Put around 100 art galleries into a building and what do you get? A lot of discussion, for starters. And a rather considerable amount of art. Now throw in interesting presentations, tours, and similar, and you have what is possibly Austria’s most prestigious art fair: viennacontemporary.
- Huge contemporary art fair with a strong international reach
- Galleries from 25 countries participated in 2019
- Attracts many thousands of visitors
- 2020 dates: TBA (was Sept 26-29 in 2019)
- See also: Art Vienna | ART&ANTIQUE fair
Galleries from all over
(viennacontemporary 2018 fair view, Photo: (c) Niko Havranek, Press photo courtesy of viennacontemporary)
It’s easy to stare up at all those old buildings and see Vienna as a time capsule and its art museums as preservers of the past. But that’s just not true.
Art in Vienna sticks its fingers into numerous creative pies. This includes contemporary art, of course, not least through the influence of the Museumsquartier collection of museums, venues and events.
You might consider the viennacontemporary art fair as the collective manifestation of the contemporary art scene in Vienna. It brings together numerous local galleries in a mammoth showcase of works.
And not just art galleries from Vienna.
Nor just from Austria.
This truly international event has far more galleries from abroad than from home. The bulk of the 100 or so exhibitors come from countries as far afield as South Korea and Serbia (though there is a strong focus on central and eastern Europe). Various cultural institutions usually participate, too, including the aforementioned Museumsquartier.
Those numbers gives you an inkling of the scale of viennacontemporary, which welcomes thousands of visitors each year.
As well as an opportunity to browse, buy, and arch intrigued eyebrows at the latest offerings in the contemporary art world, the accompanying programme adds another dimension to the experience.
2020 programme highlights
Soon as I have details, I’ll post them. The full 2020 programme will also appear at the official website in due course (which also does an excellent job of highlighting the various art exhibitions on in Vienna during the fair).
To give you an idea of the event, here some example highlights from 2019…
- Fiona Liewehr introduced visitors to the work of various local artists
- Belvedere’s Harald Krejci curated the Explorations showcase, which examined artistic responses to the upheaval and changes that followed WWII
- Tevž Logar curated the Focus section, which looked at contemporary art outside the artificial confines of a nation state, drawing on the Slovenian experience
- Kimberly Bradley brought together representatives from all sides of the art sector, from creators to collectors, to examine issues surrounding the future of art in the Next series of discussions
2020 dates and tickets
I don’t have 2020 dates just yet, but will post them ASAP. In 2019, viennacontemporary ran from September 26th to September 29th. The opening Thursday was the Vernissage from 4pm to 8pm. Friday opened from midday to 7pm, Saturday from 11am to 7pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
You could buy your tickets online from the event website. A standard adult day ticket cost €12.50 at the previous event, with different prices and options for kids activities, tours, the Vernissage and more.
How to get to viennacontemporary
Subway: Get on the U3 line to Erdberg or Schlachthausgasse, then take a short walk. The U3 passes through the middle of the city (for example, get on at Stephansplatz, Stubentor, Volkstheater or Herrengasse)
Tram/bus: The 18 tram or 74A bus goes out to Viehmarktgasse. Or take the 71 tram to St. Marx or the 80A bus to Neu Marx or Maria-Jacobi-Gasse. The 71 rolls around a big chunk of the Ringstrassen in the centre, so is easy to get to.
Address: Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna | Event website