Smaller Contemporary Art Galleries In Vienna Worth A Visit

art galleries in vienna

An art lover could spend days in Vienna going to the different museums and art galleries without visiting the same place twice. This city is dotted with the most magnificent buildings displaying architecture of the finest and most creative quality. Many of these buildings also house collections of items which range from specimens of high art to exotic remnants of ancient history.

However, such is the artistic fervor of Vienna that even if you ignore the major art institutions of the city, there are plenty of art galleries that would make a connoisseur of art go tipsy. Many of these art galleries are small, even tiny compared to the grand museums which are aplenty in Vienna. But their value is far more than their physical size. Let’s look at some of the best lesser known and less celebrated art galleries in Vienna.

Urban Space Gallery

The idea behind this gallery was to bridge the gap that existed between the artistic establishment of Vienna and the vibrant under culture of art in the city. This place is a dedicated platform for young artists who are exploring new themes of not just contemporary art but also urban art.

urban space gallery

Bäckerstrasse4

This is another great place for young artists to showcase their talents and their innovative works. This place holds four exhibitions every year showcasing works of upcoming Austrian artists along with those from students of arts institutions in other parts of the world.

The decision as to whose work would be displayed is taken by a jury. The exhibits are not limited to just paintings but also includes installation art, sculpture and even video art. 

Gerald Hartinger Fine Arts Gallery

At this contemporary art gallery in the First District of Vienna, the American pop art movement is given a platform. You’ll see works from legendary artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. 

Gerald Hartinger Fine Arts Gallery

Rabbit Eye Movement

Lovers of urban art shouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to visit Rabbit Eye Movement gallery. They will find all types of urban are here – street art, pop art, urban illustration, etc. This gallery contains works by artists of Austria as well as around the world. 

Nychos, the most famous street artist of Vienna, displays his work here. This gallery has become the meeting point for the most active artists practicing urban art in the city. It is fast becoming an important institution in itself.

Rabbit Eye Movement

Improper Walls

This is the hub for indie art in Vienna. This is where the leading exponents of urban art from Austria and other parts of the world have their works shown to a diverse crowd consisting of both art lovers and newbies. 

improper walls

Arcc.art Open Space

This place is exploring the boundaries of art experience by acting as both an art gallery and an online art platform. They have kept things simple in this place but have joined forces with Artivive, an app providing augmented reality experience for art lovers. Through this app, people can take a tour of the place in virtual reality. This promotes the work of those young artists who display their works here.

Arcc.art Open Space

Curated By: The Gallery Festival Featuring International Curators

gallery festival

Vienna is a city throbbing with art and artists. It has been a melting pot of influences for art and architecture for decades and has given the world eminent names like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner, etc. Today, Vienna continues to be one of the major centers of modern and contemporary art attracting artists of various types from around the world.

What makes the city unique is the very dense ecosphere of creative arts that it has fostered over the years. This results from a large number of museums and art galleries, plus many great universities where the faculty of creative arts is robust and encouraging for upcoming talents. The various institutions that have been set up to serve this field further bolster a fecund environment for talented painters, sculptors, architects and artists of other shades.

The city is very keen to not only preserve this art heritage but also celebrate and keep the fever of creativity going in the city. This is why the city’s calendar every year is filled with events that celebrate art. One of the prominent annual fixtures is the gallery festival called Curated By

This is a very unique kind of event where the center of attention are not the artists but renowned curators who curate different galleries and exhibitions in the city.

curated by
One of the prominent annual fixtures is the gallery festival called Curated By.

History Of Curated By

This unique event started in 2009 and has till now seen over 160 international curators put on great shows which have explored various facets of art. Over the years, these exhibitions have taken a good hard look at questions related to identity, artistic language and expectations from future.

Many of the city’s premier art institutions are a part of the team that organises these events and the most prominent galleries are decked up with the exhibitions that edify the minds of connoisseurs and stimulate the brains of artists. 

Curated By In 2018

The theme chosen for Curated By in 2018 was “Viennaline” which essentially means the celebration of the city and its culture. However, different people comprehend this rather mysterious word in different ways. 

One of the most prominent themes explored this year has been the feeling of alienation experienced by some people in this metropolis. This has resulted in a focus on the foreigners who came to the city and had unique experiences here. This includes people like Crone, Sophie Tappeiner and Nathalie Halgand. 

There is also a great deal of attention paid to those people who were not foreigners but ended up feeling like one due to their loneliness and alienation. This unique group consists of people like Croy Nielsen, Gabriele Senn Galerie and Martin Janda. 

Curator Lorenzo Giusti was responsible for arranging an exhibition at Galerie Huber Winter where two prominent artists – Simone Fattal and Francesco Gennari – were celebrated. The focus was on the impact the personal memories of these two artists had on their art.

curated by
Curator Lorenzo Giusti brings two divergent artists - Simone Fattal and Francesco Gennari

For instance, Simone Fattal’s work clearly shows the oriental influence on her work which derived from her great-grandfather being in West Asia as an administrator of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and her grandfather being consul of Austria in Syria.  

On the other hand, Gennari’s great work – Mausoleum for a Worm – was the result of his two visits to the Capuchin Crypt in Vienna which houses the graves of the Austrian Habsburgs. This piece is basically a cuboid made from layers of wood. 

At Galerie Martin Janda, Max Andrews and Mariana Canepa Luna’s curated an exhibition which drew its inspiration from Karl Krauss and the difference that he saw between two types of vulgarity which get combined in Viennese style. One being German instrumentalism and the other Romance ornamentalism. So, you have here, photographs of Sean Lynch are juxtaposed with the black-and-white photographs of the Shelter Series by Batia Suter. 

For those who have interest in literature, there was a great show curated by Saim Demircan that was held at Croy Nielsen and was based upon two chapters of a novel by WG Sebald called Vertigo. One of those chapters is inspired by Franz Kafka’s journey to the shore of Lake Garda. Focus was also placed on several other great authors and the links between their works and the city of Vienna.