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.
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.
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.