Leopold Museum: Already 50,000 visitors to the Spitzweg-Wurm exhibition

After only six weeks, more than 50,000 people have already visited the exhibition “CARL SPITZWEG—ERWIN WURM. Hilarious! Hilarious?” at the Leopold Museum.

The Directors of the Leopold Museum Hans-Peter Wipplinger and Gabriele Langer insisted last Friday, 5th May, on personally congratulating the 50,000th visitor Helen Stockfleth. Having traveled all the way from Germany to see the Spitzweg-Wurm exhibition accompanied by Dr. Hans Fischer, the art restorer was delighted with this surprise. Living in Munich, the lady is herself a collector of 19th century watercolor landscapes and travels to Vienna regularly every two to three years. She has visited the Leopold Museum several times already and has promised, “We will come back.”

The Directors presented the art enthusiast with a bouquet of spring flowers as well as an exhibition catalogue signed by the artist Erwin Wurm.

Hans-Peter Wipplinger:“The exhibition is testament to the timeless topicality of Carl Spitzweg’s works. His trenchant humor, his razor-sharp powers of observation as well as his inimitable recognition and rendition of absurd moments link Spitzweg’s oeuvre with that of Erwin Wurm.”

Some 130 years after the death of Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885), the current exhibition at the Leopold Museum represents the first presentation of the artist’s work in Austria. Featuring some 100 paintings and graphic works as well as book illustrations, the comprehensive exhibition for the first time focuses explicitly on those aspects of Spitzweg’s oeuvre that – contrary to the Biedermeier notions of tranquility and petit bourgeois idylls – were critical of his time and the society he lived in and with which he documented the schism and conflicts of the times. When exploring Spitzweg’s oeuvre, we are also confronted with the topicality of his themes which are reflected in the 21st century’s “Generation Biedermeier”and which are highlighted by means of 15 precisely placed interventions by Erwin Wurm (born in 1954), in which the latter also deploys “humor as a weapon”.

Gabriele Langer:“April 2017 was the April with the highest attendance since the museum’s opening in 2001, which is in no small part due to the present exhibition. The juxtaposition of works by Carl Spitzweg and Erwin Wurm, two extraordinary artists of the 19th century and the present, makes this current presentation particularly exciting.”

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition“CARL SPITZWEG—ERWIN WURM. Hilarious! Hilarious?” has proven equally popular. Comprising 224 pages and 150 illustrations, the book, which is available with a choice of Spitzweg or Wurm cover, has been published with Walther König publishers, was edited by Hans-Peter Wipplinger and contains essays by Stefan Kutzenberger, Franz Smola, Burghart Schmidt, Hans-Peter Wipplinger as well as a Spitzweg biography compiled by Esther Hatzigmoser. The catalogue is available at the LeopoldMuseum Shop for 29.90 Euros.

The exhibition “CARL SPITZWEG – ERWIN WURM. Hilarious! Hilarious?” will be shown up to and including Monday, 19th June at the Leopold Museum. On Thursday 11th May and Thursday 8th June (each at 6 pm), the Curator of the Collection Franz Smola will give guided tours of the Spitzweg-Wurm exhibition.


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