press release

On February 20, 2007 the Austrian Cultural Forum will open FOR A SPECIAL PLACE: DOCUMENTS AND WORKS FROM THE GENERALI FOUNDATION COLLECTION. The Generali Foundation, based in Vienna (, presents a small but exclusive selection of its extensive collection at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York (ACF). Contrary to most public collections, the Generali Foundation Collection is very specific, with a focus on Conceptual art, crossovers between art, architecture, and design, and artistic practices critically analyzing (mass) media and addressing social and political issues.

Established in 1988, the Generali Foundation promotes critical dialogue between the public and contemporary works of art, pursuing a distinctive program of exhibitions and publications, often in the context of broader research projects. The Generali Foundation Collection, which has been expanding steadily for nearly 20 years, represents the core activity of the Foundation and comprises more than 2,100 works by approximately 170 artists. Installation works, film, photography, and video; in general, media that allow the production of art as a process have defined this unique collection for many years. Key works by pioneering Austrian artists of the 1960s and 1970s, such as VALIE EXPORT, Hans Hollein, Walter Pichler, Gerhard Rühm, and Peter Weibel comprise the core of this collection. These works, some of which were considered radical in their time, are juxtaposed with works by international artists, such as Dan Graham, Hans Haacke, Gordon Matta-Clark, Martha Rosler, and younger artists including Maria Eichhorn, Andrea Fraser, Klub Zwei, Dorit Margreiter, Mathias Poledna, and Florian Pumhösl. Over the past years, special attention has been paid to artists and works from former socialist countries near Austria dealing with these topics. An important group of works by artists including Sanja Ivekovic, Július Koller, Jaroslaw Kozloswki, Edward Krasinski, Ewa Partum, Marjetica Potrc, and Goran Trbuljak has thus entered the collection.

FOR A SPECIAL PLACE is obviously a reference to the extraordinary site of the Austrian Cultural Forum. It also refers to space as the element that connects the displayed documents and art works while at the same time reflecting the special context of the Generali Foundation in general. The reference to space is sometimes present in artistic procedures related to the possibilities and methodologies of art practice; some of the works offer a pointed and concrete critique of contemporary social constructs or sociopolitical situations. Within the very limited space at ACF, this exhibition is not intended as a "best of" show of the Generali Foundation Collection, but rather, the exhibition’s discursive presentation highlights links between individual works in this "corporate" collection.

Exhibition Curator: Sabine Breitwieser, Director, Generali Foundation Assistant Curator: Bettina Spörr, Generali Foundation

An exhibition catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.

only in german

Kuratoren: Sabine Breitwieser, Bettina Spörr

mit Gottfried Bechtold, Ernst Caramelle, Maria Eichhorn, VALIE EXPORT, VALIE EXPORT / Peter Weibel, Harun Farocki, Andrea Fraser, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham / Robin Hurst, Hans Haacke, Hans Hollein, Werner Kaligofsky, Klub Zwei, Jaroslaw Kozlowski , Edward Krasinski / Eustache Kossakowski, Dorit Margreiter / Mathias Poledna / Florian Pumhösl, Gordon Matta-Clark, Dora Maurer, Gustav Metzger, Ewa Partum, Walter Pichler, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Allan Sekula, Franz West, Heimo Zobernig