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In Praise of Concrete

In Praise of Concrete

Vienna is a sacred city and rightly proud of its churches. From soaring Gothic to gilded Baroque, the place boasts myriad well-documented masterpieces. Concealed in its suburbs, however, lurk other gems that reach to the heavens in spires of concrete. A first in concrete Austria’s first concrete church was unveiled in 1913 in Ottakring. The […]

Klimt Kisses Syria

Klimt Kisses Syria

A superimposed picture of Gustav Klimt’s painting The Kiss against the walls of a war-torn building has gone viral. London’s Scaatchi Gallery posted it in early February and within five hours, the image, entitled Freedom Graffiti by Syrian artist Tammam Azzam, received more than 21,000 Facebook “likes”. It is part of his recent series Syrian […]

Rethinking Vienna 1900

Rethinking Vienna 1900

Last year, Vienna revived its modernist past with a flurry of activities around the iconic painting The Kiss to celebrate the 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt. The buzz portrayed the painter, one of the driving forces behind the Wiener Secession, as foremost among progressive artists who ushered in the period of optimism they dubbed the […]

At the Easel With Gustav Klimt

At the Easel With Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt had a big year. Nearly a dozen Viennese museums have featured some sort of 150th anniversary exhibit in honour of the artist, whose photographs remind you of Bacchus with a smock and paintbrush. It’s easy to see why Klimt’s work (especially The Kiss) is so heavily promoted: it’s accessible enough for the average […]

Anatomy of a Controversy: All The ‘Nude Men’

Anatomy of a Controversy: All The ‘Nude Men’

The recent furore over the Leopold Museum’s Nude Men exhibition posters earned some juicy headlines in the international media. “Viennese Gag on Big Streudels,” one blog proclaimed. “Penis Problem: A Vienna Museum Covers Up,” declared Deutsche Welle. “Nude Men Draw Women, Enraged Philistines to Vienna,” announced Bloomberg. BBC probed “The Shock of the (Male) Nude”, […]

Book Review: The Lady in Gold, by Anne-Marie O’Connor

Book Review: The Lady in Gold, by Anne-Marie O’Connor

Anne-Marie O’Connor recounts the engrossing history of Gustav Klimt’s most famous painting It seemed particularly ironic in 2006 that, as the 150th anniversary the gala birthday of painter Gustav Klimt approached, Vienna would lose five of his greatest paintings, including the sensual icon of femininity Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which some call Austria’s Mona […]

Diadem of the Attersee

Diadem of the Attersee

Climbing the footpath that winds up the hill from the promenade of Lake Atter – the Attersee – you enter the verdant grounds of the Villa Paulick through a carved, wooden gate. The lofty towers and spires cast deep shade, stretching down to the clear waters of the Attersee. The villa is a masterpiece of […]

Hietzing: Graceful Living Remuddled

Hietzing: Graceful Living Remuddled

One day, just as I was passing the noble portal of Plachutta’s legendary Hietzinger Bräu, an exotic figure emerged with his entourage. “Why, it’s DJ Ötzi!” exclaimed my female companion excitedly. “Wow!” I said, not having the slightest idea who DJ Ötzi might be, but not wishing to appear uncool. Evidently the occasional bunte Vogel […]

Book Review: Tim Bonyhady’s Good Living Street

Book Review: Tim Bonyhady’s Good Living Street

Vienna in Australia: Art and Memory Visiting his grandmother and great-aunt’s flat in Sydney as a child, Tim Bonyhady found the looming black furniture and wall-to-wall paintings “claustrophobic”. It was only decades later, when he began to write his family history, that he realised the massive pieces crammed into the small apartment had been designed […]

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