Put dozens of 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
- Around 65 galleries from 16 countries participated in 2020 (expect higher numbers in normal years)
- 2021 dates: Sept 2-5
- 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 this local contemporary art scene. The event 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 gathering typically includes far more galleries from abroad than from home, commonly with a strong focus on central and eastern Europe. The bulk of the 100 or so exhibitors in 2019, for example, came from countries as far afield as South Korea and Serbia. Various cultural institutions usually participate, too, including the aforementioned MuseumsQuartier.
Anyway, the number of exhibitors gives you an inkling of the scale of viennacontemporary, which normally welcomes thousands of visitors each year.
Global travel and public health restrictions in 2020 affected the flavour and constellation of the last event. But here’s hoping things return to normal in 2021.
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. Full programme details appear at the official website.
2021 dates and tickets
In 2021, viennacontemporary runs from September 2nd to September 5th. The opening Thursday is usually the preview day.
You can normally buy your tickets online from the event website or on site. A standard adult day ticket cost €13 online at the last event, with different prices and options for tours, etc.
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 find.
Incidentally, you’re not far from some of Vienna’s older practitioners of the musical arts (sort of). People get off at the St. Marx stop to visit Mozart’s grave.
Travel a little further out on the 71 tram and your reach the Zentralfriedhof cemetery, “home” to Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and other famous composers, but also greats of the art and design world such as Hoffmann, Lassnig and Prutscher.
Address: Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna