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Vienna
Stairway to Klimt - Eye to Eye with Klimt
Dates:03/02/2018-02/09/2018

To mark the centenary of the death of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) we invite museum visitors to take a closer look at his unique paintings displayed twelve metres above ground where they form an integral part of the sumptuous décor of the Main Staircase. As in 2012, we will again erect a huge bridge weighing four tons across the Main Staircase to allow visitors to access this magnificent pictorial cycle. The paintings, commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph and executed by Gustav Klimt, his brother Ernst and their friend, Franz Matsch, depict important periods of art history. Nuda Veritas on show in the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities Concurrently with the Klimt Bridge, the Kunsthistorisches Museum is showcasing one of Gustav Klimt’s masterpieces: his celebrated Nuda Veritas (1899). The painting comes from the estate of the critic Hermann Bahr, a dedicated friend and defender in print of the Vienna Secessionists. With its first-ever visit to the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities – where it is displayed in the gallery housing Polykleitos’ Doryphoros – the painting creates a novel and fascinating space of aesthetic experience.

Wien
Wagner, Hoffmann, Loos and Viennese Modernist Furniture Design. Artists, Patrons, Producers
Dates:21/03/2018-07/10/2018

Viennese Modernism around 1900 was a veritable experimental laboratory of design whose creative impulses continue to have substantial influence to this day. Vienna’s artist-architects were among those who paved the way for modern design. The Hofmobiliendepot – Vienna Imperial Furniture Collection presents the leading architects of the Viennese Modernist movement – Otto Wagner (1841–1918), Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956) and Adolf Loos (1870–1933) – as designers of interiors and furniture, exploring their differing approaches to the conception, use, decoration and furnishing of interior spaces. Around the turn of the century in Vienna a creative collaboration had developed between architects, their patrons and furniture producers. The exhibition will thus foreground important examples of these patrons, for example the salonière and journalist Berta Zuckerkandl, and will also focus on the firms that made this furniture. Among the leading companies around 1900 were traditional furnishing establishments such as Friedrich Otto Schmidt and Portois & Fix as well as producers of bentwood furniture like Gebrüder Thonet and J. & J. Kohn. Illustrative examples of iconic Modernist buildings in Vienna such as Otto Wagner’s Postal Savings Bank are integrated into the exhibition in the form of large-scale architectural photographs by Walter Zednicek.

Vienna
Japonismus
Dates:10/10/2018-20/01/2019

The 2018 autumn exhibition in the Kunstforum is devoted to “Japomanie” – the West’s passion for the aesthetics and world of images of the Far East. The exhibition traces its development, starting with the fascination for the exotic and the new and the first stirrings in the 1860s to long after the turn of the century, to its amalgamation into the form vocabulary of Western painting and the influence of its aesthetics on the development of modernism around 1900. Ever since the 1860s, the elegant and exotic aesthetics of the everyday utensils, the exquisite textiles and most of all the fantastical and richly luminous narrative ukiyo-e – the colour woodcuts – had been invading the European market and fulfilling the public’s yearning for unknown culture and a new vision of aesthetics. Artists were in the forefront, collecting and integrating the extraordinary form vocabulary of the ukiyo-e and their astonishing themes and motifs into their visual imagery. Monet, Manet, Van Gogh and Degas were the first, followed by the younger artists – Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Vuillard and Vallotton, also Marc and Kandinsky, to name only the most important. Launching out from Paris, Japomanie conquered the whole of Europe – also in Austria, after the impact of the Vienna World Fair in 1873, it triggered a genuine hype surrounding the aesthetics of the Far East, which inspired such artists as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. Subsequently the ideas from the Far East evolved into independent interpretations and realisations in a new language of forms that heralded the approaching modernism of the twentieth century – in which the trends towards abstraction, towards breaking loose from the conventional pictorial space, took their own autonomous development. The exhibition includes not only paintings and printed graphics, but also objects and furniture, juxtaposing Japanese woodcuts, screens and artefacts to European works influenced by the aesthetics of the Far East, including by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Gustav Klimt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the Nabis and the Blauer Reiter group. Around a hundred exhibits from international public and private collections present a wide-ranging overview of the phenomenon of “Japonisme” that spread throughout Europe from the late nineteenth century to the dawn of the avant-garde movements.

With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

Responsible publisher: Arlette Verkruyssen, General Director,
Brussels Regional Public Service - Bruxelles Développement urbain (Brussels Urban Development),
CCN - Rue du Progrès 80, B. 1, 1035 Brussels - Belgium