Anti-aging is heard more often in our society than the wisdom of age, it would seem. Bowing to the cult of youth, images of age are often dictated by the cosmetics industry. Countering this are the many historical and contemporary works by artists pursuing a completely different idea of age. For the first time these are being showcased in a comprehensive exhibition at the Belvedere.
These days, the aging process is seen as a deficiency in the public eye. Terms such as ‘anti-aging’ give the impression that aging is something pathological. The prevailing cult of youth endeavours to hide the traces of aging. Aside from negative stereotypes, however, age also indicates power, experience, wisdom, contemplation, lust for life, and triumph over societal conventions. Aging is not only a biological process but a cultural construction, which emerging sciences such as cultural gerontology have dedicated themselves to investigating.
In this show, curator Sabine Fellner demonstrates how artists have succeeded in differently perceiving the possibilities and limitations of age while transcending exaltation and pessimism. In the presented works, artists illustrate how age in all of its facets can be thoughtfully integrated into our lives. In addition to numerous works from the Belvedere collection, the exhibition presents high-profile loans from national and international museums.
Including works by Gustinus Ambrosi, Tina Barney, Pina Bausch, Renate Bertlmann, Herbert Boeckl, Eva Brunner-Szabo, Aleah Chapin, Heinz Cibulka, John Coplans, Lovis Corinth, Edgar Degas, Carola Dertnig, Ines Doujak, Sepp Dreissinger, Barbara Eichhorn, Titanilla Eisenhart, Michael Endlicher, James Ensor, Eric Fischl, Josef Floch, Greta Freist, Lucian Freud, Adolf Frohner, Friedl vom Gröller, George Grosz, Johannes Grützke, Ernst Haas, Barbara Klemm, Heidi Harsieber, Felix Albrecht Harta, Karl Hofer, Edgar Honetschläger, Alfred Hrdlicka, Bernadette Huber, Franz Hubmann, Regina Hügli, Ishiuchi Miyako, Konstantin Jatropulus, Birgit Jürgenssen, Alex Katz, Josef Kern, Anastasia Khoroshilova, Gustav Klimt, Herlinde Koelbl, Oskar Kokoschka, Broncia Koller-Pinell, Käthe Kollwitz, Nikolaus Korab, NINA Kovacheva, Brigitte Kowanz, Karoline Kubin, Maria Lassnig, Annie Leibovitz, Erich Lessing, Max Liebermann, Karin Mack, Karl Mediz, Elfriede Mejchar, Duane Michals, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Inge Morath, Marie Louise von Motesiczky, Ron Mueck, Shirin Neshat, Roman Opałka, Hans Op de Beeck, Martin Parr, Ewa Partum, Pablo Picasso, Margot Pilz, Arnulf Rainer, Paula Rego, Carl Anton Reichel, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Egon Schiele, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Claudia Schumann, Fritz Schwarz-Waldegg, Joan Semmel, Elfie Semotan, Fritz Simak, Kiki Smith, Annegret Soltau, Margherita Spiluttini, Elsa Spitzer, Daniel Spoerri, Evelin Stermitz, Karl Sterrer, Superflux, Fiona Tan, Juergen Teller, Joyce Tenneson, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Rosemarie Trockel, Spencer Tunick, Christine Turnauer, Nurith Wagner-Strauß, Jeff Wall, Josef Wawra, Harry Weber, Max Weiler, Todd Weinstein, Nives Widauer, Martha Wilson und Herwig Zens.