, where printed stills of the selected films will be exhibited on a wall. When scanned with a mobile device, the images come to life – visitors can watch the whole video on their device. In order to watch the films, visitors will need to download and install the Artivive App (guideline, wifi, and project description will be available on the spot).
Q21 viennacontemporary Artist-in-Residence program
In cooperation with viennacontemporary and EIKON - International Magazine for Photography and Media Art, the Q21 awards a residency scholarship as part of the Q21 Artist-in-Residence programme at the MuseumsQuartier Wien. Exhibiting galleries of viennacontemporary had the opportunity to nominate international artists for the scholarship. The prize enables an artist to live and work in one of the nine artist studios in the MQ Wien for one month in 2019. In addition, the winner selected by the jury will receive a scholarship of 1,050 EUR.
The Artist-in-Residence Prize was awarded to the artist Valter Ventura (Kubik Gallery) in the category of artistic photography and media art. The jury consisting of Elisabeth Hajek, Artistic Director, frei_raum Q21 exhibition space, Q21 Artist-in-Residence Programme; Nela Eggenberger, Editor-in-Chief, EIKON – International Magazine for Photography and Media Art; Sabine Winkler, Curator; Matthew Stephenson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Photographers’ Gallery, awarded the scholarship prize on the following grounds: „In his multimedia installations, Valter Ventura (born in 1979 in Lisbon) continuously explores the nature of photography and its historical as well as contemporary significance. His almost forensic method, which can be experienced through a complex display reminiscent of natural-historical museum presentations, allows him to dig like an archaeologist into the depths in order to reveal observations of perception.”
viennacontemporary | Bildrecht SOLO Award
With the involvement of an independent jury of experts, this year’s award for an outstanding solo presentation within the scope of viennacontemporary is awarded for the first time by the Austrian copyright association Bildrecht. Under the viennacontemporary | Bildrecht SOLO Award, 2,000 EUR are awarded to an artist and to the exhibiting gallery. This year’s jury has decided to award Nana Mandl represented by Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, on the following grounds: „Nana Mandl creates comprehensive room collages with images and quotations. Pictures from the web are overlaid, deformed and combined. As a very contemporary position that draws on digital content and breaks out of the canon of the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde, Nana Mandl is honored for her presence at the viennacontemporary, as well as Lisa Kandlhofer (Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna) for her commitment.”
Talks Program: Where are we now?
With sophisticated non-for-profit accompanying events, such as the Talks program and special guided tours the fair continues to make art accessible to every visitor.
Where are we now? is a series of conversations and discussions that will assess and reflect upon the viability of our current art-world models, as well as predict possible outcomes of change. As part of viennacontemporary’s daily program, critic/journalist Kimberly Bradley has assembled these talks, all engaging with different aspects of the art world’s current state of flux – in Vienna and far beyond – seen from the perspectives of artists, international collectors, museum directors, dealers, critics, and curators.
Talks: Where are we now?, Curator: Kimberly Bradley, 28 – 30 September, 3:30 pm, 5:00 pm.
Artload A-live interview series at viennacontemporary is offering exclusive insights into challenges and strategies of starting a purposeful art collection, on individual approaches to collecting, on ways to use private collections as a means to give back to the public. The Artload platform provides both local and global critical perspectives on contemporary art through its interviews with the most influential people on the international art circuit.
Curator: Vivian Gandelsman, 28 – 30 September, 2:00 pm
Tours: Guided tours at viennacontemporary
For 2018, viennacontemporary has developed free of charge guided Tours on the fair weekend. This way, visitors can get a quick overview of the vast offers of the fair. Comprehensively organised tours in English and German languages show the broad range of the galleries present at viennacontemporary.
The Family program
at viennacontemporary offers children a playful access to contemporary art. It is a platform for uninhibited painting and handicrafts, encouraging young visitors to freely unfold their fantasies and creativity. In 2018, viennacontemporary collaborates with three Viennese art institutions, which will present their own special education programs for children.
In 2017 the international art forum at Marx Halle Vienna has closed with 29.767 visitors and strong sales by the participating galleries.
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Fair dates 2018 – 2022:
26 – 29 September 2019
24 – 27 September 2020
23 – 26 September 2021
22 – 25 September 2022