Guardians of Time (art)

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The Guardians of Time is an art project of the Austrian sculptor Manfred Kielnhofer .

Time Guardians by Manfred Kielnhofer 2006
Guardians of Time, Festival of Lights (Berlin) French Cathedral, Berlin, Velotaxi 2011
Public Art Project on Tour in Basel, ArtBasel, Design Miami / Basel, Liste, Scope, Volta, 2011
The light art project "time guardians" on tour in Venice, St. Mark's Square 2011

Ferryman to ArtBasel 2012
Occupy Kassel, dOCUMENTA (13)

Idea and history[edit]

The "Guardians of Time" were developed by the artist Manfred Kielnhofer, who is sure that mankind is watched and protected by strange characters. The designer and photographer was always interested in the human being as model as well as a potential source of danger to mankind. In 2006 he created the first life-size "Time Guardians" to be part of the Skulpturenpark Artpark in Linz. The sculpture reminds us of a monk. The artist uses the human form as a tool, either on a canvas or in a sculpture.[1] During the following years Kielnhofer put his time guardians in public places like in front of ancient castles, squares, old mines or in parks. They traveled to several countries and were part of many exhibitions. In his works of art Manfred Kielnhofer deals with the natural human desire for security. Thus his oeuvre reflects genuine exploration, consideration and discussion of current as well as historic moods and sensibilities of his social environment. The message is, that people should never forget that they are always watched by a power, that is stronger than mankind. In 2012 Kielnhofer designed the Mini guards, 54x36x34cm, 1 kg, as a limited edition, they are signed and made of plastic. In various colours they can be illuminated from within. One of the Mini guards was ordered by Peter Weibel for the ZKM in 2012. Guardians of Time Settle in During Art Dubai 2013. First cast bronze guardian of the art foundry Krismer. In 2014 the large-scale sculptures 220x220x220cm guardians are shown by the Festival of Lights in Berlin. The guardians are shown by the 56th Venice Biennale Of Art, Collateral Event – Personal Structures, Time Space Existence at the Palazzo Mora. First works with the glass Berengo_Studio Murano Venice. A fine empty coat was made of white Carrara marble by Studio Massimo Galleni in 2016.


  • 2006–2007. : Gallery Artpark LinzSkulpturenpark Artpark, Gallery Fotopark Linz, Time guardians on tournee
  • 2008. Egon Schiele Art Centrum (CZ), Gallery Fontaine Amstetten, Black Box Gallery Copenhagen/Linz, art garden Graz;
  • 2009 Cass Sculpture Fondation (UK), Art Vilnius together with Martina Schettina, Franz West and de:Herbert Brandl,[2][3] Artfair Berlin-Arttower, Galerie Seywald Salzburg, Mobile-Galerie Hörsching, Woka Lamps Vienna
  • 2010 Castle Schloss Steyregg near Linz, Neuköllner Kunstsalon Berlin, Galerie Kunst und Handel Graz, Kunstraum Ringstrassen, Light Art Biennale Austria 2010, Galerie Claudiana, Area 53 vienna, Citygalerie, Kunsthandel Freller
  • 2011 Galerie Thiele Linz, Nord Art Germany, Kunstprojekt "ghost car" zur Art Basel, Liste, Scope, Volta Show, Festival of Lights Berlin, Grevenbroich Inseln des Lichtes, Kunsthaus Tacheles Berlin, Kunstverein Passau, ArtStays Ptuj Slovenia, Time guards on tour in Venice
  • 2012 Designmonat Graz, Galerie Bachlechner, Sculpture show Castle Hartberg "Slow", Ferryman Ferry Basel public Art Basel show, Occupy movement DOCUMENTA (13) Kassel Time guards, Festival of Lights Berlin, Art & Antiques fair vienna sculpture garden
  • 2013 Galerie Liebau Burghaun Fulda, Phantasten Museum Wien, Guardians of Time Settle in During Art Dubai, VBKW Künstlerparade Stuttgart, Phantasten Museum Wien, public art show Venice Biennale, SCOPE Art Show Basel Galerie Kunst und Handel, Art Bodensee Galerie Galerie Bachlechner, Austrian contemporary sculptures castle Tabor, Festival of Lights Berlin, art and antiques vienna fair, Kunstmesse Fulda Galerie Liebau, IC contemporary Istanbul art project Galerie Kunst und Handel Graz vienna, Wikam Art&Antiques fair vienna sculpture garden Galerie Kunst und Handel, Art&Antique vienna Hofburg Kunsthandel Freller
  • 2014 Wiener internationale Kunst & Antiquitätenmesse Kunsthandel Freller, Art&Antique Residenz Salzburg Kunsthandel Freller, Skulpturensommer Galerie Liebau, WIKAM im Schloss Laxenburg Galerie Szaal, Highlights Art Basel public art, Kunst in der Fabrik II im GIZ Rosegg Galerie Kunst und Handel, public art Brussels and Amsterdam, ART Bodensee galerieGalerie, Art Stays Festival Ptuj Slovenia, Art Salzburg Kunsthandel Freller, Woodlands Waterway Arts Bench Competition, Texas USA, Festival of Lights Berlin, WIKAM Galerie Kunst und Handel, Art&Antique Hofburg Vienna Kunsthandel Freller
  • 2015 56th Venice Biennale Of Art, Collateral Event – Personal Structures, Time Space Existence, Palazzo Mora, TRIO Biennial Three-dimensional Rio de Janeiro Biennial, ArtPrize Grand Rapids, Michigan USA
  • 2016 4th Dubai art award, ArtPrize ArtPrize Grand Rapids Michigan USA, Susan Mains gallery Grenada, Galerie am Museum in Frauenau, Festival of Lights Berlin, Artigo Rio de Janeiro artfair, Light festival Kolding Denmark
  • 2017 Breitling show BaselWorld, Spotlightfestival Bucharest, ArtPrize ArtPrize Grand Rapids Michigan USA, Museum Modern Art Hünfeld, guerilla art documenta Kassel, Swell Sculpture Festival AUS, Festival of Lights Berlin


  • 2006: in the online database of MAK Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna) Design-Info-Pool-Online
  • 2006: Manfred Kielnhofer. Exhibition Catalogue Artpark digitalprint Linz, Gallery ARTpark Lenaupark City Linz.
  • 2007: Time guardians Exhibition Catalog digitalprint Linz, Gallery ARTpark Lenaupark City Linz.
  • 2008: Masters Contemporary Arts, Collectible Global Art Book ISBN 978-91-89685-18-5
  • 2008: Trends Contemporary Arts, Collectible Global Art Book ISBN 978-91-89685-17-8
  • 2009: Cass Sculpture Fondation (UK) Manfred Kielnhofer's Timeguards, the Foundation's newest arrivals
  • 2011: NordArt, Kunstwerk Carlshütte ISBN 978-3-9813751-2-1
  • 2011: Festival of Lights, Berlin Impressionen
  • 2011: 500 x Art in Public, Chris van Uffelen, Braun publishing ISBN 978-3-200-02461-8
  • 2012: Kunstforum Bd. 217 dOCUMENTA (13), Ein Rundgang, page 80,81
  • 2012: ST/A/R Printmedium Wien – Berlin, page 58
  • 2012: Berliner Morgenpost cover page, Festival of Lights
  • 2013: ice contemporary istanbul art fair magazine page 41-45


  1. ^ 500 x Art in Public, Chris van Uffelen, Braun publishing ISBN 978-3-200-02461-8
  2. ^ Art curator Prof. Dr. Raminta Jurenaite about ART Vilnius ‘09 (recalled at 8 July)
  3. ^ Press release Art Vilnius 09(recalled at 8 July 2009)


External links[edit]