April 28, 2018 - Museum der Moderne Salzburg - Generali Foundation: 30 Years
April 28, 2018

Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Dan Graham, Model for Star of David Pavilion, 1989. Model. Generali Foundation Collection—on permanent loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. © Generali Foundation. Photo: Werner Kaligofsky.

Generali Foundation: 30 Years
In Dialog with 1918 1938 1968
April 28–October 7, 2018

Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Mönchsberg 32
5020 Salzburg
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday 10am–8pm

T +43 662 842220403

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On occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Generali Foundation presents the ninth exhibition of art from the collections at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, which undertakes a dialogical engagement with some of the historical turning points Austria is commemorating in 2018. The show highlights the groundbreaking work and pioneering acquisition policies that have allowed the Generali Foundation to build an unrivaled collection of eminent works by international artists. In celebration of the anniversary, admission fees will be waived on Wednesday evenings while the exhibition is on view.

Established in 1988, the Generali Foundation has compiled a singular and widely acclaimed art collection; its worldwide renown rests primarily on its pioneering work in promoting art that articulates critical perspectives on society and politics. That is why the ninth exhibition of art from the collections at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg presents a dialog across time with the watershed events of 1918, 1938, and 1968. In 2018, we remember the end of World War I and the proclamation of the Republic of Austria in November 1918; the country’s annexation by Hitler’s Germany in the “Anschluss” in 1938; and, 30 years later, the protests of ’68. Each of these three very different moments in history precipitated radical changes in society and politics that artists responded to—or, in some instances, anticipated. The museum invited the historians Albert Lichtblau and Markus Weiglein to compile statements reflecting a range of views on the events of 1918, 1938, and 1968, which the exhibition presents in dialog with selected works of art.

Sabine Breitwieser, Director of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Founding Director and currently also Artistic Director of the Generali Foundation, explains: “As many visitors will know, the Generali Foundation always placed a special emphasis on nurturing critical and socially and politically engaged art. So as we approached the question of how to celebrate this anniversary in a year in which we also commemorate momentous historical events, we necessarily grappled with the challenge of bringing history into the picture and the exhibition. Forming a text montage that runs along the walls of our galleries, the quotes the two historians were so kind to compile for us complement the selected works of art. This arrangement paints a polyphonic panorama, a scenario that, I hope, will be further enriched by the visitors’ own perspectives.” Taking stock after thirty years, Dietrich Karner, who founded the Generali Foundation and has long served as its President, is pleased to observe that “the Generali Foundation’s work fairly quickly gained considerable recognition and has produced a widely noted collection that stands as a testament to Generali Group Austria’s longstanding commitment to promoting the arts.” As Antonia Lotz, Generali Foundation Collection Curator, adds, “the interactions between the works that emerge in the exhibition illustrate that artists have long been and continue to be sharp-eyed observers and critical students of events in the history of the 20th century that have had a profound impact on society and politics in Austria and beyond.”

What makes the Generali Foundation and its collection so unique and special? One defining trait it shares with few corporate and private collections in Austria is its international orientation and its considerable size; it now comprises over 2100 works by approx. 250 artists. But what sets it apart more than anything else is the early and sustained emphasis on art and artists that had not yet garnered the recognition they deserved, in particular women artists. This aspect attests to the unwavering focus on what is truly essential in art on the part of those responsible for steering the foundation’s acquisitions policy; taking the long view, they have consistently nurtured critical oeuvres, avoiding favoritism and concentrating on works that probe questions of social and political significance. Guided by rigorous criteria set on the basis of solid art-historical scholarship and a penetrating analysis of contemporary concerns, the pioneering work done by the Generali Foundation since its establishment in 1988 has resulted in over a hundred seminal exhibitions and just as many publications. Since 2014, this work is continued at, and in partnership with, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg.

Drawing on the Generali Foundation collection as well as the museum’s other holdings, the curators Sabine Breitwieser and Antonia Lotz have selected more than sixty works by approx. thirty artists that directly or indirectly address the events of 1918, 1938, and 1968. Also on view will be works that date from the Generali Foundation’s earliest years and bring back memories of the various premises in which its exhibitions has been presented over the course of its 30-year history.

Curators: Sabine Breitwieser, Director, Museum der Moderne Salzburg; Antonia Lotz, Generali Foundation Collection Curator
Presented by Generali Foundation

Also on View:
Generali Foundation: 30 Years

April 21–July 8, 2018
Rupertinum [2] Generali Foundation Study Center

The Generali Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary. An exhibition at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg takes a look back at its history and pioneering collection-building program.

Museum der Moderne Salzburg
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