Gustav Klimt, <i>Landschaft mit Birke</i>, um 1903, Öl auf Karton, © Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Dauerleihgabe aus Privatbesitz; Alice Creischer, Andreas Siekmann, <i>Atlas, Aktualisierung des Atlas von Arntz und Neurath 2003</i>– daraus: <i>Monopolartige Produktionen</i>, 2005/2006, © Sammlung Generali Foundation – Dauerleihgabe am Museum der Moderne Salzburg; Lothar Rübelt <i>Der Salzburger Landeshauptmann Franz Rehrl (am Steuer) und der Erbauer der Großglockner Hochalpenstraße Franz Wallach in einem Steyr 100</i>, 1934, © Fotosammlung des Bundes am Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Foto: Hubert Auer, Bildrecht, Wien; Georg Jung,<i>Frauenportrait</i>, Aquarell auf Papier, © Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Bildrecht, Wien


Salzburg in the Heart of Europe between Tradition and Renewal

Is Salzburg indeed anti-modern, as has often been claimed? The—perhaps provocative—question is the point of departure for this comprehensive exhibition, which assembles work by an international cast of artists to draw a differentiated picture of modernity. The show examines numerous events and phenomena in western Austria, gathering evidence of liberal-minded attitudes and an embrace of modern life and art and tracing how such openness was subsequently buried beneath the political propaganda of the 1930s. Surveying a wide range of thematic fields and multiple genres, it lays out the manifestations and conditions of production of modern life-worlds and the consequences of intellectual and practical opposition to modern life.

When we imagine the city as a platform for modernity and progress, we think of international metropolitan centers like New York, Berlin, Paris, and Vienna. With the inauguration of the Empress Elisabeth Railway in the nineteenth century, Salzburg was increasingly connected to the network of Europe’s major cities. The growing town attracted conventions of international scientists and scholars such as the first International Psychoanalytical Congress in 1908 and was home to private scientific laboratories like the one established by the Exner family. The Salzburg Festival is widely regarded as a crucial source of fresh impulses for the arts, both in Austria and abroad. Among the less well-known and surprising examples of cultural initiative in 1920s Salzburg are the International Society for Contemporary Music and the Elizabeth and Isadora Duncan School. The work of artists’ groups and local women activists demonstrate the growing presence of progressive thinking and democratic processes.

But the exhibition does not draw a veil over conservative and traditionalist tendencies and efforts to enlist the arts for political purposes in the 1930s. Obliteration and expulsion as well as forms of aesthetic and political exile are important themes, raising the question of how the way was paved for the return of modernity after 1945. Interspersed between the chapters showcasing historic art and materials are selected works by international artists including Alice Creischer/Andreas Siekmann, Renée Green, Hans Haacke, Oliver Ressler, Gerhard Richter, Isa Rosenberger, and Franz West that consider various thematic aspects from a contemporary angle.

Exhibition Concept and Chief Curator: Sabine Breitwieser
Curator: Beatrice von Bormann
Curatorial Assistants: Barbara Herzog, Verena Österreicher and Marijana Schneider

Sponsored by Salzburg 20!6

Tuesday - Sunday: 
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 8.00 pm
Monday: closed