Vienna is full of art museums, but also private galleries. And the Art Vienna fair brings the latter together to present a selection of contemporary art to an international audience.
- International modern art fair inside the Hofburg palace
- 2020 dates: Sept 11-13
- See also: ART&ANTIQUE fair | Viennacontemporary art fair
What’s Art Vienna?
The clue is in the title. Whereby we’re not talking court portraits from the 17th century. Think Dalí, rather than Dürer.
The 2019 event was the second Art Vienna fair, the first having attracted over 15,000 visitors back in 2017. Various galleries come together to present works from across the contemporary art, modernism, and design spectrum. The featured artists include both established global names, local favourites, and upcoming talent.
The event takes place in the Hofburg, the former seat of the Habsburgs – a family and location with a rich artistic tradition of their own; the monarchs as collectors, the palace as a gallery for the contemporary art of its time.
The Hofburg now serves various functions, one of which is to combine Imperial elegance with modern facilities in the form of a congress centre.
2020 dates & tickets
The next Vienna Art fair is scheduled to take place from September 11th to September 13th, provisionally from 11am to 7pm.
A day ticket on the door costs €13 for adults, with kids and students (under 27) free. Tickets are cheaper if you buy in advance online (see website below).
News is slowly emerging of the 2020 edition, with works by the likes of Banksy, Erwin Wurm, Ai Weiwei, Maria Lassnig, Hermann Nitsch, and others anticipated.
This year’s special exhibition is F, featuring 11 Austrian-based female artists. Their photos, videos, multimedia installations, paintings and performances serve, for example, as powerful statements on social injustice.
The above may change, however, since the original event was planned for March and postponed due to national Coronavirus measures.
Until I get more details of the coming fair, here a reminder of what happened at Art Vienna 2019, where some 28 galleries exhibited such works as:
- Water Lilies with Willows by Roy Lichtenstein, the pop art genius whose Masterpiece sold for $165 million in 2017
- Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Flexible
- Works by Gottfried Helnwein, Jean Mirós, Josef Mikl and Arnulf Rainer (who got his own exhibition at Vienna’s Albertina later in the year in celebration of his 90th birthday)
According to the organisers, works by Andy Warhol, Banksy and many others sold at the fair.
The fair also included a special Hofburg under the Carpet art exhibition, where participating artists each took a specific carpet from the Hofburg as a starting point for developing unique artwork that examines issues around power structures. The theme has some resonance, given the palace was the centre of political power in the Austrian Empire for hundreds of year.
How to get to the Hofburg
As the former residence of the Emperor, it’s no surprise to find the Hofburg congress centre in the old town and within walking distance of many of Vienna’s main tourist locations (in fact, the Hofburg is a main tourist location).
Subway: The Hofburg sits at the centre of a circle formed by five subway stations, all of which are a few minutes walk away: Karlsplatz (U1, U2, U4 lines), Stephansplatz (U1, U3), Herrengasse (U3), Museumsquartier (U2), Volkstheater (U2, U3)
Tram/bus: You want the Burgring station, which stops almost outside the building. Take the tram lines that run along the Ringstrassen (1, 2, D and 71)
If you’re in the Hofburg area and interested in art and design, pop into the Weltmuseum across the square as well. This is a museum of people and cultures, featuring artifacts from across the world and through history.
And the Museumsquartier is not far away, home to three modern art museums (including the Leopold Museum, host of the first Art Vienna).
Address: Kongresszentrum Hofburg Vienna, Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna | Website