Vienna/Neuhaus, October 24, 2007
The museum project of the industrialist and art collector, Herbert W. Liaunig in Neuhaus, Carinthia/Austria is starting to assume concrete form. Following the groundbreaking ceremony last summer, work commenced on the realisation of the project, which has been designed by the young Viennese architectural office "querkraft". In view of the excellent progress made thus far, the bulk of the building work should be completed in the current year. The private museum is scheduled to open in summer 2008 and will also be accessible to art lovers among the general public. The museum will contain Herbert W. Liaunig's collection of contemporary art and, as an interesting counterpoint, a collection of gold objects from the Ashanti tribe of West Africa. Herbert W. Liaunig, "The museum will fulfil the long-held wish of my family to create an adequate home for our collection. At the same time, we will thus close one of the major gaps in the Carinthian cultural landscape."
The Liaunig Museum will dispose over one of the best collections of Austrian art dating from 1950 onwards, which is supplemented by notable works from foreign painters and sculptors such as Tony Cragg, Robert Motherwell and Pierre Soulages. Among the Austrian paintings and graphics are large bodies of work from Marc Adrian, Hans Bischoffshausen, Erwin Bohatsch, Gunter Damisch, Jakob Gasteiger, Alfred Klinkan, Hermann Painitz, Peter Pongratz, Markus Prachensky, Arnulf Rainer, Hubert Schmalix and Hans Staudacher. Equally impressive and representative is the special selection of works from Austrian sculptors and object artists, which offers first class ensembles from Avramidis, Bertoni, Otto Eder, Gironcoli, Göschl, Hoflehner, Cornelius Kolig, Moswitzer, Nakajima, Karl Prantl, Walter Pichler, Joser Pillhofer, Erwin Reiter, Meina Schellander, Andreas Urteil, Fritz Wotruba and Erwin Wurm.
The highly aesthetic and stringent architectural concept from "querkraft" consists largely of four striking elements. The entrance leads to a presentation depot with an area of around 600 m² after which visitors arrive in the painting and sculpture section. This part of the building, which is designed as a white cube measuring 160 m in length and 13 m in width with fanlights, provides an exhibition area of around 2,000 m². There follows a separate room for graphics (approx. 500 m²), as well as an annex for the presentation of the gold collection (approx. 350 m²). Including the foyer, a workshop and the rooms required for infrastructure purposes, the building has an area of around 5,000 m². The structure, which is extremely reduced in design, closely follows the prevailing site topography. The long gallery section is the only part of the building that is visible from the outside and offers views of the landscape from its terraces. The remainder of the museum is subterranean. As far as materials are concerned "querkraft" mainly employs exposed concrete, steel and glass.