Public Matters: Contemporary Art in the Belvedere Garden

13 May 2023 - 1 October 2023

The Belvedere, Vienna, AT

Art – a public matter? Ever since their opening to the general public in the 1780s, the Belvedere Gardens have been used extensively as places for recreation and communality. The occasion of the 300th anniversary of the completion of the Upper Belvedere is a good opportunity to emphasize that they are clearly also places of art.

From May through September, an extensive contemporary sculpture project complements the Baroque sculpture program at the Belvedere’s three locations. Site-specific as well as existing works by international and local artists will connect all of the museum’s gardens along a path – from the main courtyard of the Lower Belvedere and its Privy Garden to the grand Baroque gardens of the Upper Belvedere and the modernist sculpture garden of the Belvedere 21 – highlighting how the gardens organically grew into an ensemble.

Public Matters follows an expanded concept of sculpture that includes time- and process-oriented approaches. As a critical homage, the show addresses the representation of power in the past and present as well as its transformation over time. In particular, the focus is on aspects of the public and the public sphere that emerge with and through art. The project is accompanied by a comprehensive publication featuring essays and texts on the works on display.

With works by Thomas Baumann, Renate Bertlmann, Louise Bourgeois, Verena Dengler, Carola Dertnig, VALIE EXPORT, Thomas Geiger, Roland Goeschl, Dan Graham, Thomas Houseago, Alfred Hrdlicka, Iman Issa, Anna Jermolaewa / Manfred Grübel, Kapwani Kiwanga, Marko Lulić, Goshka Macuga, Hans Op de Beeck, Ingeborg G. Pluhar, Maruša Sagadin, Toni Schmale, Kara Walker, Lois Weinberger, Franz West, Fritz Wotruba, Heimo Zobernig

Curators: Christiane Erharter, Georg Lechner, Sergey Harutoonian, Axel Köhne, Claudia Slanar, Luisa Ziaja
Assistant curators: Miroslav Halak, Andrea Kopranovic