press release

Winter Palace
Himmelpfortgasse 8
1010 Vienna

For a period of three months, contemporary art will pervade the glamorous ambience of Prince Eugene of Savoy’s former residence within the framework of the exhibition Vienna for Art’s Sake! Contemporary Art Show. Having been invited by designer and creator of this exhibition, Peter Noever, 13 prominent contemporary artists will enter into a dialogue with the newly renovated rooms of the Winter Palace. The starting point of this project is the Archive Austria, Austria’s contribution to Luciano Benetton Collection’s Imago Mundi. Different from other archives of Imago Mundi, Peter Noever has expanded the Archive Austria by artists, architects, and designers who live and/or work in Vienna or have left behind a remarkable contribution, regardless of their geographic origins and nationality. Artists nominating artists: this process also lends itself to questioning the prevailing understanding of curatorial work. The Vienna exhibition is the first to be presented on such a large scale and seeks to demonstrate the relevant artistic positions behind the miniature format of 10 by 12 centimeters. The 161 works of the Archive Austria will be presented in the primary exhibition at the Sala terrena of the Winter Palace. Moreover, 13 impressive artistic interventions will respond to its Baroque rooms. The interventions have been specially planned and developed for this location; they are meant to demonstrate the significance of contemporary artistic production from a new perspective and visualise the unbroken force of thinkers and visionaries. The works by Vito + Maria Elena Acconci, Zaha Hadid, Magdalena Jetelová, Michael Kienzer, Hans Kupelwieser, the next ENTERprise, Hermann Nitsch, Eva Schlegel, Kiki Smith, Iv Toshain, Atelier Van Lieshout, Koen Vanmechelen, and Manfred Wakolbinger will be on view at the Winter Palace in Vienna’s Himmelpfortgasse from 27 February to 31 May.

After Looking Eastward (Russia), Snapshot Romania (Romania), and Iceland/Boiling Ice (Iceland), Vienna for Art’s Sake! is the fourth European collection of Imago Mundi, the "Global Archives of Art," by which Luciano Benetton has redefined art collecting. Benetton’s Imago Mundi rests on a philanthropic approach and aims to display the maximum number of artistic positions and artists in the widest and most representative contexts possible. It was important for Luciano Benetton, who appreciates Austria for its tradition in the arts, to entrust Peter Noever with the compilation of Vienna for Art’s Sake!—the Austrian contribution to the Luciano Benetton Collection. "Luciano Benetton was prepared to accept a 'unique system of relationship' without any ifs, ands, or buts," says Peter Noever about their collaboration.

Artists, architects, and designers who live and/or work in Vienna or have left behind a significant contribution were invited to participate in Vienna for Art’s Sake! and declared themselves prepared to accept the challenge of working with the small format of 10 by 12 centimeters. Artists nominating artists: this process also lends itself to questioning the prevailing understanding of curatorial work. The 161 works demonstrate multiple microcosms in their own right. Three artists who had agreed to supply works died during the preparations of Vienna for Art’s Sake!: Johann Georg Gsteu was able to complete his work. Alfons Schilling and Otto Muehl passed away before they could hand in their works. They will be honoured with a white canvas in the 400-page catalogue.

Luciano Benetton
Luciano Benetton is known as one of the most creative, high-profile art-minded entrepreneurs in the world. In 1965, he founded the Benetton Group, which he led to international success with non-conformistic ideas. During the 1990s he launched a provocative ad campaign in cooperation with the now internationally renowned photographer Oliver Toscani against war or racial discrimination, causing hot debates.

With his art project Imago Mundi he follows a visionary utopic approach, trying to connect the art world in a 10 x 12 centimeter postcard format. This idea is based on a philantropic approach, with the goal to represent a maxiumum of artists and positions in the art world in a broader context. In spite of his worldwide success, Luciano Benetton was permanently striving to nurture the local culture and architecture in the Veneto region.

Peter Noever
Designer and internationally successful exhibition creator Peter Noever was artistic director and CEO at the MAK – Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst/Gegenwartskunst in Vienna. In the years from 1988 to 1993 he was responsible for the general rennovation of the museum, inviting prominent international artists like Donald Judd, Günther Förg and Jenny Holzer. In 1994 he founded the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, including three future-oriented houses by the Austrian-american architect Rudolph M. Schindler and initiated the MAK-Schindler-Scholarship at the Mackey Apartments. There have been approximately 520 exhibitions with international susccess.