From Hundertwasser to Kiefer

From the Symbol of Freedom to the Shadows of the Past

Until 3 November 2024

Maria Lassnig | Krebsangst, 1979 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Dauerleihgabe aus österreichischem Privatbesitz
Maria Lassnig | Krebsangst, 1979 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Dauerleihgabe aus österreichischem Privatbesitz

Around the middle of the 20th century, abstraction rose to become a symbol of freedom in both Europa and America. This supposedly final style of art history was viewed as a new worldwide language of art, as painting’s climax and culmination. It came to epitomize the artistic temperament, expressive subjectivity, and heroization of the individual—in contrast to the propaganda embodied by representational art, the expressive form of dictatorships from National Socialism to Stalinism.

Abstract painting was the answer to this realism in service of propagandistic aims. Abstraction, which amounted to the existential self-expression of the artist, grew out of a refusal to adhere to formal and artistic laws and rules. The fact that a nonconforming abstract artist can become popular and even downright folkloric was proven in Austria by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who was active both as a painter and as an architect.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser | 313 Du soleil pour ceux qui pleurent en campagne, 1957 / 1959 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection
Friedensreich Hundertwasser | 313 Du soleil pour ceux qui pleurent en campagne, 1957 / 1959 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection
Sam Francis | Blood and Tears, 1962-63 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Sammlung Batliner
Sam Francis | Blood and Tears, 1962-63 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Sammlung Batliner

During the 1960s, however, German artists—from Jörg Immendorff to Markus Lüpertz and on to Anselm Kiefer—began to grapple with the catastrophe of the world wars that Germany had twice visited upon the world: it was hence the shadows of a dark past that reintroduced identifiable objects, themes, and motifs to art. These painters employed representation not as propaganda but as criticism of their own history—of war, of Germany’s division, and of society’s atomization.

While American pop art of the 1960s dealt mainly with the consequences of capitalism and the commercialization of society and consumer goods, Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff, and Markus Lüpertz turned their gazes upon their own nation’s ominous past.

On view from 10 April until 3 November at the ALBERTINA KLOSTERNEUBURG museum in Klosterneuburg.

EXHIBITION PROGRAM 

Public guided tours (in German)
Learn about highlights and backgrounds of the exhibition in a one-hour guided tour of the exhibition.
Dates & tickets

For private or school tours, please contact our Art Education Department on weekdays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm at +43 1 534 83 540 or 

 

Video: Exhibition video
Anselm Kiefer: San Loretto, 2008

Anselm Kiefer | San Loretto, 2008 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Sammlung Batliner

Arnulf Rainer: Schwarze Rinnen, 1974

Arnulf Rainer | Schwarze Rinnen, 1974 | ALBERTINA, Wien

Friedensreich Hundertwasser: 313 Du soleil pour ceux qui pleurent en campagne, 1957 / 1959

Friedensreich Hundertwasser | 313 Du soleil pour ceux qui pleurent en campagne, 1957 / 1959 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection

Georg Baselitz: Hockender Hund, 1968

Georg Baselitz | Hockender Hund, 1968 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection

Gilbert & George: Blood and Tears, 1997

Gilbert & George | Blood and Tears, 1997 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection

Maria Lassnig: Krebsangst, 1979

Maria Lassnig | Krebsangst, 1979 | ALBERTINA, Wien | Dauerleihgabe aus österreichischem Privatbesitz

Maria Lassnig: Atlas, 1985

Maria Lassnig | Atlas, 1985 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Familiensammlung Haselsteiner

Sam Francis: Blood and Tears, 1962-63

Sam Francis | Blood and Tears, 1962-63 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Sammlung Batliner

Sam Francis: Ohne Titel, 1962

Sam Francis | Ohne Titel, 1962 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection

Morris Louis: Quo Numine Laeso, 1959

Morris Louis | Quo Numine Laeso, 1959 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Leihgabe E. Ploil

1/10

 

  • Annual Partner
    Bank Austria
  • Annual Partner
    VERBUND

Related

THE EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

Editor: Constanze Johanna Malissa und Klaus Albrecht Schröder
German / English | 768 pages
24 x 17 cm | Softcover
EUR 29,90

Online-Shop

 
ALBERTINA & ALBERTINA MODERN
Melden Sie sich für unseren Newsletter an und seien Sie immer informiert über neue Ausstellungen, Führungen und Aktionen
Erfolgreich angemeldet, bitte überprüfen Sie ihren Posteingang!
Fehler, bitte überprüfen Sie ihre Eingaben!
Fehler, bitte versuchen Sie es später erneut!
Bitte akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzrichtlinien!
Newsletter
/datenschutz/
Datenschutzpolitik
über die Verwendung meiner personenbezogenen Daten gelesen, habe diese verstanden und stimme zu, Werbemitteilungen der ALBERTINA per E-Mail zu erhalten.