Vienna for Art’s Sake!
Contemporary Art after the Turn of the 21st Century

The first exhibition “Vienna for Art’s Sake!” will be shown in spring 2015.
The site of the first venue is not decided yet: Rome, Vienna or New York.

Curator: Peter Noever
Project manager and assistant curator: Tanja Lipp

Published by FABRICA, Italy 2014
ISBN 978–88–98764–06–8 
imago mundi / Luciano Benetton Collection

Texts by Luciano Benetton, Peter Noever, Markus Mittringer

Idea and Objective of the Project

  • To extend invitations to selected artists/architects/designers who either work or live in Vienna, or who have left behind important contributions to the city.
  • Conceiving of contemporary art as a unified whole: art/architecture/design as the immanent simultaneity of artistic expression. In short, an explicit interest in manifestations of our era. In art that generates a context and has the ability to penetrate society’s collective consciousness.
  • An important aspect was to open up a new perspective on contemporary art production.
  • To initiate a process that creates space for networks of relationships between systems of reference and of meaning, in forms both visual and verbal (aside from the usual rankings).
  • All invited artists/architects/designers had the opportunity to nominate an artist/architect/designer of their own choice, who in turn received his or her own invitation to take part in the project. This sort of process calls into question the prevailing idea of curatorial work.
  • Each artist/architect/designer received a canvas in the format of 10×12 cm.
  • The overall project initiated by Luciano Benetton – a collection of global artworks – is philanthropic in nature and aims to provide maximum exposure for the greatest number of artists and movements within a context that is as wide and prestigious as possible.
  • This represents the Austrian contribution to the worldwide art archive of the Luciano Benetton Collection.
  • All works will remain part of the Luciano Benetton Collection. None of the works will be sold.
  • A starting point of sorts for the project “Vienna for Art’s Sake!” was a petition initiated and organized by Peter Noever that demanded a clear commitment to contemporary art. This petition was signed by 1,651 artists/architects/designers. On 9 June 2009, Peter Noever presented this artists’ petition to Austria’s Federal Minister for Art and Culture in the presence of 91 prominent artists including Franz West, Hans Weigand, Erwin Wurm, Hans Kupelwieser, Franz Graf, Rudi Stanzel, Herwig Kempinger, Alfredo Barsuglia, Michael Kienzer, Eva Schlegel, Elfie Semotan, Marina Faust and Zenita Komad, as well as Marie-Therese Harnoncourt of next ENTERprise, Station Rose, Georg Driendl, Thomas Feichtner, and Johanna Rainer and Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au.

From an interview with Peter Noever in
“Iskusstvo – The Art Magazine”, 4/2013, Moscow

[…] One of the projects that I’m working on is a personal project of Luciano Benetton: “Vienna for Art’s Sake! Contemporary Art in Vienna after the Turn of the 21st Century.” The objective is to arrive at a new perspective on international contemporary art production by smashing and distributing the role and power of the curator among the artists, architects and designers. I have already invited over 100 individuals from all over the world, and they will invite 100 more themselves. For me, the challenge is to simultaneously see things that aren’t readily apparent: it’s about uncovering structures, about using my perch here in Vienna as the springboard for a new perspective. The result will be seen in a traveling exhibition that will visit a number of cities in Europe and America. […]

The catalog (384 pages) will be available after the exhibition opening