Kunsthaus Bregenz

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Kunsthaus Bregenz

The Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB) presents temporary exhibitions of international contemporary art in Bregenz, capital of the Austrian Federal State of Vorarlberg. Commissioned by the State of Vorarlberg and designed by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, it was built between 1990 to 1997.

Exhibitions[edit]

The Kunsthaus Bregenz is one of Europe’s leading galleries for contemporary art both architecturally and in terms of its program. The KUB Arena located on the ground floor, along with three vertical floors, offers 1,880 m² of exhibition space. The Kunsthaus exhibits works by international contemporary artists who generally create art work specifically for the Kunsthaus. The KUB also has its own collection with two core areas: “Archive Art Architecture” and “Contemporary Austrian Art.” Select works of exhibiting artists have been expanding the latter part of the collection since 2009.

The KUB not only addresses international concerns with its exhibitions and projects, but also helps shape the cultural identity of Vorarlberg with regional projects. Noteworthy examples are Gottfried Bechtold’s “Signatur 02” at the Silvretta dam, the American artist Jenny Holzer’s “Truth Before Power” (2004), involving the projection of large-format texts onto architectural and natural monuments in Vorarlberg, or, from August 2010 through April 2012, the British sculptor Antony Gormley’s landscape project “Horizon Field.”

Apart from extensive and prestigious shows in its main exhibition spaces, the KUB also runs projects with a processual and interdisciplinary bias in the KUB Arena. Conceived as a discursive interface between architecture and work, this art and art educational platform is located on the ground floor of the Kunsthaus.

Alongside its exhibitions, the Kunsthaus offers an extensive educational program. The Kunsthaus Bregenz publishes work-relevant books, collections of essays, and catalogues, often in close collaboration with exhibiting artists and designers such as Walter Nikkels or Stefan Sagmeister. Exclusive special editions for the Kunsthaus Bregenz are an outcome of the close collaboration between artists and their exhibition production.

History[edit]

The KUB opened in July 1997 with an exhibition by the American artist James Turrell. Edelbert Köb, founding director of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, was succeeded by Eckhard Schneider (2000–2008); Yilmaz Dziewior has been Kunsthaus Director since October 1, 2009.

Architecture[edit]

The art museum stands in the light of Lake Constance. It is made of glass and steel and a cast concrete stone mass which endows the interior of the building with texture and spatial composition. From the outside, the building looks like a lamp. It absorbs the changing light of the sky, the haze of the lake, it reflects light and color and gives an intimation of its inner life according to the angle of vision, the daylight, and the weather.

—Peter Zumthor, [1]

Majestically impervious to the external gaze, the glass-sheathed cube standing on the shore of Lake Constance has been an aesthetic presence in Vorarlberg for ten years.

—– Neue Zürcher Zeitung, August 3, 2007

The Kunsthaus Bregenz was designed by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate, and winner of the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture in 1998. The KUB has since received numerous distinctions for its method of construction. One of the major modern art galleries worldwide, it is a fine example of architectural minimalism. Distinguished by its imposing external form and unwavering spatial concept, the building was conceived as a daylight museum. Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s design, in his own words, aimed at fulfilling an art gallery’s chief function: to be a place for art and a place where people can peacefully encounter art. For artists exhibiting at the KUB, the architecture is a measure and conceptual stimulus for their projects, especially when entire new series of works are being produced. The architecture is an indispensable platform for the KUB’s international exhibition program.

Location[edit]

The KUB is a prominent solitary construction in downtown Bregenz near the vorarlberg museum and Vorarlberger Landestheater and not far from the lakefront. Together with the Landestheater it frames an open square between the old town and the lake.[2]

Façade[edit]

The façade consists of 712 finely etched equally sized glass panels weighng some 250kg each,[3] secured by clips to a steel framework. These panels form a free-standing, light-diffusing skin, independent of the actual building, that serves to initially refract the incident daylight and conduct it to the light ceilings in the exhibition halls. At dark, the artificial lighting from the interior shines through inner light bands and outer skin to show the building’s interior life. The gap between light skin and building accommodates servicing equipment. Artists exhibiting at the KUB have sometimes made use of the façade in their installations.[2]

Interior[edit]

Materials distinguish the interior, with exposed unpainted concrete visibly dominating. The floors and stairways are of polished terrazzo, the walls and ceilings of exposed unpolished concrete. The ground floor accommodates foyer, checkroom, cashier’s desk, and catalogue sales, although most of its almost 500 m2 is used as a multifunctional exhibiting space for KUB Arena projects. Aside from its etched glass outer walls, three differently positioned concrete wall-slabs are visible on the ground floor. These support the Kunsthaus floors and ceilings, structuring the exhibition space on all three upper stories and dividing it from the main stairways, emergency exits, and passenger and freight elevators. Uniformly positioned entrances and exits structure a route through ground floor and upper stories. The latter differ only in ceiling height; each can be used as one large space or scaled down by means of mobile partitions, depending on the project. All three upper stories are top-lit. The ceilings of the exhibition spaces are of loosely joined glass panels. Incident light enters the building on all four sides through light bands and is distributed through the interior volume of each story by the glass ceiling panels. Artificial lighting in the cavity above the glass ceilings complements or replaces daylight as required. These light sources are not visible. The ground and three upper stories and their material and formal aesthetic make up a unity with great potential for art installations. Two subterranean levels complete the spatial program. The first, supplied with daylight by a light pit, accommodates a lecture room, the museum educational center, and sanitary rooms, separated from the non public areas (stock, maintenance, personnel rooms) by translucent glass brick walls. The second subterranean level is closed to the public. It accommodates an originals archive and storage space as well as the electrical, heating, and climate controls.

Administration building, café[edit]

The KUB administration building is set a short way off from the town side of the Kunsthaus, its black façade directed at the front of the Kunsthaus and its entrance. It acts as a transitional structure to the smaller and low buildings of the old part of the town. In addition to administration offices, the ground floor houses the KUB café. Peter Zumthor has displayed his uncompromising architectural vision here again, café, bar area, and kitchen being faced with black exposed concrete. In separating these amenities indispensable to a modern art gallery from the art exhibiting building, the latter can devote itself to its primary purpose.

KUB collection showcase[edit]

The Kunsthaus Bregenz has its own collection. One of the largest groups of works in the collection consists of architectural models by Peter Zumthor. Some of these exhibits have been archived since the architect's solo exhibition in 2007. Further models have been and are still being added to the collection as permanent loans. Since June 2012, a selection of these models is on show in the KUB collection showcase on the first floor of the post office building directly adjacent to the Kunsthaus Bregenz. Buildings and projects that were realized as well as those that remained in the design stage are on show. The variety displayed in the exhibition demonstrates the outstanding role that working with models and materials such as wood, metal, or clay plays in Peter Zumthor's studio.

List of exhibitions[edit]

Year Artist(s) Exhibition Duration
1997 James Turrell James Turrell July 26–Sept. 7
various Kunst in der Stadt 1 July 26–Sept. 7
various KünstlerInnen Sept. 29–Nov. 30
Per Kirkeby Personale: Malerei, Zeichnung, Skulptur Dec. 6, 1997–Feb. 15, 1998
1998 Lois Renner Lois Renner Feb. 28–April 13
various Atlas Mapping: Künstler als Kartographen. Kartographie als Kultur Feb. 28-April 13
Adrian Schiess Malerei. Personale April 25–June 28
various Räume der Kunst April 25–June 28
Sepp Dreissiger 66 Fotoportraits aus der Vorarlberger Kultur May 8–June 28
various Kunst in der Stadt 2 July 11–Sept. 20
various Lifestyle July 11–Sept. 20
Bechtold/Kalb/Neyer/Wacker Werkschau Oct. 3–June 27, 1999
Rainer Ganahl Rainer Ganahl Oct. 10–Nov. 22
Erwin Bohatsch Malerei Nov. 28, 1998–Jan. 24, 1999
Gerhard Merz Dresden Nov. 28, 1998–Jan. 24, 1999
1999 Ingeborg Strobl Einige Gegenstände. Und Sonnenuntergang Jan. 30–April. 5
Erwin Wurm one minute sculptures Jan. 30–April. 5
Devlin, Gursky & Höfer Räume April 9–June 27
Ernst Strouhal & Heimo Zobernig Der Katalog May 28–June 27
Wolfgang Laib Personale July 10–Sept. 19
various Kunst in der Stadt 3 July 10–Sept. 19
Keith Sonnier Environmental Works 1968–99 Oct. 2–Nov. 28
Helmut Federle Personale Dec. 9, 1999–Feb. 6, 2000
2000 Peter Kogler Personale Feb. 19–April 30
Donald Judd Farbe May 13–July 2
various LKW(Lebenskunstwerke) July 15–Sept. 17
Symposium Kunsthäuser Architektur vs Kunst – Kunst vs Museum Nov. 16–18
various Museen für ein neues Jahrtausend Oct. 3, 2000–Jan. 7, 2001
2001 Daniel Buren Les Couleurs Traversées Jan. 27–March 18
Olafur Eliasson The mediated motion March 31–May 13
Günther Förg FÖRG May 24–July
Jeff Koons July 18–Sept. 16
Hiroshi Sugimoto The Architecture of Time Sept. 27–Jan. 6, 2002
2002 Douglas Gordon Jan. 17–April 14
Gilbert & George April 28–June 23
Louise Bourgeois Zeichnungen und Skulpturen – Drawings and Sculptures July 6–Sept. 15
Ruth Schnell Territorism (KUB Façade) July 12–Aug. 18
Pierre Huyghe L'expédition scintillante Sept. 28–Nov. 24
Doug Aitken NEW OCEAN (a shifting exhibition) Dec. 7, 2002–Jan. 26, 2003
2003 Mariko Mori Wave UFO Feb. 8–March 23
Gerhard Merz fragmente bregenz 2003 April 12–June 22
Franz West We'll Not Carry Coals July 5–Sept. 14
Anish Kapoor My Red Homeland Sept. 27–Nov. 16
various Remind... Nov. 30, 2003–Jan. 11, 2004
Tone Fink Carwalk Dec. 6, 2003–Jan. 18, 2004
2004 Gary Hume The Bird had a Yellow Beak Jan. 24–March 21
Santiago Sierra 300 Tonnen / 300 tons April 3–May 23
Jenny Holzer Truth Before Power June 12–Sept. 5
Thomas Demand Phototrophy Sept. 18–Nov. 7
Hans Schabus Das Rendezvousproblem Nov. 20, 2004–Jan. 16, 2005
2005 Jake + Dinos Chapman Explaining Christians to Dinosaurs Jan. 29–March 28
various Konstruktive Provokation – Neues Bauen in Vorarlberg Feb. 5–March 28
Rachel Whiteread Walls, Doors, Floors and Stairs April 9–May 29
Roy Lichtenstein Klassik des Neuen – Classic of the New June 12–Sept. 9
Siegrun Appelt 288 KW July 9–Sept. 4
various Tu Felix Austria ... Wild at Heart July 9–Sept. 4
Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller The Secret Hotel Nov. 26, 2005–Jan. 15, 2006
2006 Jean-Marc Bustamante -beautifuldays- Jan. 29–March 19
gelitin Chinese Synthese Leberkäse April 13–May 28
Michael Craig-Martin Signs of Life June 10–Aug. 13
Tino Sehgal Aug. 17–Sept. 24
Gottfried Bechtold Reine und gemischte Zustände Oct. 1–Nov. 19
Cindy Sherman Dec. 2, 2006–Jan. 28, 2007
2007 Marcel Duchamp, Gerhard Merz, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons Re-Object Feb. 18–May 13
Joseph Beuys, Matthew Barney, Douglas Gordon, Cy Twombly Mythos June 2–Sept. 9
Peter Zumthor Bauten und Projekte 1986–2007 Sept. 29, 2007–Jan. 9, 2008
2008 Maurizio Cattelan Feb. 2–March 24
Carsten Höller Carrousel April 12–June 1
Richard Serra Drawings – Work Comes Out of Work June 14–Sept. 14
Jan Fabre From the Cellar to the Attic – From the Feet to the Brain Sept. 27–Jan. 25, 2009
2009 Markus Schinwald Vanishing Lessons Feb. 14–March 13
Lothar Baumgarten Seven Sounds/Seven Circles April 25–June 21
Antony Gormley July 13–Oct. 4
Tony Oursler Lock 2,4,6 Oct. 24, 2009–Jan. 17, 2010
2010 Candice Breitz The Scripted Life Feb. 6–April 11
Roni Horn Well and Truly April 24–July 4
Cosima von Bonin The Fatigue Empire July 18–Oct. 3
Raumlaborberlin Bye Bye Utopia July 18–Oct. 3
Harun Farocki Weiche Montagen / Soft Montages Oct. 23–Jan. 9, 2011
Antony Gormley Horizon Field Aug. 2010–April 2012
2011 Haegue Yang Arrivals Jan. 22–April 3
Michal Heiman, Hannah Hurtzig, Katrin Mayer KUB Arena: Living Archives - Kooperation Van Abbemuseum Jan. 22–April 3
various So machen wir es. Techniken und Ästhetik der Aneignung / That´s the way we do it. The Techniques and Aesthetic of Appropriation April 16–July 3
Yona Friedman and Eckhard Schulze-Fielitz KUB Arena April 16–July 3
Ai Weiwei Art/Architecture July 16–Oct. 16
various KUB Arena: Anfang Gut. Alles Gut. / Beginning good. All good. July 16–Oct. 16
Valie Export Archiv / Archive Oct. 29–Jan. 22, 2012
Theatre project: International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) Berlin KUB Arena: Hate Radio Oct. 29–Jan. 22, 2012
2012 Yvonne Rainer Raum, Körper, Sprache / Space, Body, Language Feb. 4-April 9
various KUB Arena: Bleibender Wert? Kooperation >springerin< / Enduring Value? Cooperation with 'springerin' Feb. 4-April 9
Danh Võ Vô Danh April 21-June 24
Ulrike Müller KUB Arena: Herstory Inventory: 100 feministische Zeichnungen von 100 KünstlerInnen / 100 feminist drawings by 100 artists April 21-June 24
Peter Zumthor KUB Sammlungsschaufenster: Architekturmodelle Peter Zumthor / Architectural Models by Peter Zumthor June 23-Oct. 28
Ed Ruscha Reading Ed Ruscha July 7-Oct. 14
various KUB Arena: Sommerakademie. Kunst und Ideologiekritik nach 1989 / Art and ideological criticism after 1989 Sept. 24-Sept. 30
Florian Pumhösl Räumliche Sequenz Oct. 26-Jan. 20, 2013
various KUB Arena: Nairobi - A State of Mind, Cooperation Goethe-Institute Nairobi, Kenya Oct. 26-Jan. 20, 2013
2013 various Love is Colder than Capital Feb. 2-April 14
Andy Warhol KUB Arena: Andy Warhol - Fifteen Minutes of Fame Feb. 2-April 14
Wade Guyton, Guyton\Walker, Kelley Walker Wade Guyton, Guyton\Walker, Kelley Walker April 27-June 30
various KUB Arena: On the Move. European Kunsthalle at the KUB Arena April 27-June 30
Gabriel Orozco Natural Motion July 13-Oct. 6
various KUB Arena: Back to the Future. A Week in Summer of Art, Films, and Music Aug. 5-Aug. 11
Barbara Kruger Oct. 19-Jan. 12, 2014
Dora Garcia KUB Arena: Dora Garcia Oct. 19-Jan. 12, 2014

Further reading[edit]

  • Zumthor, Peter: Kunsthaus Bregenz In: Kunsthaus Bregenz (Hrsg.): Archiv Kunst Architektur Hatje Cantz Verlag, 1997, ISBN 3-7757-0720-4,(Werkdokumente/Kunsthaus Bregenz.).

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Arch Daily: AD Classics: Kunsthaus Bregenz / Peter Zumthor, 27 January 2011
  2. ^ a b KUB: Architecture, retrieved 20 May 2011
  3. ^ Architecture Today 83, November 1997:12, Architecture Today PLC, London.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°30′17″N 9°44′52″E / 47.50472°N 9.74778°E / 47.50472; 9.74778