Visual Arts Programme
Cultart Organisation in Austria: Clearly Culture in cooperation with the Cultural Management program at the University of Vienna
Training Period: from 20 to 24 January 2023
Case Study Institution: Kunsthalle Wien
Short bio and projects
Kunsthalle Wien is a space that comprises the broad diversity of international contemporary art and its related contemporary discourses. To this effect, Kunsthalle Wien has been developing innovative exhibition and communication formats. As an open forum, it is not a collection, but rather both a space for established art and a negotiation site for current issues and future developments. It attaches great importance to the reflection of art and culture in addition to the presentation of art and is equally concerned with its responsibility towards its visitors. Kunsthalle Wien is open and accessible to all. Its educational program offers a variety of approaches, encourages a combination of artistic practice and theoretical reflection, and promotes an in-depth discussion of current issues of everyday life.
Kunsthalle Wien is dedicated to art and its relations to social change. It produces exhibitions, researches art practices, and supports local and international artists. It grounds its knowledge of international contemporary art in and for Vienna, and advocates for the use of artistic thinking in the wider public sphere.
Founded in 1992, the Kunsthalle Wien is a large exhibition space with no permanent collection. Тhe Kunsthalle currently attracts around 70,000 visitors a year.
For Kunsthalle Wien, it is fundamental to introduce contemporary art to all those who are interested or to those who could potentially gain valuable experience from it – even if they have had little contact with art so far. We realize projects focusing on the cooperation of young people with and without migration experience and artists. The aim of these projects is to break down barriers, explore the potential of contemporary art, and stimulate a mutual creative and intellectual exchange.
Young people, artists, and art educators deal with topics that they also deal with in their everyday lives and connect these issues to artistic media and strategies. Above all young people are encouraged to express a critical approach that gives them self-confidence through their own (artistic) creativity.
In cooperation with cultural institutions, schools, teachers, artists, and curators, the education team of the Kunsthalle Wien develops a variety of projects and activities – in relation to the current exhibitions as well as events independent from them.
Location and venues
Since it opened in 1992 – originally as a makeshift structure shaped like a container, today with locations at the Museumsquartier and Karlsplatz – Kunsthalle Wien, as an urban institution, presents national and international contemporary art.
In the beginning, Kunsthalle Wien was a makeshift structure. Conceptualized as a temporary edifice in the shape of a container by Adolf Krischanitz, Kunsthalle Wien opened its doors at Karlsplatz in 1992. The initially rather controversial yellow container structure not only shaped the Viennese cityscape but also changed the local art and exhibition scene.
In May 2001, Kunsthalle Wien eventually moved into its new headquarters, designed by the architect duo Ortner & Ortner, at the Museumsquartier. For this headquarters, the Winterreithalle (winter riding arena) of the Hofstallungen (Imperial Mews) was extended by a functional annex that combines the historic building with contemporary architecture. Two halls with different interior profiles provide space for exhibitions of contemporary art.
In 2001, the yellow container at Karlsplatz was reduced to a glass pavilion. This glass cube, which was also designed by Adolf Krischanitz, is now the second location of Kunsthalle Wien and presents a wide-ranging program of exhibitions and events.
Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, Kunsthalle Wien’s directors from January 2020 seek to take the Kunsthalle Wien in an experimental new direction. They have based their programme on twenty years of collective work in Zagreb and internationally. As an all-female curatorial collective, they are well known as WHW (What, How & for Whom concept) with equal powers and responsibilities. WHW puts Vienna in all its diversity at the center of the programme, setting up exchanges with geographies, histories, and knowledge that have less visibility and recognition than activities in the main western capitals.