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Krzysztof Michalski

So, the votes are in and Austria is aglow in the reflected glory of its two favourite sons, director Michael Hanecke and actor Christoph Waltz, as Oscars in hand, they took their bows at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. At the same time, a much quieter, but none the less resonant tribute, is […]

Beyond Kebab – Vienna’s Turkish Destinations

Beyond Kebab – Vienna’s Turkish Destinations

I needed a vacation – and now! Not in six weeks when I took my spring holiday. So in search of some spice to ward off Vienna’s chill, I plunged into the city’s Turkish and Arab offerings. Though I’ve travelled to large swathes of the Arab world, I wanted to experience it in an Austrian […]

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 […]

Pippi Longstocking in Pastel

Browsing the shop-windows of “Amateur la Boutique“ on Gumpendorferstraße will put a blissfully goofy grin on your face! Their droll monster dolls and nostalgically gold-framed serigraphs of jumping rabbits and smirking ducks are predestined to recall fond childhood memories. In my case, I remember watching the spectacular adventures of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s feisty, superhuman […]

What’s Causing the Klimt Craze?

In an anniversary year like 2012 when the whole world is celebrating Gustav Klimt, one might easily get annoyed with the over-exposure. Many of his works are susceptible to commercial re-packaging, and the artist’s personality is no less prone to kitsch: Klimt worked for an affluent bourgeoisie whose women he fascinated. Klimt too was inspired by his […]

Artworking With You

Artworking With You

They create “radical” design, without ever seeming radical. Their youth may just be the necessary prerequisite for their special insight into the material world. They are quiet. There are no loud manifestos; no overexposed or self-sufficient forms. They prefer dialogue and feedback from the audience. They have never made products that “dress” the “children” of […]

Renaissance Man

Renaissance Man

New York, summer 2007. After eight years as director of the Austrian Cultural Forum, the government’s flagship for promoting Austrian contemporary art in America, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein had clearly won over the city’s cultural elite, not to mention his own staff. Observing him as a summer intern, it was easy to see why. Unusual for an […]

Terra Incognita

The Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) prides itself on introducing Vienna to unfamiliar, even unknown art, sometimes in the face of strong criticism. Past shows have included seminal exhibits of Soviet art and architecture, Indian poster art, and Cuban architecture. In May, the MAK opened perhaps its most controversial show ever: “Flowers for Kim Il […]

Art and Technology: Funded by the Sun

Art and Technology: Funded by the Sun

A soupy mist of diesel fumes hangs in the wet morning air. It’s the back-end of morning rush hour in front of the MAK, the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, and there’s still not a gap to be seen in the roaring four lanes of traffic that’s moodily accelerating and hooting its way along the […]

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