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Karola Kraus' Inaugural Press Conference and Introduction of the MUMOK's 2011-2013 Program
Karola Kraus. Photo: Lukas Beck © MUMOK.
VIENNA.- In her inaugural press conference, Karola Kraus, the new director of the MUMOK, reinforces the potential of the museum’s collection as well as the possibilities arising from the building’s architecture designed by Ortner & Ortner. In her next years as the museum’s director, Kraus plans to further develop the interaction of elements represented by the museum’s collection, exhibitions, and architecture: “My main interest is the exhibition and its sensual presence. A new program is in the works that is intended to introduce specific artistic directions. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the medium can no longer be considered the decisive factor. I therefore intend to introduce a variety of styles to the artistic debate.

The museum’s outstanding collection and the architecture of Ortner & Ortner have provided the MUMOK with a great deal of prestige whose presence is felt far beyond Vienna’s city limits. It is a veritable jewel among the world’s great museums. In terms of the museum’s collection, one is amazed by the sheer concentration of radical and high-quality works of art that bear witness to the paradigm shift that they themselves once brought about. Their artists’ exceedingly difficult–and sometimes downright eccentric–positions all have at least one aspect in common: they sought to take art to the limits, to break through into new territory, and discover new forms of perception for the future. In those days these artists were but happy band of outsiders, but many of those represented in the MUMOK collection can now be considered the most established artists of our time.

With its focus on works of Pop Art and photorealism from the Austrian Ludwig Foundation for Art and Science, Fluxus and Nouveau Réalisme from the Hahn Collection, as well as examples of Viennese Actionism, the MUMOK maintains one of the most important collections of international art from the 1960s to the present. In terms of the museum’s spatial layout, I intend to conduct a reordering of the MUMOK’s collection. This implies not only an exact investigation of the museum’s holdings, but also a targeted acquisitions strategy. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the MUMOK will continue to host rotating exhibitions.

One focus will be on the art of the 1980s and 90s, yet I believe it is important to link these newer artistic tendencies to their predecessors from the 1960s and 70s. The central artistic positions contained within the collection will be presented in individual retrospectives. In order to represent the entire artistic spectrum of 1960s, I would complement such a cycle of exhibitions with the artistic movements of the 1960s and 70s which at present are not adequately represented in the collection. Here the main focus of attention will be on American Minimal Art as well as conceptual art in general. In addition to individual presentations and group exhibitions focusing on central themes, I envision hosting a sweeping general exhibition taking place at regular intervals focusing on the social development of art.”

In its endeavor to present art in the most ideal possible framework while providing visitors to the museum with an unforgettable and intense artistic experience, the MUMOK will carry out a number of measures geared towards adaptation and optimization of the building as well as the collection.



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