breathtaking Alpine vistas\u2014but beyond Austria\u2019s quaint
cobblestone streets are phenomenally designed contemporary
buildings, innovative wares and collectibles, and world-class
art collections just waiting to be discovered. It is the unique
combination o\ue001 the traditional and the modern that makes exploring Austria\u2019s cultural landscape such a \ue001ascinating experience.
Although it is best known as an old and historic European
city, Vienna has waltzed quite grace\ue001ully into the 21st century.
The 2004 enlargement o\ue001 the European Union placed Austria at
the center o\ue001 the continent\u2019s cultural scene, making Vienna one
o\ue001 the great contemporary-art centers o\ue001 the world. The city\u2019s
MuseumQuartier (www.mqw.at)\u2014one o\ue001 the ten largest cultural
complexes in the world\u2014encompasses more than 60 di\ue001\ue001erent
institutions. With its ca\ue001\u00e9s and shops, the cultural district is not
only an art space but a bustling hub o\ue001 urban li\ue001e. It is home
to the Leopold Museum (www.leopoldmuseum.org)\u2014which
houses major works by Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, and
Richard Gerstl, and the world\u2019s largest collection o\ue001 works by
Egon Schiele (including Self Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant,
image A)\u2014as well as the Museum Moderner Kunst Sti\ue001tung
Ludwig (MUMOK) and the KUNSTHALLE wien, both o\ue001 which
specialize in contemporary art.
I\ue001 you\u2019re interested in graphic arts, Vienna\u2019s Albertina
(www.albertina.at; image B) is a can\u2019t-miss. With about
50,000 drawings and watercolors as well as 900,000 works o\ue001
graphic art, the Albertina\u2019s collection is one o\ue001 the world\u2019s most
valuable. It contains many important pieces\u2014including Claude
Monet\u2019s Water Lilies\u2014as well as lesser-known but equally
is just one o\ue001 Egon Schiele\u2019s works on display at the Leopold Museum, which has 44 oil paintings and
by the artist. Starting in \ue001all 2010,
the Albertina (image B) will host a
temporary exhibition that comprises
more than 100 o\ue001 Michelangelo\u2019s
globes. The Kunsthaus Bregenz is a
temporary studio and research and
production site \ue001or such artists as
Daniel Buren, Santiago Sierra, and
Ola\ue001ur Eliasson, whose work was on
view in 2001 (image D).
In the center o\ue001 Salzburg\u2019s
old city lies the Museum
der Moderne Rupertinum,
a Baroque palace \ue000lled with
architectural \ue000rm Friedrich Ho\ue001\ue001 Zwink, the museum\u2019s second, more modern
M\u00f6nchsberg\u2014is meant to
represent the conjunction
o\ue001 the natural and urban
The two Museum der
Moderne buildings provide
more than 30,000 square
\ue001eet o\ue001 gallery space \ue001or
exhibitions o\ue001 art \ue001rom the
20th and 21st centuries.
They also house the Austrian
Gallery o\ue001 Photography, as
well as works by Gustav
der Moderne also \ue001eatures
the work o\ue001 more recent
Austrian artists, such as
Hubert Schmalix, Sieg\ue001ried
National Library (www.onb.ac.at), which is home to 200,000 books dating \ue001rom 1501 to present day. Its Baroque State Hall (image C) \ue001eatures a 100-\ue001oot-high cupola with a \ue001resco depicting an allegory on the construction o\ue001 the library.
From Vienna, travel to Graz, where, through mid-January 2010, the Kunsthaus Graz (www.kunsthausgraz.at) will host \u201cWarhol Wool Newman\u2014Painting Real,\u201d an exhibition highlighting the revolutionary spirit and infuence o\ue001 Warhol\u2019s oeuvre. In Upper Austria, the Lentos Museum o\ue001 Art (www.lentos.at) in Linz, built by Zurich architects Weber & Ho\ue001er, is known equally \ue001or its breathtaking design and its exciting exhibitions. From
Linz it is not \ue001ar to Salzburg, where a Baroque cityscape is the
backdrop \ue001or stunning exhibitions o\ue001 modern art at the Museum
der Moderne and an ever-increasing number o\ue001 art galleries.
Finish your art tour o\ue001 Austria \ue001arther west, in Bregenz.
Ola\ue001ur Eliasson\u2019s 2001 exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz
(www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at; image D) is a prime example o\ue001
the museum\u2019s concept o\ue001 creating a dialogue between the art
installations and the exhibition space, which results in a unique
rigorous concrete and glass architecture with scent, \ue001og, water,
soil, and plants. This October the museum will mount another
innovative exhibition, o\ue001 the work o\ue001 Tony Oursler, one o\ue001 the
best-known American video artists, in his \ue000rst large-scale solo
show in Austria.
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