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MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART

The collection for modern and contemporary art of the Landesgalerie Linz documents Upper Austrian art development from the 20th century to the present, but also contains important examples of international art.

It is focused on the fields of painting, sculpture, installation and graphic arts. During its recent development, the collection enjoyed a particular national and international acclaim through its intensified concentration on artistic photography.

The modern and contemporary art collection was established as its own field under the leadership of Director Gunter Dimt and Landesgalerie Director Peter Assmann in 1992/1993 and assigned to the Landesgalerie Linz. In contrast to the art history collection it encompasses artworks from when it was established in the early 20th century to the present.

Since 2002, federal funding that supports museum purchases in Austrian galleries has contributed to the additional purchase of artistic items from and/or with a biographical reference to Austria.

Of special importance is the acquisition of private collections, the profile of which enhance the Landesgalerie Linz’s portfolio. For example the acquisition of the Günter Rombold collection with its large number of high-quality international graphics as well as the Gertrude and Rudolf Ecker collection in the field of Upper Austrian art of the 1950s and 60s.

An extensive portfolio of pages was recently acquired from Gernot Heiss, a longstanding companion and supporter of artist Othmar Zechyr, one of the most important Upper Austrian draughtsmen of the second half of the 20th century.

The collection’s inventory currently includes over 1,700 paintings, photographic works, sculptures and installations. The collection’s portfolio also includes approx. 15,000 graphic works and photographs, which are administered in the graphic arts collection.

The collection’s historic holdings are particularly characterised by a focus on works by artists with a relationship to Upper Austria. Hence works by Demeter Koko, Matthias May, Herbert Ploberger, Aloys Wach and others from the early 20th century to the interwar era are among the collection’s holdings. The founding members of the Linz artist association MAERZ created during this phase in 1913 are also represented in the collection, including Klemens Brosch, Anton Lutz and Franz Sedlacek.

Noteworthy are works by Margret Bilger and Hans Joachim Breustedt from the immediate post-war period. The wealth of Upper Austrian artists representative of the following decade include Fritz Aigner, Vilma Eckl and Fritz Fröhlich.

The collection’s neo-expressionist paintings of the 1980s include works by Siegfried Anzinger, Gunter Damisch and Herbert Scheibl. In addition, there are works in the collection by important teaching staff of the Linz Kunstausbildungsstätte [educational institution for the arts], which evolved from the Linz Kunstschule [school of the arts] into the Hochschule für künstlerische und industrielle Gestaltung [University for Creative and Industrial Design] and the current university of the arts: from Alfons Ortner to Hellmuth Gsöllpointner to Dietmar Brehm, Ursula Hübner and Andrea van der Straeten.

In addition, internationally renowned artists with a biographical relationship to Upper Austria are represented in the collection, such as VALIE EXPORT, Gerwald Rockenschaub and Peter Friedl.

In the past few years work has been increasingly done on integrating important examples of national and international art into the collection. These collection expansions generally were and are closely related to Landesgalerie Linz’s contemporary exhibition programme and also ensure that this is sustainably reflected in the collections. It has been possible in the past few years to purchase works by, among others, Josef Bauer, Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber, Inge Dick, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Seiichi Furuya, Katharina Gaenssler, Maria Hahnenkamp, Edgar Honetschläger, Johanna Kandl, Judith Huemer, Ulrike Lienbacher, Lisl Ponger, Lois Renner, Peter Schlör and Nicole Six/Paul Petritsch.

In the framework of collection presentations and exhibition projects specific key topics of the collection are regularly substantially and scientifically explored.

Important contributions on artist personalities in modern and contemporary art in a regional as well as an international context are compiled in the exhibition catalogues.

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