VIENNA celebrates Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Koloman Moser and Otto Wagner
In 2018 Vienna celebrates the seductive and dark art of four of the most important protagonists of Modernism, at the forefront of the modern movement in art, architecture, decor and furniture design:
Gustave Klimt, Egon Schiele, Koloman Moser, and Otto Wagner,
during the Centenary of their death.
There will be so many exhibitions and shows about those fantastic creators that it hard to list them all.
But the MAK, the Museum of Modern Art, both the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Leopold Museum, the Wien Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Imperial Furniture Collection, Klimt's Villa and Studio are some of the venues having special shows that will not be presented again.
It is an amazing opportunity to understand how much those artists, architects and decorators' influences are still felt in many of our contemporary design.
Adolf Loos, Josef Frank, Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra and many other architects were influenced by the
Vienna Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte created in 1903 by Koloman Moser and Joseph Hoffmann who
themselves influenced the Bauhaus, Art Deco, Scandinavian Design of the 1940s and Italian Design in the 1960s.
Vienna has something else to offer: the whole town center is pedestrian friendly. It is so nice to walk around leisurely looking at beautiful buildings, monuments, store fronts without having to pay attention to traffic, and not to have to deal with noise. They also have a great public transportation system, when you don't want to walk anymore.
You will be astonished by the riches of its art and architecture and decorative arts, all showing a mastery in craftsmanship. And if you happen to like music, Vienna is one of its World's Capital.
We cannot be in Vienna without visiting Schönbrunn Palace, the 18th Century Imperial summer residence for the Habsburg Family, competing with Versailles in grandiosity and opulence. It is a marvel of Baroque architecture and decor; Marie-Antoinette spent time in that residence as a young girl, the youngest daughter of Empress Maria- Theresa and Francis 1, Holy Roman Emperor. Some of the rooms like the so called "Chinese Rooms" are difficult to describe, the decor being overwhelming. It is a visit that needs to be done slowly if one wants to appreciate the details and the spectacular decors.
Brahms, Beethoven, Malher, Mozart, Salieri, Schönberg, Strauss and Shubert are buried in Vienna. They all came to work here, making it the World's Capital of Classical Music: the Vienna Philharmonic is probably the best in the World; the Wiener Symphoniker is the most productive orchestra in the world, and a specialist in Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Richard Strauss; the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra is Austria's most versatile orchestra. It masters rarities of the 18th century as equally as contemporary premiere performances.
There are many venues in Vienna where every night, you can attend a first rate concert.
Then, there are the Viennese Cafés, an institution, some 200 years old. It is civilized: the decor is often elegant or exquisite, the seating comfortable, the tables are large, the service is discreet, and if there is a little bit of coffee in your cup, no one will really pressure you to get another one. They have so many ways to make a cup of coffee, your head may spin. The fun is to try as many as possible. They all serve great pastries and have Foreign periodicals and newspapers for you to read. Try that in your local Starbucks.
And all those places have seen famous people so there is a history attached to each of them. I have two favorites, Café Central and Café Sperl where the main protagonists, Engelhart, Moser, Olbricht, Klimt created the Secession Mouvement in 1897.
Cafe Central opened in 1786 in a palatial Renaissance building designed by Heinrich von Ferstel. Although the Cafe moved within the building, it is still a place to go to to reminisce about some dangerous clients part of its history (Trotsky, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin) or some others more intellectual or artistically inclined like the playwright Stephan Sweig or the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud or an early champion of Minimalism, the architect Adolf Loos or the playwright poet and novelist, Alma Mahler's third husband, Franz Werfel, who will have a fairly good career in Hollywood. Peter Altenberg, the poet, was a pillar of the café being there almost everyday and having his mail and laundry deliveredto the café.
1883 - Gustav Klimt, his brother Ernst and their classmate Franz Matsch founded the Künstlercompagnie [Artists’ Company]. They were awarded many commissions including decorative schemes for theatres in Vienna, Karlsbad, and Reichenberg.
In 1888, the Emperor Franz Joseph I awarded the Klimt brothers and Franz Matsch the Golden Order of Merit for their decorative work at the new Burgtheater, and Gustav received also the Imperial Prize for a painting depicting the Old Burghterater's auditorium which was demolished in 1889. This year we will have a very close look to the ceiling above the majestic staircase painted by the Klimts and Franz Matsch.
Klimt is well known for the Kiss, a painting executed in 1908.
A similar one was painted earlier as part of the decor of the Stoclet Palace 's dining room in Brussels.
We will visit the Kiss, at the Belvedere, where we will also experience the beauty and charms of Klimt's landscapes, with great color combination and a very poetic fill.
Their building, designed by Olbrich, ensured that the Secession remained in the public eye both as a permanent architectural monument to the movement's existence, and as the host site for the frequent shows by its direct members and foreign artists alike.
Feeling that their voices of progressiveness would never be heard otherwise, on April 3rd, 1897, a few younger artists announced their intention to form a new organization specifically for the purposes of creating a venue for their work, especially the decorative arts, and to encourage contact with foreign practitioners.
They sought approval from the Association of Austrian Artists, but were turned down, and so formally resigned from it, thus creating a new organization, the Wiener Secession.
The painter Gustav Klimt, at the time already of international renown, was elected the first president. Besides Klimt, the Secession from the outset included names such as Joseph-Maria Olbrich, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Carl Moll, Max Kurzweil, Wilhelm Bernatzik, Josef Maria Auchentaller, and Ernst Stöhr.
They had wanted to break away from imitating styles of the past, to develop an art that reflected the sensitivities and way of life of a particular society, the extreme individuality of the artist dreaming of inventing an original language that would ensure the absolute harmony of the ornamentation of life.
Thus one of the most important European artistic movement was born.
And that will be one of the exciting things we will examine, learn about, and appreciate.
At the time of the 14th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession in 1902, some Viennese artists being a bit more radical built the foundation for a more Modernist movement, rapidly becoming known as Wiener-Werkstätte-Stil (Vienna Workshops Style). Most were artists, architects, designers who had just left the Vienna Secession Group for not being enough adventurous and modern. The Vienna Workshop, was more or less the brain child of Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffman with the financial help of industrialist Fritz Wärndorfer's money and an artists’ and craftsmen's collective that existed in Vienna from 1903 until 1932.
The "WIENER WERKSTAETTE" had the goal to create what would make all facets of human life into a Total Work of Art.
The group was concerned about creating better working conditions for the craftsmen., which was a very novel idea at the time. Their aim was to create everything new and original whether objects were used everyday or not, which in any case would make them useful as decoration.
Outstanding individuality and beauty was the philosophy which forced the movement to concentrate on exquisite craftsmanship.
Koloman Moser, 30 March 1868 – 18 October 1918) was an Austrian artist who exerted considerable influence on twentieth-century graphic art and one of the foremost artists of the Vienna Secession movement and a co-founder of Wiener Werkstätte.
He was a multi talented man who excelled at making furniture, stained-glass windows, wallpaper, carpets, interior design, architecture, lighting, silver tableware, ceramics, glass, textiles, couture, costumes, jewelry, posters, banknotes, postage stamps and other graphic design as well as paintings, to which he devoted most of his time in later years.
The Wiener Werkstatte's motto was certainly the definition of their ambitions: "Better to work 10 days on one product than to manufacture
10 products in one day."
Egon Schiele 12 June 1890 – 31 October 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism.
Both Egon and his wife Edith, who he married in 1915, succumbed to the Spanish Flu pandemic that killed more than 20 millions Europeans, She died on October 28 1918 and him three days later. He was 28 years old.
But Vienna is more than that. There are many interesting, original things to see and do, like visiting the strange complex known as the Gazometers.
They were used from 1899 to 1978, as storage tanks for cooking heating and lighting gas, that was manufactured in the adjacent plant prior to being distributed all over town. Obsolete in modern times, they were transformed into over 70 shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, a multiplex cinema with 12 screens, an events hall with room for 4,200 people, a daycare center, the Vienna National Archive, 118,403 sq ft of office space, 615 apartments and a 230-bed student dormitory from 1999 to 2001 by architects Jean Nouvel (Gasometer A), Coop Himmelblau (Gasometer B), Manfred Wehdorn (Gasometer C), and Wilhelm Holzbauer (Gasometer D). Only the brick exterior front walls were preserved.
Each gasometer was divided into several zones for living (apartments in the top), working (offices in the middle floors) and entertainment and shopping (shopping malls in the ground floors). The shopping mall levels in each gasometer are connected to the others by sky bridges.
During the Habsburg Monarchy, the MuseumsQuartier was home to around 600 of the finest horses. Out of those stables, the MuseumsQuartier became one of the largest cultural complexes in the world and offers around 22 acres (90,000 square meters) of modern and contemporary art and culture. The spectrum ranges from fine art, architecture, music, fashion, theater, dance, and literature to children’s culture, game culture, and street art to design and photography.
Two very important museums of Arts of the 20th and 21st Century are part of the complex:
The Leopold Collection is one of the most important collections of modern Austrian art in the world.
The more than 5,000 exhibits were collected by Rudolf and his wife Elisabeth Leopold over a period of five decades.
It not only houses the most substantial and most important collection of Egon Schiele worldwide but also masterpieces by Gustav Klimt beyond price, like his probably most important figurative painting “Death and Life”.
In no other museum in Vienna one can get so close to the fabled “Fin de siècle Vienna” and witness the birth of Modernity.
The mumok collection of classical modernism was established by Werner Hofmann as an exemplary selection of works from the first half of the twentieth century, and it now includes the most significant movements and artists of these years.
The Collection Peter & Irene Ludwig focuses on pop art, nouveau réalisme, Fluxus, and conceptual art, post minimal and arte povera, all standing for the avant-gardes of the 1960s and 1970s.
mumok holds significant works by the Viennese actionists, and continues to expand and intensify its collection focus on reality-based, socially and institutionally critical and analytical art of the 1960s and 1970s with contemporary works by Austrian and international artists
Something else to visit are the apartment buildings designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser who demanded creative freedom and harmony with nature. Mocked by architects and a large portion of the politicians, his colorful designs are now very popular with the Viennese. He was totally against straight lines and all his buildings reflect that thought including floors in apartments that are wavy. and vegetation greowing on roofs and walls
If you like to walk in a beautiful city, come to Vienna.
If you like great classical music, come to Vienna.
If you like good pastries, come to Vienna.
If you like great architecture, come to Vienna.
If you like Baroque art and architecture, come to Vienna.
If you like decorative art of the higher quality, come to Vienna.
If you like art from the 13th Century to contemporary, come to Vienna.
If you like extraordinary castles like Versailles, come to Vienna.
I do have more to show you, if you come to Vienna.
4 Star Hotel Vienna - August 8 to 16
Small group of 8 maximum
3 dinners - 5 lunches - 7 breakfasts
Books - Maps
Entry Fees to everything we visit - Guides fees
Transportation while on the tour.
Vienna Airport Pick-up & Drop-off
$ 3585 per person in Double occupancy
$ 3885 per person in Single occupancy
TWO spots left. SEVEN participants maximum