The HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is an innovative exhibition venue devoted to the presentation of contemporary and modern art in international contexts, while also including local and regional art production in its program. These different perspectives mean that HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is a communicative museum that does not see international art as somewhere beyond the local context. In differing formats including solo and themed group exhibitions, performances, and residencies, the curatorial team wishes to react directly to the manifold means of contemporary artistic production and to be a venue open to resonance from relevant discourse. The museum’s late modernist 1952 architecture and the surrounding park create a very special setting. This physical space is enhanced by the museum website, which is a platform reflecting and disseminating all the different themes and forms of artistic production that the museum explores.
As in previous years, the 2024 program is not restricted to one specific theme or leitmotif, but rather wishes to present the field of contemporary art in a concise and diverse manner. The common denominator is the urgency of each format presented, each with a thematic focus of its own.
With the first solo show of the work of Katherine Bradford in Europe, HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is presenting one of the most important painters of her generation. Her work is situated at the transition from figuration to abstraction, or rather where the figure and its identities begin to diversify, and this now over-eighty-year-old artist enjoys a reputation and significance in the USA that can finally be discovered in Europe. Artist Franz Kapfer is utilizing his exhibition marking the award of the Würdigungspreis für bildende Kunst des Landes Steiermark to present a complex narrative about the uses and abuses of power, including many key works that have not yet been shown in Austria, as well as completely new works. An additional intervention in the Landeszeughaus will add to the broad reception of the artist’s work. Mathias Poledna develops a new film work that refers to the architecture of the museum building, combining this with further works and historical exhibits to create a cross-genre exhibition that thematizes the ruptures and continuities within modernism. Modernism and its ruptures play a role in a very different way in the two-part group exhibition A Parallel Action: The Future of Melancholy, which is produced together with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. The title refers to Robert Musil’s almost timeless novel The Man without Qualities, and the gaze is not just directed toward a (shared?) past but also sees the allegedly negative state of melancholy as a driving force of change.
This year’s exhibition program also includes various performative formats. On the one hand the artist Lara Favaretto will perform one of her clandestine conversations under the title Thinking Head in conjunction with the exhibition Ridiculously Yours! Art, Awkwardness and Enthusiasm. In the spring Leon Höllhummer will present an immersive installation that will be both a stage and a film set. The exhibition Total Romance by Isabel Lewis and Dirk Bell will intentionally heighten and expand the format of performance as a hosted situation.
Our 2024 exhibitions are accompanied by a lively program of events and education as well as informative online formats and publications, thus making it possible to experience contemporary art as a sign of our times.
In conjunction with the Neue Galerie at the Landesmuseum Joanneum, the house was for decades the site of the legendary Three-Country Biennial Trigon, which was an essential platform for cultural exchange during the Cold War and thus established early links with numerous artists from the South-East European region, such as Marina Abramović/Ulaj, Sanja Ivecović, Mangelos, Gianni Colombo, Luciano Fabro, Luigi Ontani.
In the 1980s, when there was a direct connection between the Graz and Cologne art scenes through Martin Kippenberger and Jörg Schlick, among others, the Pavillion also hosted, for example, a groundbreaking solo exhibition by Albert Oehlen and then later, in the early 2000s, the first Austrian institutional solo exhibition by Cosima von Bonin.
In 2013, the Kunstverein Medienturm, under the artistic direction of Sandro Droschl, finally took over the building, which had previously undergone a general renovation, in order to establish it as an independent institution under the name Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien. The sophisticated and comprehensive program realized in this period can be viewed here: www.km‑k.at.
Under the same leadership but an institutional transformation and reorganization, in 2021 the team was pleased to present the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark.
Today the exhibition house is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary, socially relevant art production in an international context, whereby the carefully presented art here should also consciously stand and speak for itself. At the same time, attention to local art production has a significant influence on the artistic program. Through these different perspectives, the Kunsthalle (hall of arts) positions itself as a progressive house that cannot think the international outside of the local context and vice versa. Through various formats such as solo and thematic group exhibitions, performances, and residencies, the curatorial team aims to respond directly to the diverse means of expression of today’s artistic production and to be an open place for the resonance of currently relevant discussions.
In doing so, the wonderful architecture and surrounding parkland provide a unique setting for such a program. Facing this physical space, the new website of the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is set up as a diversely playable platform that reflects the different focal points and artistic productions and carries them to the outside. Following this step of opening up, it is a great concern of the institution to make contemporary art accessible to all members of society, so that admission to the exhibitions is free and a versatile mediation offer is available.
Come! into the open, friend!
–Friedrich Hölderlin, Der Gang aufs Land. An Landauer, 1800/01.
Director, Artistic Direction
Managing Director, Press
Curatorial Assistance, education
Victoria Pollauf, Oscar Droschl,
Building Services, Setup
General Information, Desk