viennacontemporary 2016:Special Presentations & Programme

Jun 29, 2016 8:26PM

Press Information                                                                                         Vienna, 7 June 2016


22 to 25 September 2016 in the Marx Halle

Following the resounding success of the first edition of viennacontemporary in 2015 in the spectacular ambience of the Marx Halle, the largest and most important art fair in the region will once again convene more than 100 extraordinary Austrian, Eastern European, and international galleries in a showcase of emerging and established contemporary art.

Last year the audience and the participating galleries found the Marx Halle and its historical wrought iron architecture an ideal location for the presentation of contemporary art. The presence of important international collectors and the continuously growing reputation of viennacontemporary have encouraged many galleries to participate in Vienna’s art fair once again in 2016. Moreover, new young and exciting galleries from Austria, the focus regions, and the Western hemisphere have also chosen to join the fair. The participating galleries are listed in an accompanying document, organized according to special presentations and the country of origin (version from 7 June 2016).

In 2016 there is great anticipation around the special presentations. With the new format Solo Expanded viennacontemporary responds to the wish of international galleries to introduce contemporary positions of international artists more prominently at the art fair in Vienna. Northern European art makes an appearance at this year’s edition with Nordic Highlights: Select galleries from Finland, Denmark, and Sweden present the similarities and differences in the national art scenes against the backdrop of the entire northern region. An interesting aspect of European art history will be addressed this year in the special presentation Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania, which features a representative cross-section of contemporary art from the Yugoslavian successor states and Albania. Also the well-established ZONE1 promises a unique element of surprise with solo presentations by young Austrian artists.

Under the artistic direction of Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and executive management of Renger van den Heuvel, viennacontemporary stands for continuity and a high-caliber exhibition program. More and more art collectors and experts are making their way to Vienna, which has established itself – not least thanks to the success of viennacontemporary – as an international marketplace for contemporary art in both the domestic and international art scenes.

With this year’s special presentations, the highly promising accompanying events – film and video art in the framework of Cinema as well as the presentations and panel discussions at Keys to Contemporary Art and the Collectors Forum – and an educational program for all age groups, offering a straightforward and enjoyable access point to contemporary art in cooperation with Viennese art institutions, viennacontemporary takes the next step forward in its success story.

Special Presentations 2016

ZONE1: Solo presentations of young Austrian artists with an element of surprise 

ZONE1 – the format for solo presentations of young Austrian art – once again promises a program full of surprises. The artists have been selected by Severin Dünser, curator of contemporary art at the 21er Haus, Vienna, from submissions by many galleries that applied to participate in ZONE1 with their artists. The ongoing support of the Austrian Federal Chancellery facilitates the participation of young artists from Austria. See the accompanying document for participating artists and galleries.

Solo Expanded: The new presentation format features international contemporary positions

With the new format Solo Expanded viennacontemporary responds to the wish of international galleries to introduce contemporary positions of international artists more prominently at the art fair in Vienna. Solo Expanded is curated by Abaseh Mirvali. The independent curator and producer in the realm of contemporary art and architecture lives and works in Berlin and Mexico City. Participating artists and galleries will be announced soon.

Nordic Highlights: Northern European art visits viennacontemporary

viennacontemporary expands its international scope with Nordic Highlights, a special showcase this year in the Marx Halle with contemporary artistic positions by select galleries from Finland, Denmark, and Sweden, illustrating the similarities and differences in the national art scenes against the backdrop of the entire northern region. Additionally, the Finnish collector Timo Miettinen and founder of Salon Dahlmann in Berlin will speak about the Miettinen collection in Helsinki in the framework of the Collectors Forum discussion series. See the accompanying document for participating galleries.

 Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs

Following the focus countries of the past years – Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus (2012), Georgia and Poland (2013), Azerbaijan (2014), and Bulgaria (2015), this year’s special showcase explores a region in Southeastern Europe: ex-Yugoslavia and Albania. Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania is curated by the Albanian curator and writer Adela Demetja. While alternative and independent art spaces were founded in the 1970s in Western Europe and the USA in opposition to the art market, with their development playing an important role for the emergence of institutional critique, the alternative art scene in ex-Yugoslavia and Albania has emerged and developed for exactly the opposite reasons: the lack of contemporary art institutions and the absence of an art market. Therefore, the independent art spaces founded in the 1990s – initiated by a young generation of artists, curators, and art historians – played an important role in the establishment of a system of contemporary  fine art in this region and in its communication beyond the borders. In some cases these independent art spaces were and are the only places where communication and discourse about contemporary art could and can take place. In light of the momentous changes that have occurred in this region in the last years and the sustained financial crisis, culture is the field which has suffered the most. The effects can be read from the current problems of public cultural institutions: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade has been closed for renovations since 2008; the same applies to the National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade and a number of major museums in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Albania and Kosovo each have just one major art institution in which all fine art is concentrated. Hence, the independent art spaces are currently the decisive sites for contemporary art. On Sunday, 25 September 2016 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm there will be the Focus Talk with Adela Demetja and participating artists from Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania.

 Adela Demetja completed her master degree in “Curatorial Studies – Theory – History – Criticism” at the Städelschule and at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. She is co-founder and director of Tirana Art Lab – Centre for Contemporary Art and has curated numerous international exhibitions, including the thematic exhibitions “The Aesthetics of the Small Act” in the framework of Action Field Kodra 2014, the festival for visual arts in Thessaloniki, and “Voices of Truth” in 2012 in the Villa Romana in Florence. In 2015 shecurated the D-0 Ark Underground biennial in Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which took place in an atomic bunker built under Tito’s rule. Adela Demetja lives and works in Albania and Germany.

Participating artists, galleries, and art institutions will be announced.

Accompanying Events 2016 Cinema

Thanks to the kind support of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, the Cinema format developed and curated by Olaf Stüber for viennacontemporary 2015 will continue this year. All galleries participating in the 2016 edition of viennacontemporary are once again invited to submit recent films and videos by the artists they represent.

 Self-portraits are perhaps as old as art itself. Once it was a realm reserved to painters and sculptors. With postmodernism the classical definition of the self-portrait broadened, and artists no longer just paint or sculpt images of themselves, they perform and intervene in front of an audience and the camera. They stage themselves, turning their actions, their working spaces, their ideas, and often also their (medial) lives into the content. Today, in a world of social media and selfies, everyone makes a portrait of themselves everywhere and seems to expose everything about themselves. This year Cinema explores artistic self-representation in film and video. The main focus is the statement of the artist as a subject against the backdrop of a society increasingly based on self-referentiality.

 On the Preview day, 21 September 2016, Olaf Stüber will present the video and film works of Austrian students, which have been collected in the framework of an open call. Cinema Talk with Olaf Stüber will take place on Saturday, 24 September 2016 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

For more than 20 years Olaf Stüber has been active as a gallerist, freelance curator, and lecturer. His gallery has had a focus on film and video art already since 2001. Since 2012 Olaf Stüber has published the “Videoart at Midnight Edition” and been a jury member for internationally renowned video prizes and festivals.

A detailed program will be announced.

Keys to Contemporary Art

The methods and materials of contemporary artistic production continue to grow and evolve, and we are experiencing how art is creating new meanings, not only culturally but also in political, social, and economic realms. While there isn’t a master key to give us an immediate understanding of contemporary art in all of its countless facets, there are underlying concepts and ideas that can help the audience find a way through the local and international contexts that an artwork might refer to.

The theme of this year’s Keys to Contemporary Art discussion series is ”Public Image”. Curator Kate Sutton, an internationally acclaimed art critic from Nashville who currently lives and works in Zagreb, examines the topic through the lens of the public, the audience. She speaks with leading representatives of the international art scene about the criteria by which shared stories, images, and information units become “public”, and about how art institutions perceive the needs of different audience segments and fulfill their responsibility toward them.

Participants include, among others: Milica Tomić, artist and professor, Institut für Zeitgenössische Kunst, TU Graz; Dirk Snauwaert, artistic director, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; Snejana Krasteva, curator, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Bharti Lalwani, freelance art critic, Pune, India; Abaseh Mirvali, freelance curator, Berlin/Mexico City; Shubigi Rao, artist, Singapore; João Ribas, associate director and head curator, Serralves Museum, Porto; Stefan Sava, artist, Bucharest; Başak Şenova, freelance curator, Istanbul; and Johannes Wieninger, curator of the Asian Collection, MAK, Vienna.

Keys to Contemporary Art will take place on Thursday, 22 September 2016, Friday, 23 September 2016, and Sunday, 25 September 2016 at 3:00 and 5:00 pm.

Kate Sutton has spent almost a decade in Russia, where she worked, for example, as a curator for Babakov Art Projects, a platform for contemporary art from Russia and other countries. In addition to contributions and critiques for ArtReview, Bidoun, Frieze, The Hollywood Reporter, Ibraaz, and LEAP, Kate Sutton is a regular writer for A detailed program will be announced.

Collectors Forum

Just as popular are the talks with international art collectors that take place in the framework of the Collectors Forum. This year’s theme “Going Public” will be curated by Julien Robson. Before he began his career as an international curator and gallery worker, he studied art at Bath Academy of Art and the Slade School of Art in Great Britain. He moved to the USA in 2000 where he worked at first as a curator at Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky and then went to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (PAFA) in Philadelphia. Julien Robson, who lives and works in the USA and Austria, will speak with notable art collectors, such as Isabelle and Jean-Conrad Lemaître, Isabelle & Jean-Conrad Lemaître collection, Paris, Timo Miettinen, Miettinen collection and founder of Salon Dahlmann, Helsinki/Berlin, and Alain Servais, collector and blogger, Brussels, about new models of private museums and their role in the development of contemporary art.

Additional topics of discussion are the motivations of art collectors to present their collections to the general public, the visions underlying the collections, the engagement to support the development of new art works, and how to initiate a broader discussion around contemporary art in society. The Collectors Forum will take place from Thursday, 22 September to Sunday, 25 September 2016 daily at 1:00 pm.

A detailed program will be announced.

Young Collectors Talk

The Young Collectors Talk, now in its third year, will take place on Saturday, 24 September 2016 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Here the younger generation of collectors speaks about their approaches to collecting contemporary art. Discussion partners will be announced.


As an art fair viennacontemporary strives to provide straightforward and enjoyable access points to contemporary art, paying special attention to the variety and diversity of visitor groups. During the Studio Tours conducted in English and German youth and students meet curators from Austrian art institutions and gain valuable insights into the contemporary art scene. The Studio Tours will be held by: Alexandra Grausam, founder and director of das weisse haus, Vienna; Katarzyna Uszynska, director, Neuer Kunstverein Wien; Boris Ondreička, artist, curator, TBA21, Vienna; Luisa Ziaja, curator, 21er Haus, Vienna. The Studio Tours will take place from Thursday, 22 September to Sunday, 25 September 2016 and start at 4:00 pm.

A detailed program will be announced.

 The Gold Tours offer seniors the opportunity to discover the diverse contexts of the artworks presented at viennacontemporary. They will start at 2:00 pm with the following themes: “Highlights” on Thursday,

22 September and Saturday, 24 September; “Emerging Artists from Austria” on Friday, 23 September 2016; and “Contemporary Art from Eastern Europe” on Sunday, 25 September 2016. All tours start at the Meeting Point.


The Contemporary Malraum is viennacontemporary’s open painting studio, which is accessible for the complete duration of the fair during regular opening hours. The “platform for uninhibited painting” for all age groups will be supervised by Ulrich Jordis. In 2016 viennacontemporary will collaborate each day with a different Viennese art institution, which will offer its own special educational program for children and their families: 21er Haus on Thursday, 22 September 2016 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm; MINI MAK on Friday, 23 September 2016 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm; mumok Kinderclub on Saturday, 24 September 2016 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm; and Die kunterbunte Druckwerkstatt Kunsthalle Wien on Sunday, 25 September 2016 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.

Prizes for the best booth design

Vienna Chamber of Commerce continues to support the art and gallery scene in the framework of viennacontemporary. The “Gallery Prize of Vienna Chamber of Commerce 2016” is divided into two categories, each endowed with 5.000 euro: the “Austrian Gallery Prize” is awarded exclusively to an Austrian gallery for the best booth presentation at viennacontemporary 2016. The “International Gallery Prize of Vienna Chamber of Commerce 2016” is awarded for the best booth design by a gallery from one of the other countries represented at the fair, therewith continuing an initiative started in 2008 by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. A jury consisting of renowned members of the art scene will select the two winners.

Enhancing synergy effects together

In 2016 viennacontemporary will once again cooperate with the Vienna Business Agency in the framework of the project curated by_vienna. Coordinated and financed by the Vienna Business Agency with its creative center departure since 2009, the gallery festival supports collaborations between Viennese contemporary art galleries and international curators. The theoretical foundation of curated by_vienna 2016 was coined by the author, journalist, and cultural critic Diedrich Diederichsen with his eponymous essay “Meine Herkunft habe ich mir selbst ausgedacht” [My Origins? I Made Them Up]. It explores the subject of precedents and the associated homages, references, quotes, and appropriations in contemporary art. The curated by_vienna Talk will take place on Saturday, 24 September 2016 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm with Diedrich Diederichsen. Discussion partners will be announced.

Sponsors and partners of viennacontemporary 2016: 

Partner: JP Real Estate Group, Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BDO, steininger.designers, Aksenov Family Foundation, Romanian Cultural Institute, Hey-U Mediagroup, Kunsttrans, illy, Vöslauer, Vienna Tourism Board 

With kind support of: Austrian Federal Chancellery and Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs


Partner VIP Program: 21er Haus – Museum of Contemporary Art, The Paintings Gallery of the Academy  of Fine Arts Vienna, Albertina, departure – the creative center of the Vienna Business Agency, Jewish Museum Vienna, KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum GmbH / Public Art Vienna, Kunstforum Wien, Kunsthalle Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, LEOPOLD MUSEUM, MAK, mumok, Neuer Kunstverein Wien, freiraum Q21 exhibition space, SAMMLUNG VERBUND, Secession, TBA21–Augarten, Parallel Vienna, Winterpalais – Vienna’s Golden Palace


Partner hotels: Hotel Bristol Vienna, The Guesthouse Vienna, Grand Ferdinand, Hotel Daniel Vienna


Strategic media partners: Die Presse, Parnass, The Art Newspaper Russia


Official online partner: Artsy


Members of the admission committee  

Miryam Charim, Charim Galerie, Vienna

Christophe Gaillard, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris Andreas Huber, Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna  Ursula Krinzinger, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna

Nikolaus Oberhuber, KOW Berlin, Berlin 

Timothy Persons, Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin

Opening hours:

Thursday, 22 September 2016: 11:00am – 7:00pm Friday, 23 September 2016: 11:00am – 7:00pm Saturday, 24 September 2016: 11:00am – 6:00pm Sunday, 25 September 2016: 11:00am – 6:00pm

Tickets & Prices:

€ 12,50 Full price day ticket

€ 9 Reduced day ticket for seniors with a valid senior


€ 5,00 After Work ticket on Thursday and Friday from 3:00 pm Duo: 2 x € 9 (save € 7 when buying tickets for 2 persons)

€ 9 per person for groups as of 9 people

€ 5 Early Bird day ticket

Free Entrance:

Forstudents with a valid student ID from 3:00 pm For children and teenagers under 14 years of age

How to get there (public transport):

Subway: U3 (Erdberg, exit Nottendorfer Gasse) Tram: 71 (St. Marx), 18 (Viehmarktgasse or St. Marx) Bus: 74A (Viehmarktgasse or St. Marx)

Regional express: S7 (St. Marx)



For further inquiries:

Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, artistic director and spokesperson viennacontemporary [email protected]

 Renger van den Heuvel, managing director and spokesperson viennacontemporary [email protected]


Press viennacontemporary:

Christina Werner, w.hoch.2wei. Kulturelles Projektmanagement Breite Gasse 17/4, A-1070 Vienna

T: +43 1 524 96 46-22

E: [email protected]

 Press download:

Accreditations until 9 September 2016: