Exhibitions 2023

Main exhibition

Follow the Rabbit – Taking stock of a collection and its reception through contemporary Chinese art

Sun 30 April–Sun 29 October 2023 

In the main exhibition 2023 "Follow the Rabbit" curated by Alexandra Grimmer, the Liaunig Collection shows a new side by opening the door to the Far East and presenting itself in juxtaposition with contemporary Chinese art. The Year of the Rabbit - according to the Chinese lunar calendar - is intended to invite visitors on a journey in which they follow the rabbit into its burrow in a quotation-like similarity to Lewis Carroll's tale "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" in order to engage with a new world there.

Works by the following artists will be shown:

Marc Adrian, Siegfried Anzinger, Claus Mayrhofer Barabbas, Alfredo Barsuglia, Wolfgang Becksteiner, Birdhead 鸟头 (Song Tao und Ji Weiyu), Herbert Brandl, Cai Dongdong 蔡东东, Friedrich Cerha, Chen Shuo 陈硕, Chen Yujun 陈彧君, Cui Guotai 崔国泰, Gunter Damisch, Dong Wensheng 董文胜, Peter Dörflinger, Loys Egg, Wolfgang Ernst, Judith Fegerl, Johann Feilacher, Feng Lianghong 冯良鸿, Tone Fink, Frederik Foert,
Adolf Frohner, Clemens Fürtler, Bruno Gironcoli, Franz Graf, Guan Yinfu 关音夫, Alfred Haberpointner, Ilse Haider, Fritz Hartlauer, Uwe Hauenfels, He Wei 何伟, Wolfgang Herzig, Huang Min 黄敏, Othmar Jaindl, Franco Kappl, Alfred Klinkan, Edgar Knoop, Kurt Kocherscheidt, Kiki Kogelnik, Peter Kogler, Cornelius Kolig, Peter Krawagna, Suse Krawagna, Maria Lassnig, Franz Lerch, Li Hui 李晖, Li Qing 李青, Liang Yue 梁玥, Christoph Luger, Markus Lüpertz, Ma Jia 马佳, Ma Jun 马军, János Megyik, Alois Mosbacher, Gerhardt Moswitzer, Osamu Nakajima, Hermann Nitsch, Markus Oehlen,
Franz Xaver Ölzant, Max Peintner, Helga Philipp, Franz Pichler, Rudolf Polanszky, Peter Pongratz, Drago j. Prelog, Norbert Pümpel, Arnulf Rainer, Bianca Regl, Robert Schaberl, Hubert Scheibl, Roman Scheidl, Meina Schellander, Alfons Schilling, Hubert Schmalix, Martin Schnur, Christian Schwarzwald, Fabian Seiz, Zbyněk Sekal, Shi Jiongwen 史泂文,
Rudi Stanzel, Josef Sulek, Sun Xun 孙逊, Helmut Swoboda, Robert Tauber, Jorrit Tornquist, Walter Vopava, Manfred Wakolbinger, Wang Lei 王垒, Wang Yifan 王一凡, Walter Weer, Alfred Wickenburg, Erwin Wurm, Xie Molin 谢墨凛, Xu Hongxiang 许宏, Xu Jingyu 许静宇, Yang Gang 杨罡, Yang Hongwei 杨宏伟, Robert Zeppel-Sperl, Zhai Liang 翟倞, Zhang Enli 张恩利, Zhang Wuyun 张武运, Zong Ning 宗宁

Special exhibition

Old Friends: Franz Ringel

Sun 30 July–Sun 29 October 2023 

The "Old Friends" series begun in 2016 will be continued from 30 July to 29 October 2023 with the Styrian painter and graphic artist Franz Ringel (1940-2011). The exhibition series is dedicated to artists who have been friends of Herbert Liaunig since the 1960s. The long-standing friendships between collector and artists that developed at this time mark the beginnings and form the basis of the Liaunig Collection.
Born on 1 April 1940 as the son of a laundress and a groom, Franz Ringel came to live with foster parents at the age of six, who awakened his interest in literature and encouraged his artistic talent. From 1955 to 1959 he attended Hans Adametz's ceramics class at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Graz. In Vienna he began his studies with Hans Knesl at the College of Applied Arts, but in 1960 he switched to the class of Albert Paris Gütersloh at the Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1968 Otto Breicha showed Franz Ringel's paintings in the exhibition "Wirklichkeiten" (Realities) at the Vienna Secession together with works by Martha Jungwirth, Wolfgang Herzig, Peter Pongratz, Kurt Kocherscheidt and Robert Zeppel-Sperl, thus establishing the loose grouping of artists named after the exhibition title with which Ringel is still associated today. The six maverick positions represented a contrast to the abstract painters around the Galerie St. Stephan and the representatives of the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism, who were dominant at the time.
In 1972/1973 Ringel stayed in Paris at the invitation of Jean Dubuffet. His "Collection de l'Art Brut" had a lasting influence on him, as did the works of the CoBrA group and the Gugging artists around Leo Navratil.
In the retrospective personal exhibition put together by Peter Liaunig, works from two private lenders are shown alongside works from the Liaunig Collection, providing a representative insight into the artist's central creative phases: Beginning with Ringel's Kasperl figures from the 1960s (inspired by Konrad Bayer's play "Kasperl in the Electric Chair") to the late "Fever Heads", created around 2006.

The autonomous and expressive work of Franz Ringel is characterised by his expressive formal language and the use of strong colours. Ringel deals with the themes of the human being, the body and the psyche and intensively examines his own person. Manic self-reflection is a defining feature of his oeuvre.

Sculpture depot


Sun 30 April–Sun 29 October 2023

Hannes Priesch, painting and concept, 2008-2010, 2023
Neil Benezra, Sound, 2023
Holly Faurot & Sarah H. Paulson, 2 videos, 2010
Mirelle Borra, video documentation of the performance, 2010

The eyewall is the most dangerous and destructive part of a tropical storm—the wall of winds that creates incredible energies responsible for the most calamitous power of a hurricane or typhoon. It is not by accident that Hannes Priesch chos this term as the title of a series that focuses on the email correspondence between federal crisis managers around Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The work consists of a number of large-scale paintings—hand-copied emails that sound in part official, in part informal and offhand. Rendered into a narrative by Priesch, they present a tableau of manners of unprecedented ignorance and mismanagement. The artist subjectively selected 47 documents from more than a thousand emails, the publication of which was forced by members of U.S. Congress, and rendered them in 49 paintings after some time had
passed since the hurricane disaster—2008 to 2010. A studio performance was made in Priesch’s Brooklyn studio in 2010, synthesis of images, dance, and sound that manifested as a collaboration between Priesch, the performers Holly Faurot and Sarah H. Paulson, and the musician and composer Neil Benezra.

Priesch now transposes the many layers that inhabite this performance to his presentation at Museum Liaunig, where Eyewall is shown for the very first time as an installation. Along with three videos that either document the studio performance
(captured by Mirelle Borra) or were part of that same performance (Faurot/Paulson), the installation’s atmosphere is imbued with an intense sound Neil Benezra created specifically for this presentation. Following the principle of a total spatial concept that substantially influences our experiences and memories in our way of receiving art, the artist provides us with an impressively immersive artistic experience. Sandbags
scattered on the floor, that may also serve as seats for visitors reference the morbid mood that spread through New Orleans city life after the hurricane had hit. Even eighteen years after Katrina, Hannes Priesch’s staging shows the sort of timeliness that exists in light of the quickly escalating situation brought about by climate change and social disparities.

Hannes Priesch (*1954 near Graz) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna under Max Weiler. He was co-founder of the Viennese art collective REM. In 1990 he received an artist-in-residence grant for Chicago from the Ministry for Education, Art and Sports. He then remained in Chicago before moving to New York in 1995, where he entertained an artist studio in Brooklyn until 2016. He currently lives with his wife
Herta Kramer-Priesch in Semriach near Graz. His artistic focus is dominated by critical examination of specific historical and contemporary texts. www.hannespriesch.com

Special exhibition

Zbyněk Sekal 100 

Sun 30 April–Sun 23 July 2023 

The Museum Liaunig is dedicating a retrospective to the Czech artist Zbyněk Sekal (1923-1998) on the occasion of his centenary, providing an insight into his extensive oeuvre.

His multifaceted oeuvre cannot be separated from his eventful life story, which was marked early on by violence, imprisonment and isolation: in 1941, the politically active 18-year-old was arrested and interned in Prague's Pankrác prison, and later in the Theresienstadt and Mauthausen concentration camps. After the war, Sekal studied at the University of Applied Arts in Prague under František Tichý and Emil Filla. The suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 prompted Sekal to emigrate. A DAAD scholarship took the artist first to Berlin, and in September 1970 he came to Vienna, where he lived and worked until his death in 1998.

The exhibition, put together by Miroslav Haľák, Johannes Haller and Peter Liaunig, features works from the artist's estate and works from the Liaunig Collection. In addition to early self-portraits and paintings, bronze and stone sculptures are on display as well as paper collages, material paintings and shrines (Schránky), cage-like wooden spatial constructions that reflect the horrors of imprisonment, the experience of loneliness and bondage.

His multifaceted oeuvre cannot be separated from his eventful life story, which was marked early on by violence, imprisonment and isolation: in 1941, the politically active 18-year-old was arrested and interned in Prague's Pankrác prison, and later in the Theresienstadt and Mauthausen concentration camps.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive and richly illustrated catalogue published jointly with the Kampa Museum in Prague and the Sprengel Museum in Hanover by Verlag für moderne Kunst Wien.