Kunsthalle Wien

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Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier

Kunsthalle Wien is the exhibition hall for contemporary art in Vienna. At its two locations in the MuseumsQuartier and at Karlsplatz, it shows themed group exhibitions, and solo presentations of established and upcoming artists to provide insight into the Austrian and international art scene.

History and architecture[edit]

Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz

Since it opened in 1992 – originally shaped like a container – Kunsthalle Wien, as an urban institution, presents national and international contemporary art. In this respect, it is both a location for established art and negotiation site for current societal issues as well as future developments.

In the beginning, Kunsthalle Wien was a makeshift structure. Conceptualized as a temporary edifice in the shape of a container by Adolf Krischanitz. The initially rather controversial yellow container structure eventually changed the local art and exhibition scene.

In May 2001, Kunsthalle Wien moved into its new headquarters, designed by the architect duo Ortner & Ortner, at the Museumsquartier. For this headquarters the Winterreithalle (winter riding arena) of the Hofstallungen (Imperial Mews) was extended by a functional annex which combines the historic building with contemporary architecture. Two halls with different interior profiles provide space for exhibitions of contemporary art. The entrance area was remodeled and the building extensively renovated in 2013, rendering the original spatial concept visible again. In 2001, the yellow container at Karlsplatz was replaced by a glass pavilion.


  • Since 2012: Nicolaus Schafhausen
  • 1996-2012: Gerald Matt
  • 1992-1995: Toni Stoos

Art education and dramaturgy[edit]

Kunsthalle Wien offers a range of programs to acquaint various target groups with the subjects and queries of contemporary art and stimulate audiences to explore the potential of fine arts. In cooperation with cultural institutions, schools, teachers, artists, and curators, the Kunsthalle Wien art education department has been developing a variety of projects and activities – among them special seminars, workshops and the "Denkfabrik" (Think Tank). The Kunsthalle Wien dramaturgy department is a novelty in a contemporary art institution. It connects the various levels of Kunsthalle Wien, with its diverse exhibition formats and audiences, on a curatorial and educational level and thus helps to shape Kunsthalle Wien’s long-term concepts.

Corporate design[edit]

Kunsthalle Wien Karsplatz

The corporate design of Kunsthalle Wien has been developed by the Belgian graphic designer and artist Boy Vereecken. Vereecken's approach links two different design elements associated with the city: the grid of the Wiener Werkstätte and the eagle from the federal capital's coat of arms. The logo of Kunsthalle Wien combines a graphically contentual derivation with an ironically playful execution to take account of an institution that always questions itself, experiments, and changes. 2014 Kunsthalle Wien won the German Design Award in the category "Communication Tool" with its new visual appearance, centring around an eagle that is constantly presented in different ways.


Kunsthalle Wien organizes several thematic group exhibitions, solo shows, festivals, conferences, and displays art in the public space each year at both venues. Among them:

  • Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality (May – August 2015)
  • Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology (June – October 2015)
  • Ken Lum. Coming Soon (Art in public space, March - October 2015)
  • Destination Vienna (April – May 2015)
  • Curatorial Ethics (Conference, April 2015)
  • Pierre Bismuth. The Curator, the Lawyer and the Psychoanalyst (February – March 2015)
  • The Future of Memory. An Exhibition on the Infinity of the Present Time (February – March 2015)
  • Tony Conrad. Two Degrees of Separation (December 2012 – March 2015)
  • Kidnappers Foil (November 2014 – January 2015)
  • Leander Schönweger. The Fog Disperses. Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2014 (October – November 2015)
  • Blue Times (October 2014 – January 2015)
  • New Ways of Doing Nothing (June – October 2014)
  • Pierre Bismuth. The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side – New Vindobona (Art in public space, February – September 2014)
  • The Brancusi Effect (June – September 2014)
"I'm Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool", 2014
  • I'm Isa Genzken, The Only Female Fool (May – September 2014)
  • Attention Economy (May – June 2014)
  • Silke Otto-Knapp/Carl Fredrik Hill. Questions of Travel (Vienna) (March – May 2014)
  • Das Wunder des Lebens. Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys (February – May 2014)
  • Salon der Angst (September 2013 – January 2014)
  • WWTBD - What Would Thomas Bernhard Do (Festival, May 2013)
  • Daniel Knorr. Explosion (Art in public space, March 2012 – May 2013)
  • The Art of William S. Burroughs: Cut-ups, Cut-ins, Cut-outs (6 – 10 2012)
  • Urs Fischer (February – May 2012)
  • Power Up. Female Pop Art (November 2010 – March 2011)
  • Street and Studio (June – October 2010)
  • Keith Haring 1978 – 1982 (May – September 2010)
  • 1989. End of History or Beginning of the Future? (October 2009 – February 2010)
  • Thomas Ruff (May – September 2009)
  • The Porn Identity (February – June 2009)
  • Western Motel. Edward Hopper and Contemporary Art (October 2008 – February 2009)
  • Derek Jarman. Brutal Beauty (June – October 2008)
  • Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint (March – June 2008)
  • Nathalie Djurberg (January – March 2007)
  • Raymond Pettibon (October 2006 – February 2007)
  • Summer of Love (May – September 2006)
  • Steven Cohen (February – March 2006)
  • Louise Bourgeois (November 2005 – February 2006)
  • Marcel Broodthaers (July – October 2003)
  • Anri Sala (March – June 2003)
  • Ugo Rondinone (June – September 2003)
  • Yayoi Kusama (February – April 2002)
  • Tele(Visions) (October 2001 – June 2002)
  • Steve McQueen (May – August 2008)
  • Shirin Neshat (March – June 2000)
  • The Circus as a Parallel Universe (May – September 2012)
  • Le Surrealisme, c'est moi - Homage an Salvador Dalí
  • Space. About A Dream (April – August 2011)
  • Andy Warhol. A Factory (February – May 1999)
  • Nan Goldin – I’ll Be Your Mirror (January – March 1998)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°12′12″N 16°21′33″E / 48.20333°N 16.35917°E / 48.20333; 16.35917