Thatcher, Reagan and Gorbachev. Prince and Pac-Man. ET and MTV. Big shoulders and bigger hair. And heaps of art: an exhibition at the Albertina Modern shines a light on the styles, stories and visual excesses of the decade that shall ever be known as the 1980s.
- Features works by a host of prestigious artists
- Koons, Haring, Basquiat, Levine, Salle, Sherman and many more
- From Oct 10, 2021 to Feb 2022
- See also: Albertina Modern tickets & visitor info
(David Salle; Room with blue statue, 1986; Öl, Acryl und lichtempfindliches Leinen auf Leinwand; The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna – The ESSL Collection © Bildrecht, Wien, 2021)
Not going to lie: 80s art largely passed me by, as I spent most of the decade revising for exams or destroying my liver (often both at the same time). Back in the UK, we thought society was tearing itself apart. How 2021 laughs at that idea. Though we had no social media at the time, so how could we tell?
Everything seemed to go faster. Economies and countries liberated. We were the video generation (possibly). Computers promised the world (if not quite the World Wide Web). And art saw a dynamism and diversity that the Albertina Modern encapsulates in its exhibition, The 80s. Anything Goes.
This is not for those who like their art delivered in sombre oils with a cigar, a side order of angst, and echoes of failing royal dynasties.
We have images, for example, that swamp you with vigour and colour and the new (for its time). Names that resonate through the decades, and many that enjoy the distinction of fame and influence conferred by recognition through a surname alone…like Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Works by these and many more giants of then and now make up an eclectic mix of styles, materials and media. They take you back to a time of exuberance, experimentation, and revolution that saw paradigms flee and walls fall in art and politics. That’s the premise, anyway. I’ll report on personal highlights if and when I get the chance to visit.
Tickets and dates
Take a turn around a decade of artistic exploration from October 10th, 2021 to February 2022.
For much of that time, you can also see the Schiele and his Legacy exhibition in the same institution. Time it right, and you can also appreciate the David Hockney exhibition at the Bank Austria Kunst Forum Wien (slated to begin on February 10th, 2022).
A standard entrance ticket for the Albertina Modern gets you into the exhibition.
How to get to The 80s
In the absence of a handy DeLorean, your alternative is to follow the travel tips at the bottom of this page. The museum sits opposite Karlsplatz station with, for example, three subway lines and more trams than you can throw a Duran Duran album at.
Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna