EXTRAORDINARY EXHIBITION OPENING AT THE LEOPOLD MUSEUM
“WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection” – the high-quality private collection’s first public presentation
The exhibition “WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection” is the first public presentation of one of the most impressive private collections in Europe. The exhibition at the Leopold Museum fulfils the passionate collector Heidi Goëss-Horten’s long-cherished wish to make the highlights of the masterpieces meticulously collected by her since the 1990s by artists including Gustav Klimt, Emil Nolde, Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst available to a wide audience. The collector’s commitment to supporting the arts is further reflected in her art education programs for children and adolescents as well as the weekly free admissions to the museum initiated by her.
The first public presentation of this collection of extraordinary quality, which has up until now only been privately shown, met with an unprecedented rush of visitors. For hours, long queues formed in front of the Leopold Museum before Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger and the exhibition’s curator, Agnes Husslein-Arco, welcomed an incredible 8,000 opening guests.
In his opening speech, Director Hans-Peter Wipplinger emphasized the incredibly broad art historical spectrum of this outstanding collection, which ranges from the beginning of Modernism to contemporary art. He called the exhibition “a feast for the eyes, a celebration of sensory experience and esthetic education”. Agnes Husslein-Arco paid tribute to the collector’s “great passion for the arts, her persistency and continuity, which after three decades led to this fantastic collection”. Federal minister Gernot Blümel, who officially opened the presentation, acknowledged the eminent part played by collections in his speech, especially the socially important role of preserving and researching cultural treasures like the ones comprised within this breathtaking private collection.
Among the numerous prominent guests who attended the opening and admired the approximately 170 works by 75 artists were Cary Goëss, Desirée Treichl-Stürgkh, Ingrid Flick, Friederike Wlaschek, Peter Husslein, Gerald Matt, Peter Noever, Elisabeth Gürtler, Birgit Lauda, actor Otto Retzer, singer Doretta Carter, Academy Award winner Michael Haneke and his wife Susie, the president of the Salzburg Festival Helga Rabl-Stadler, Life Ball organizer Gery Keszler, the ambassador Peter Launsky-Thieffenthal, Elisabeth Leopold as well as Waltraud, Diethard and Gerda Leopold, the Austrian MP Martin Engelberg and city councilor Ursula Stenzel, the entrepreneurs and managers Georg Pölzl, Christian Knobloch, Gabi and Georg Spiegelfeld, Donatella Ceccarelli, Matthias and Alexandra Winkler, Herbert Koch, Rainer Seele, Karl-Heinz Strauss, Gernot Stumpf, Joseph Ostermayer and Gerhard Starsich, the museum directors Danielle Spera, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, the head of the MQ Christian Strasser, the gallery owners Thaddaeus Ropac, Christian Meyer, Christine König, Ursula Krinzinger and John Sailer, Dorotheum CEO Martin Böhm, Klimt Foundation head Peter Weinhäupl, the collectors Ernst Ploil, Antonis Stachel, Jutta Stolitzka, Gheri Sackler and Gernot Schauer, the artists Hubert Scheibl, Rudi Stanzel, Xenia Hausner, Constantin Luser, Suse Krawagna, Eva Schlegel, Walter Vopawa, Manfred Bockelmann, Martin Schnur, and many others.
The exhibition “WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection” features works by Francis Bacon, Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Gustav Klimt, August Macke, Franz Marc, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Edvard Munch, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Egon Schiele, Andy Warhol, and many others.