MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna

Hans Hollein, Medialinien, München, 1972. Photograph. © Armin Linke, 2014.

June 26, 2014

25 June–5 October 2014

MAK – Austrian Museum
of Applied Arts /
Contemporary Art

Stubenring 5
1010 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday 10am–10pm
(free admission 6–10pm), 
Wednesday–Sunday 10am–6pm


“Form does not follow function. Form does not just occur. It is a key decision made by mankind,” wrote Hans Hollein (1934–2014) in his 1963 essay “Architektur.” His oft-cited manifesto “Alles ist Architektur” (Everything is Architecture) from 1967 defined the consequential attitude that has characterized his multi-discipline work for five decades. Star architect, the only Austrian to have won the Pritzker Prize to date, designer, artist, curator, exhibition organizer, theorist, teacher, author, media visionary, cultural anthropologist: Hollein has given a new essence to architecture and lent a new dimension to the attribute “universal artist.”

The extensive exhibition HOLLEIN, presented at the MAK in cooperation with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, delves deeper into his rich universe and presents his entire oeuvre from a new perspective, revealing a variety of material from Hollein’s archive that has never before been on public display. A new range of photographic works by contemporary artists Aglaia Konrad and Armin Linke—created especially for this exhibition—offers a new approach to his work. Prime examples of Hollein’s museums, such as the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach (Germany, 1982), the Museum of Modern Art (MMK) in Frankfurt/Main (Germany, 1991), the Tehran Museum of Glass and Ceramics (Iran, 1978), and Vulcania, a vulcanology museum in Saint-Ours-les-Roches (France, 2002), are on display, as are Media Lines, the orientation and communications system he designed for the Olympic Games in Munich (1972), as well as well-known Hollein projects in Vienna’s inner city, among them the former candle shop Retti (today the site of the jeweler Y. GADNER, 1965) or the former jewelry store Schullin am Graben (1974). Displayed in various formats and sequences, the photographs of the two artists are complementary, and together create a conceptual spatial collage.

With Hollein’s notion of a total environment, which transforms the earth into a chamber of art and a three-dimensional expression of human behavior, the way he has enriched architecture with emotions and sensuality, and his understanding of architecture as a communication medium, he has continued to pursue a progressive approach that defines architecture as a crucial component of social processes.

Conceived by Wilfried Kuehn, Guest Curator, and Marlies Wirth, MAK Curator, this solo exhibition approaches Hollein neither retrospectively nor chronologically, but instead with the aid of subject areas. The exhibition contextualizes his complex work—exhibitions, museum buildings and designs, media objects, display architecture, city models, and utopian environments on the basis of working models, original drawings, objects and relicts from exhibitions, sketches, notes, scratch paper, photographs, films, etc.—by means of an exhibition layout that functions like a journey through analogies of sense and form.

Hollein’s visionary architectural concept of the “cloverleaf principle” (Kleeblattprinzip), which he developed for the first museum building he designed, the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, has been taken up as an archetype in exhibition architecture. Thanks to its diagonal arrangement of square rooms, this outstanding room layout facilitates both entirely new lines of sight and interconnections in content between the individual rooms and the works presented in them. The typical symmetry of the MAK Exhibition Hall is disrupted, instead conveying an exhibition experience that renders Hollein’s design principles palpable.

The exhibition at the MAK will be accompanied by a publication, produced in cooperation with the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, focusing on the new photographic works by Aglaia Konrad and Armin Linke.

Cooperation Partner: 
University of Applied Arts Vienna

Key Sponsors: 
BAI Bauträger Austria Immobilien GmbH 
WED Wiener Entwicklungsgesellschaft für den Donauraum AG

Vienna City Administration, Municipal Department 7 – Cultural Affairs 


HOLLEIN at MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art 
MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
June 26, 2014

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