October 7 - 14

Zumtobel Staff Lichtforum: Water World – Let`s go swim Do away with the seventies In a few weeks the weather will get much colder and if you feel like having a comfortable warm bath in a thermal spa, Vienna does not offer much. A journey to Budapest may be the only alternative. However, this could change soon: the thermal bath Oberlaa is currently being rebuilt, even though the sauna zone was extensively renovated in the seventies. After having won the architectural design contest for this project, the German architecture group Büro 4a Architekten has been entrusted with the Oberlaa reconstruction. They are specialized on designing spas and wellness centers and have done so in Stuttgart, Moscow, Luxemburg and Scandinavia. The exhibit of their work was taken over by the Berlin based Aedes-Galerie, which is now on display in Vienna. A balanced mix of entertainment- and recreation centers characterize the 4a Architekten design of modern thermal resorts. The Oberlaa design can definitely be counted to the most persuasive ones of the exhibit. (1010 Wien, Jasomirgottstrasse 3- 5), until 19. October 2007 www.zumtobelstaff.co.at Liechtenstein Museum: Furniture for all ocasions - Rare examples of cabinet-making from four centuries Coincidentally Unique The Liechtenstein Museum is currently showing an exhibit, in which you can admire furniture both as an object of daily use as well as a work of art: "Furniture for every situation. Rare documents of joinery dating back for four centuries". The exhibition evolved more or less coincidentally out of the preparations that Johann Kräftner, the Director of the Liechtenstein Museum, was undertaking for the extensive restoration project of the Liechtenstein City Palais (Wiener Majoratshaus), which is planned to take place in 2008. Kräftner discovered a large part of the furniture which is currently on exhibit in the attic of the museum. Even if the Director of the museum therefore humbly considers the exhibit to be "no more than a by-product of his research for the Majoratshaus", that is definitely not the case. Directors of other museums would have praised similar shows as "first-ever, unique, and wonderful." And that is absolutely correct. The objects of the Liechtenstein exhibit ARE unique, wonderful and some of them are on public display for the first time ever. The magnificent renaissance furniture "Badminton Cabinet" purchased by the museum years ago is only one of many notable objects shown. It is exhibited with other outstanding Florentine stonemason work. Visitors can also admire baroque furniture, which accompanied the Liechtenstein Family from palace to palace. Furthermore you will find furniture from André Charles Boulle`s renowned studio as well as the Wiener Werkstätte, which worked in the Boulle`s style. Every piece of art shown here is a remarkable masterpiece. (1090 Vienna, Fürstengasse 1, until 29. October 2007) www.liechtensteinmuseum.at Albertina: Monet to Picasso. The Batliner Collection Shifted Values Criticism became loud concerning the recent expansion of the Albertina collection. The take-over of entire private collections has been questioned especially after the collector Dieter Bock had withdrawn pieces which he originally had lent permanently to the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt. The Batliner and Forberg contracts with the Albertina are also limited – their collections will stay as long as Albertina Director Klaus Schröder is in office. The collections themselves are considered to be a huge asset for any museum of modern art. They include outstanding works by famous artists spanning from the time of Impressionism, Classic Modernism and the postwar era, such as pieces by Monet, Degas, Modigliani, Picasso, and Klee - just to name a few. Albertina`s stock has been refreshed by Batliner`s and Forberg`s collections. Or have their collections been refreshed by Albertina's works of art? In any case, it is a good sign to have to justify why paintings should exist in a museum specialized in graphics. But Austrian museums are in a dilemma. They are expected to make profit and are under huge pressure to attract large numbers of visitors, but at the same time they are also expected to offer specialized exhibits. The Albertina has found a solution to this problem by following a dual track policy: it offers both Blockbuster-exhibits with namedropping titles such as "Monet to Picasso", as well as historic photography exhibits, that are definitely not targeted towards the masses. So why should Schröder not offer as many permanent loan collections as possible if this enables him to keep the elite parallel-display going? Even if some day the Batliner and Forberg works will be withdrawn, this will not affect the sensitive Dürer drawings or the the delicate Rembrandt etchings. Values have shifted in the last couple of years. While the masses are mainly interested in seeing the Monets and Picassos, the art connoisseurs take delight in the former pop-media photography. (1010 Wien, Albertinaplatz 1, until 06.04.2008) www.albertina.at

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