Museum Liaunig

The museum is thus ready for the coming season with a wealth of variety, surprises and visitorfriendly attractions such as the shop, atrium and café. It will be the venue of a multifaceted exhibition and concert programme that is not to be missed:

The main exhibition "Tour de Force – Point, Line, Colour on the Way through Austrian Art since 1945", curated by Günther Holler-Schuster and dealing with the development of Informalism, has its point of departure in the painterly, gestural and expressive.

The triangular special exhibition room continues to house the Old Friends series. The successive exhibitions of Bruno Gironcoli (April–July) and Johann Julian Taupe (July–Oct) provide the setting for the concerts of the chamber music series sonusiade.

In the round sculpture depot the focus this season will be on the work of the Styrian  sculptor Gerhardt Moswitzer.

The historical collections can be seen as a counterpoint to the modern: in addition to rare portrait miniatures and the exhibit of African treasures Akan Gold, this year the museum will display the second part of the Liaunig glass collection.

In good weather, the sculpture park will offer an invitation to strol through a spacious park landscape. This open-air exhibition constitutes representative selection of pieces by Austrian and international artists that extends from the classic modern period to the present day.

Exhibitions 2021

Tour de ForcePoint, Line, Colour on the Way through
Austrian Art since 1945

Main Exhibition

Bruno Gironcoli / Johann Julian Taupe
Changing Special Exhibitions (April-July/July-October) 
in course of the series Old Friends 

Gerhardt Moswitzer
Sculpture depot 

Portrait miniatures
Akan Gold

Historical Collections

Museum Liaunig
24 April – 31 October 2021 ∙ Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Museum Liaunig ∙ 9155 Neuhaus/Suha 41, Austria ∙ +43 4356 211 15 office@museumliaunig.at ∙ www.museumliaunig.at

Main Exhibition

Tour de Force – 
Point, Line, Colour on the Way through
Austrian Art since 1945

The exhibition "Tour de Force" comprises some 200 works from the Liaunig Collection. Only a few loaned works complete the selection. The view is focused on developments in Austria as well as on a few first-class international references found in the collection, one of the most significant and comprehensive private collections in the country. The time period encompassed by the collection extends from about 1950 until today. A few earlier pieces extend the historical observation by way of example.

It is noticeable that in the Liaunig collection, works of painting, graphic art and sculpture – that is, the classic disciplines – predominate. At the same time, however, abstraction remains a defining constant – whether geometric, constructive, minimalistic or gestural, expressive, tachistic. Whereas in the past year it was the first aspect of the collection that was highlighted, in the exhibition "o. T." (Untitled) curated by Dieter Bogner, this year we are concentrating on the second of these fundamental orientations. 

If the starting point in the exhibition "Tour de Force" is the picturesque, the gestural and the expressive, it quickly becomes clear that the framework of observation can be much broader than these terms suggest and that the nuances appear highly diverse and intriguing. By means of developmental stages through time, this exhibition shows ramifications that in this dimension – through the encompassing temporal frame alone – could not yet be recognised in this way. To record the artistic events, or a period of important artistic processes, of a country can inevitably remain only a rudimentary process. Often, however, the statement of one exhibition complements that of another to a deeper understanding.

At the beginning of the Zweite Moderne (Second Modernity) a situation arose that, on the one hand, began to develop out of the continuities of Modernism before World War II (out of Dada, Surrealism, Constructivism, etc.), but on the other hand consisted of adopting the artistic concepts of the victorious powers. While Social Realism did not actually spread here as widely, Abstract Expressionism and Informalism became completely dominant in this moment in Austria.

Informalism means formlessness. The dissolution of form affects the means of painting as well. It absolutises, so to speak, the pictorial media – paint, surface, frame – and allows each its own sub-stories. Thus one can follow, for example, the history of the brushstroke back to the physical gesture or action. Gottfried Boehm points out in this context that the term Informalism "does not primarily designate a style, but rather those processes that are capable of transforming that which is not formed and can never be formed into compositions of a new kind" (Gottfried Boehm, “Action Painting: Jackson Pollock”, cat.: Foundation Beyeler (ed.), Berlin 2008, p. 40). We are thus dealing more with an attitude than with a style – but certainly with a special variety of abstraction. The Informalist painting in no way follows a previously determined plan. The openness with regard to the artistic end result is an integral part of this art. The final product emerges during the working process as a chain of spontaneous decisions, or rather is revealed in the eye of the observer, who brings in his or her own visual consciousness and thus ideally actively links himself or herself with the work of art. Methodologically, this signifies a complete break with the classic concept of painting. Along with this, the procedures have changed in a similarly dramatic way. Moments of destruction also belong to the Informalist creative process, in various proportions. The features of destruction contribute formally to a significant transformation. The modern abstract painting is witness to the deconstruction of classical figurative painting in its components – point, line, colour. The brushstroke suddenly becomes the actual theme, the subject of the painting that can be followed from an informal gesture to its transformation into different materials. The rapidly progressing conceptualisation from the locally bound colour of an object to the freely chosen absolute colour fundamentally expands the possibilities. Suddenly any material can be used. 

"Tour de Force" follows the brushstroke on its way through the history of art of the last decades. For the situation in Austria, this means, in essence, the radicality of the departure from the image, on the one hand, and the form of abstraction that is specifically appreciated here, nature abstraction. Nature abstraction is based on the fact that the object remains as a reference – transformational processes from reality into colour systems. 

This exhibition has become a "Tour de Force" through one of the most significant chapters of Austrian art history. It is not a history of art in Austria since 1945, nor is it an attempt at reinterpretation. "Tour de Force" is a focusing on details, which makes it possible to understand the “big picture” in a different way, perhaps in some aspects better, and can provide impulses for a more differentiated view. 

With artworks by the following artists: Kurt Absolon, Siegfried Anzinger, Karel Appel, Bernard Aubertin, Thom Barth, Josef Bauer, Peter Bischof, Hans Bischoffshausen, Julius Bissier, Herbert Boeckl, Erwin Bohatsch, Herbert Brandl, Günter Brus, Friedrich Cerha, Peter Dörflinger, Irma Eberl, Loys Egg, Wolfgang Ernst, Gottfried Fabian, Tone Fink, Karl Anton Fleck, Gerhart Frankl, Padhi Frieberger, Adolf Frohner, Johann Fruhmann, Sonja Gangl, Jakob Gasteiger, Joanna Gleich, Franz Grabmayr, Alfred Haberpointner, Hans Hartung, Gustav Hessing, Karl Hikade, Claudia Hirtl, Wolfgang Hollegha, Hildegard Joos, Martha Jungwirth, Gerhard Kaiser, Franco Kappl, Michael Kienzer, Imi Knoebel, Peter Krawagna, Suse Krawagna, Hans Kupelwieser, Maria Lassnig, Gottfried Mairwöger, Peter Marquant, Georges Mathieu, Jürgen Messensee, Henri Michaux, Josef Mikl, Alois Mosbacher, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch, Oswald Oberhuber, Walter Obholzer, Fritz Panzer, Ferdinand Penker, Helga Philipp, Franz Pichler, Klaus Pinter, Ulrich Plieschnig, Rudolf Polanszky, Markus Prachensky, Drago j. Prelog, Hannes Priesch, Claus Prokop, Norbert Pümpel, Arnulf Rainer, Thomas Reinhold, Franz Ringel, Antonio Saura, Hubert Scheibl, Roman Scheidl, Alfons Schilling, Eva Schlegel, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Zbyněk Sekal, Pierre Soulages, Rudi Stanzel, Hans Staudacher, Helmut Swoboda, Johann Julian Taupe, E. Thage, Walter Vopava, Walter Weer, Max Weiler, Franz West, Heliane Wiesauer-Reiterer, Erwin Wurm, Johanes Zechner and Otto Zitko.

Main Exhibition "Tour de Force"
Curator: Günther Holler-Schuster
24 April – 31 October 2021 ∙ Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Museum Liaunig ∙ 9155 Neuhaus/Suha 41, Austria ∙ +43 4356 211 15 office@museumliaunig.at ∙ www.museumliaunig.at

Special Exhibitions

The artists exhibited since 2016 in the "Old Friends" special exhibition series are those to whom Herbert Liaunig, since his early days as a collector, has been devoted as a collector and friend. Thus large numbers of their works representing a variety of creative periods, and embodying the most singular artistic approaches, are to be found in the collection and form the basis for the frequently changing single retrospectives held during the exhibition season.

Old Friends: Johann Julian Taupe

The second special exhibition of the 2021 season is dedicated to Johann Julian Taupe and his painterly universe. The abstract colour compositions of the artist, who was born in 1954 in Gritschach near Villach, can be seen from 18 July to 31 October as part of the “Old Friends” series in the triangular special exhibition room of the Museum Liaunig.

The retrospective, curated by Peter Liaunig, focuses on colourful works from the 1990s and 2000s composed of geometrically or organically shaped surfaces, whose characteristic visual language continues to characterise Taupe’s work to this day. In addition, the Liaunig Collection presents early works in pastel colours from the 1980s as well as more recent paintings and large-format drawings by the artist, who studied with Max Weiler at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1976 to 1981 and worked there for three years after his studies as a lecturer under Arnulf Rainer.

As Clara Kaufmann remarks in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition: “Taupe’s paintings always have a strong painterly quality; they never have the character of geometric abstractions planned on the drawing board, executed with a ruler and compass. Their geometry is never quite perfect, nor does it even want to be; the human hand that painted them always remains perceptible, precise but not perfect, living, pulsating, breathing. Even the arrangement of the surfaces does not follow a fixed, rigid plan – each painting is different and yet immediately recognisable as ‘Taupe’."

18 July – 31 October 2021 ∙ Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Museum Liaunig ∙ 9155 Neuhaus/Suha 41, Austria ∙ +43 4356 211 15 
office@museumliaunig.at ∙ www.museumliaunig.at

"Old Friends: Bruno Gironcoli" 

As part of the "Old Friends" series, the Museum Liaunig is dedicating an exhibit to the Villach-born artist Bruno Gironcoli (1936–2010) on the 85th anniversary of his birth.

The exhibit, curated by Peter Liaunig, provides an insight into the artistic development of the sculptor and his unmistakable language of form, while also revealing Bruno Gironcoli the sketcher and painter, who left behind an extensive graphic oeuvre.

The trained gold-, silver- and coppersmith studied from 1957 to 1959 and from 1961 to 1962 with Eduard Bäumer and Eugen Meier at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. A stay in Paris in 1960/61, in which Bruno Gironcoli intensively explored the oeuvre of Alberto Giacometti and the Existentialism in the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett, left a lasting influence upon the artist.

The exhibition traces the changes in Gironcoli’s concept of sculpture by showcasing individual central works from different phases of his career: from the transposition of the human figure into three-dimensionality, as exemplified by a polyester object from 1965, to his installations in space, spatial angles and environments, for which he arranges everyday objects, to his dense assemblage-like, organic-technoid sculptures.

Alongside early nude and portrait studies from the first half of the 1960s and small-format sketches, the show also presents drawings in which motifs from his sculptures are repeated, as well as large-format painterly gouaches.

A richly illustrated catalogue with a text by Manuela Ammer accompanies the exhibit, which will run from 24 April to 4 July 2021 in the triangular Special Exhibition space.

24 April – 31 October 2021 ∙ Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Museum Liaunig ∙ 9155 Neuhaus/Suha 41, Austria ∙ +43 4356 211 15 office@museumliaunig.at ∙ www.museumliaunig.at

Sculpture depot

Gerhardt Moswitzer  

The round Sculpture depot highlights the artist Gerhardt Moswitzer, born in 1940 in Maria Lankowitz / Styria, and his sculptural oeuvre.

From 1959 to 1961, the trained toolmaker attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Graz (graphics and sculpture) and created his first works in wood and stone, as well as wood-iron assemblies and sculptures made of scrap metal. From 1963 Moswitzer preferred the materials steel, aluminium and non-ferrous metals. In 1970 the young artist represented Austria at the Venice Biennale. Numerous exhibitions, prizes and the installation of works in public spaces were to follow. In 1974 he moved to Vienna and worked until his death in 2013 in his "refuge", one of the sculpture studios of the federal government at the edge of the Prater.

The exhibition assembled by Peter Liaunig includes examples of Mosowitzer’s most important central groups of works: early pieces from 1961/62, structured rods and discs, turbines, kings and "minis" from the 1960s, a shadow cube (1976/77), works from the "Gläser" (glasses) and "Kreisel und Raum" (spinning tops and space) series from the 1970s/1980s, his late frame constructions and box sculptures.

In addition to his sculptural work, Moswitzer devoted himself to composing experimental music and working on the computer from the 1980s onwards. He created tape recordings, abstract audio images, photographs, video works, animations and "digital sculptures".

A catalogue with texts by Sara Heigl and Reinhard Priessnitz accompanies the exhibition. 

24 April – 31 October 2021 ∙ Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Museum Liaunig ∙ 9155 Neuhaus/Suha 41, Austria ∙ +43 4356 211 15 office@museumliaunig.at ∙ www.museumliaunig.at