Modern Austrian Art

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Some of the claimants accepted a pittance as compensation, while others just gave up the fight.

Under the legislation dozens of pieces were finally returned. The most prominent case was a Gustav Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which together with four other Klimt paintings was returned to Maria Altmann, the niece of the depicted Viennese socialite, in early after a seven-year-long legal fight. The same legislation is now being used to pressure Rudolf Leopold, an year old Austrian art collector who acquired dozens of works by Klimt, Egon Schiele and other early modern Austrian painters in the and s.

Leopold was a physician with a limited budget, but due to changed tastes and the absence of the Jewish bourgeoisie that had once been the prime collectors of such pieces, he was able to amass his collection at a relatively low price. Leopold was named director for life. For decades Leopold has failed to provide provenance information on any of the pieces he acquired, and to this day he continues to fight tooth and nail against every attempt to make him return looted works to their Jewish owners or heirs.

The law has to some extent been on his side: Unlike in the United States, in Austria assets acquired in good faith can often be kept even if they later turn out to have been looted.

Austrian Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art |

The consequence has been yet another public relation disaster for Austria — and yet another one involving Leopold. Wolfgang Zinggl, an Austrian parliamentarian, claimed that 14 of the exhibited works had likely been looted during the Nazi era, or at a minimum were of questionable provenance.

The president of the organized Jewish community in Vienna, Ariel Muzicant, subsequently caused an uproar by demanding that the Leopold Museum be closed until all ownership disputes are settled. Leopold, meanwhile has rejected all charges against him, casting himself as a victim of a global conspiracy. He accuses the restitution claimants — all of whom are Jewish — of being motivated solely by greed. Unfortunately, Leopold has plenty of public support.

Unlike many of the old Austrian Holocaust survivors still waiting for compensation for their material losses, the claimants for looted art are usually not in financial need, a fact not lost on many Austrians.

Raphael Kirchner ~ Austrian artist

Museumsplatz 1, Wien. The golden sphere that sits at the entrance makes this Art Nouveau masterpiece recognisable from afar. The Secession was originally a forum comprised of visual artists and architects, including Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner — who were opposed to conservatism within the art world. It is perhaps most famous for being the venue where Klimt created his Beethoven Frieze for an exhibition in , where it was viewed by more than 60, visitors.

The exhibition hall was designed by Joeseph Maria Olbrich and built in It could be argued that the gallery in the Belvedere Museum houses the most important collection in the whole of Austria. There are many other works that make the Belvedere worthy of a trip — various exhibitions featuring art from around the world take place around the year.

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Opened in , this modern art gallery in Linz has garnered a reputation for being one of the most well-respected cultural institutions in Austria. Included among the works are masterpieces by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Andy Warhol — with many pieces from the collection of prolific dealer Wolfgang Gurlitt. Ernst-Koref-Promenade 1, Linz. Exhibitions take place quarterly, with a panel of judges carefully selecting which artists get to spotlight their pieces.

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Works that feature at the gallery are of a variety of mediums, including everything from sculpture to photography and video art. They are a non-profit and non-commercial institution, purely interested in promoting and supporting emerging talent. Residenzplatz 10, 2. OG, Salzburg.

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This exciting and innovative gallery houses an impressive permanent collection, with works by Jackson Pollock, Antony Gormley, Henri Matisse and Peter Halley. Alongside these masterpieces, a wave of temporary exhibitions take place throughout the seasons, showing strong collections of paintings, graphics and sculptures by Austrian and international artists.

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Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac specialises in showcasing work by international contemporary artists , running several large-scale events and exhibitions throughout the year. The building was originally the Villa Kast, a 19th-century townhouse in the historical Mirabell Palace gardens.

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The gallery has two sister spaces in Paris, with a third soon to be opened in London. Mirabellplatz 2, Salzburg. The Albertina has been a treasure trove of the finest art collections since This noble Neo-classical Viennese palace was taken over from the Habsburg dynasty in by the Austrian Republic, giving it the name of Albertina Graphic Art Collection. The collection is extensive, featuring works by Monet, Degas and Picasso.

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