Landscape: Transformation of an Idea

Art from 1800 to the Present Day from the Collection of the Neue Galerie Graz

19.06.-06.09.2015 10:00-17:00

Opening: 18.06.2015, 7 pm
Curated by: Gudrun Danzer, Günther Holler-Schuster

Location: Ground floor and upper floor

Part 1 (19th Century): prolongated till 17.01.2016

Part 2 (20th - 21st Century): till 06.09.2015

The term “landscape” can be understood in many different ways – both inside and outside of artistic discourse. It can refer to the real living environment of a person or to an area visited by tourists or utilised for tourism. It can refer to land researched within different disciplines, or to land which is changed or used for various purposes.

Topics and artists in the exhibition


The multimedia exhibits in the exhibition primarily come from the collection of the Neue Galerie and span a timeframe of two centuries.


On the ground floor (19th century), the following topics can be seen:

opening up the landscape – transforming the landscape into an ideology – the idealisation of the landscape – autonomous nature – images of far away: between ideal and reality – geological research and visual representation.

There are pieces by Thomas Ender, Friedrich and Jakob Gauermann, Anton Hansch, Joseph Heicke, Blasius Höfel in the style of Johann Peter Krafft, Johann Huber in the style of Johann Peter Krafft, Josef Franz Kaiser, Johann Kniep, Vinzenz Kreuzer, Joseph Kuwasseg, Christian Friedrich Mali, Johann Nepomuk Passini in the style of Thomas Ender, Markus Pernhart, Ignaz Raffalt, Carl Reichert, Anton Schiffer, Alois Schönn, Joseph Selleny, Franz Steinfeld, Melanie Stürgkh nach Matthäus Loder, Georg Matthäus Vischer and Michael Wutky (attributed).

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“Landscape” can define a place with strong emotional and political connotations etc., such as when referring to a person’s home country. All these functional connections have led to different images and manifestations – artistic landscape painting and drawing is only one of many approaches.

For this reason, this exhibition does not aim to provide a stylistic overview of the history of landscape painting for the period represented by the Neue Galerie Graz collection, which stretches from 1800 to the present day. The aim of this exhibition is a far broader one, as it attempts to use exhibits from the collection to visualise the complex interactions between the depiction of landscape and the perception and understanding of nature and reality. To this end, two time periods around one hundred years apart, and seemingly unconnected, are placed in relation to one another. These two periods are the first half of the 19th century and the period from around 1960 to today. The years between 1850 and 1950 are left out. This juxtaposition reveals not only differences but also surprising parallels between the two epochs.

In the 19th century, scientific and artistic images of nature connected in far more diverse ways than was previously the case. This process has continued to densify and specialise ever since. For example, the construction of railways in the early 19th century, the satellite measurement of the earth (GPS) and the images that resulted (railway lines and Google Earth) show how new technology changes both the function and the images of the landscape. Landscape always represents the symbolic entity of nature as well as cultural patterns of appropriation. Its depiction is the result of a diverse network of knowledge from the respective epoch. Technical media – photography, film, video and computers – have helped to represent nature in a documentary and scientific manner, contributing to a change in reality. All this reveals that nature and landscape are constructions of reality: a map does not portray a country but rather constructs it. Within the period of time thematised in this exhibition, art reveals itself to be an analytic structure of the constructed reality.

On the upper floor (20th and 21st century), the exhibition focusses on the topics of travel as concept –land art’s stamp – landscape as text – landscape as social construction – landscape in 3D – painting: experiencing nature and abstraction – painting: experiencing nature and realism.


On this floor, we are exhibiting works by Imre Bak, Rosa Barba, Josef Bauer, Gottfried Bechtold, Erwin Bohatsch, Herbert Brandl, George Brecht, Wolfgang Buchner, Ernst Caramelle, Christo, Mario Decleva, Ger Dekkers, Braco Dimitrijevic, Peter Fend, Hamish Fulton, Heinz Gappmayr, Jochen Gerz, Franz Grabmayr, Haus-Rucker-Co, Peter Gerwin Hoffmann, Wolfgang Hollegha, Seppo Gründler, Alois Kiendlhofer, Josef Klammer, Hildegard Könighofer, Richard Kriesche, Branko Lenart, Frantisek Lesak, Petra Maitz, Elga Maly, Lukas Marxt, Alois Mosbacher, Walter Niedermayr, Franz Novinc, Fritz Panzer, Max Peintner, Rudolf Pointner, Hans Werner Poschauko, Drago J. Prelog, Alfons Pressnitz, Peter Pongratz, Hannes Priesch, Ed Ruscha, Luis Sammer, Liddy Scheffknecht, Hubert Schmalix, Michael Schuster, Sempas-Familie, Karl Stranzinger, Miroslav Sutej, Josef Taucher, Mario Terzic, Gustav Troger, Luciano Trojanis, Franco Vaccari, Paul Virilio, Günter Waldorf, Peter Weibel, Max Weiler, Wolfgang Wiedner, Manfred Willmann and Erwin Wurm.

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24th/25th December 2023
Landscape. Construction of a Reality