Going wild at the Leopold Museum

Wow!  The Heidi Horten Collection exhibition at the Leopold Museum is aptly named.  It really is superb.   Last week  @igersaustria.at organized a special photo tour of the exhibit.  What an impressive private collection!   One really has to be grateful to Heidi Goëss-Horten for making such masterpieces available for public viewing for the first time.

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Not Peter Rabbit! Claude Lalanne´s hare (Grand Lapin de Victoire, 2001) greets visitors at the entrance to the Wow! The Heidi Horten Collection exhibit.

On view are well known masterpieces by many famous artists, among them Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marc Chagall, Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, etc. etc.  All in all you can see 170 works by 75 artists.

It is really something when all of a sudden you find yourself standing in front of a work of art you have only seen in books or prints before!  I  was so excited to learn that some of my favorite paintings are part of this collection.

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Franz Marc, Two Horses (1913). I had a big book of art when I was a child, and this painting was in it and was one of my absolute favourites. No wonder, cause it´s horses…
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More horses! Mimmo Paladino´s bronze horse from 1993 (at least I think it´s a horse) appears to be looking over at Roy Lichtenstein´s horses in his Forest Scene (1980).


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Lalanne´s oversized bronze Singe Avisé (2005/08) is truly an audience magnet. Gorgeous gorilla!


What I am showing you here is only a small portion, and a very personal selection.  You may have noticed by now that I decided to go with a nature/animal theme.   Just because…    To me there is a close connection between beauty in nature and art, and I am evidently not alone in appreciating this.

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Marc Chagall´s Green Donkey (1936) flying above a rural landscape is one of several green donkeys he painted.


Representations of nature in art are ubiquitous, artists have been painting wildlife and nature since the stone age (think of the wonderful Chauvet Cave paintings of animals, which are quite extraordinary).   There is even an entire museum dedicated to nature in art in Gloucester, Great Britain.


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Unnatural: René Magritte – L´Empire des Lumières (n.d.) – one of several paintings of the man in a bowler hat, here looking at a lit-up house against dark trees and a blue sky. Quite surreal, as intended.


Some of you may not think of everything I have selected here as nature.  It is always a matter of definition – and I have chosen to take a broad view on it.   I don´t want to get into definitions of nature here.  Philosophers have written entire books on this topic.  Suffice it to say, it means many different things to different people.  In art, representations range from the realistic to the distorted to the abstract.  Regardless of your preference, maybe for you, too, representations of nature in art  can inspire awe or other strong emotions.

And for those who prefer human nature in pictures, there’s plenty of that in this collection too.

The exhibition is on until 29 July 2018.  Free entry every Thursday night from 6 to 9 pm! – made possible by Heidi Goëss-Horten.  THANK YOU!

There are so many things to see at the Leopold Museum…





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