Austria’s leading contemporary art fair presents emerging talent, highlighting collaborative new work from around Central Europe

Showcasing both new and established artists from a variety of international galleries, Vienna Contemporary seeks to send a strong message of artistic collaboration and cultural coexistence to the world, with Austria and the Central European region at its epicenter. With inclusion at its core, the fair’s ambitious scope of over 100 participating galleries promises to place up-and-coming local artists amongst the likes of eminent Vienna Actionists Hermann Nitsch, Rudolf Schwarzkogler and Otto Muehl, as well as high-end stars such as Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Marina Abramovic. 

on display
© Franz West, Abendrot

Although predominantly a trade fair, the event boasts an eclectic program of discussions and presentations. This year’s emphasis will be on Eastern European art, with a focus on the growth, identity and rich history of the former Bloc’s rapidly expanding art scene. The discussion will be led by Albanian curator and writer Adela Demetja, celebrated for her innovative use of a Cold War atomic bunker for contemporary exhibitions.

On a more personal level, Julien Robson, curator of Juvenile In Justice, will discuss the “artist as subject” in the Collectors Forum. Exploring a world of habitual selfies and ever-increasing digital public exposure, he will probe the postmodernist deviation from classical mediums in favour of digital versatility along with Isabelle and Jean-Conrad Lemaître, best known for their impressive video art collection. 

Aside from the inspirational ambiance of leading talent, Vienna Contemporary also offers fair attendees an interactive open studio of “uninhibited painting” for all generations and abilities as well as a selection of bespoke educational programs for kids from MINI MAK and mumok Kinderclub.

Renowned for its impeccable spaciousness and lighting,  the 19th century former livestock hall Marx Halle provides the perfect setting for artistic director Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt’s vision of putting “Vienna firmly on the map of the international art market” in the most diverse program to date.

Sep 22–25, Marx Halle. viennacontemporary.at

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Genevieve Doyle is writing for METROPOLE on her summer off from reading English Literature at The University of Cambridge. When she isn’t attending fairs to buy and source beautiful antiques and textiles, she likes painting murals and walking her very large Irish deerhound.