Striking in appearance, the dramatic concrete monotony of the exterior of the MUMOK gives the impression that it has been a permanent fixture since the dawn of time. It has a powerful presence and an intriguing quality that makes you want to explore its interior. It contains a fluid collection of works, focusing on work by artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, leaning particularly closely on pop art and on pieces exploring Austria’s complex political and social history.
Based in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, a square comprising some of the city’s best galleries and exhibitions, this gallery has an extensive and impressive collection. The Republic of Austria collaborated with Dr Rupert Leopold to create this splendid compilation of pieces, gathering over 5,000 precious works estimated to have a value of €575 million (US$620 million). The gallery favours art of Austrian origin, with Klimt, Adolf Loos and Egon Schiele being some of the most well-known names.
Recognisable from afar because of the golden sphere atop its entrance, this gallery cites itself as ‘an important forum for young experimental art’. It is famous for being the venue where Klimt created his Beethoven Frieze for an exhibition in 1902, where it was viewed by over 60,000 visitors. The exhibition hall was designed by Joeseph Maria Olbrich and built in 1897.
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
As well as being drenched in ancient artefacts, this museum is also home to one of Austria’s finest art collections, featuring paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. The gallery’s lavish selection comes primarily from the House of Habsburg – Vienna’s most prominent dynasty. Among the impressive works are many masterpieces by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
This space is for modern art exclusively; come and see emerging artists on the scene, as well as some well-established stars of the art world. With a constantly evolving calendar of new and exciting works, this gallery is always on the brink of innovation.
Gerald Hartinger Fine Arts gallery
This contemporary art gallery aims to shine a spotlight on the American pop art movement, giving the floor to many of the most iconic artists of this movement, such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Art collector Gerald Hartinger has built up an exciting assortment, with a particular fondness for the USA and work from the 60s, including John Lennon’s – all of which can be found in downtown Vienna.
Belvedere Museum, Vienna
It could be argued that the gallery in the Belvedere Museum houses the most important collection in Austria. The focal point is the world’s largest collection of work by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, with the highlight being his masterpiece The Kiss, a universally recognisable painting. There are many other works that make the Belvedere worthy of a trip – various exhibitions featuring art from around the world take place around the year.