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Art in multiple dimensions – your gallery for 20th and 21st century sculpture

Sculpture of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century is an impressively wide field. While some artists tried to express the essence of their emotions by using an increasingly reduced vocabulary of forms, others also left the classical paths, experimenting with innovative and abstract forms, playful colours and even humour. Thus, the original idea of sculpture to create three-dimensional works out of solid materials gained new momentum, oscillating between seriousness, rigor, imagination and ease. Explore the fascinating and diverse world of Austrian sculpture in the Galerie bei der Albertina ▪ Zetter.

Experience Austrian sculpture up close

Visit us in the heart of Vienna and explore the various forms that fine art of the 20th and 21st century took in Austria. Like painting, sculpture is always a vivid mirror-image of its time, taking the beholder on a multi-sensual journey. The Galerie bei der Albertina ▪ Zetter displays a wide array of sculptures from art nouveau, classical modernism, and contemporary artists. We try hard to present artists within the context of their artistic roots in a way that allows for an intuitive reception and understanding.

The bronze cast

Evidently, the bronze cast occupies a particularly important position within 20th century sculpture as it was the medium of choice for many great Austrian artists like Fritz Wotruba, Josef Pillhofer, Joannis Avramidis, Wander Bertoni or Alfred Czerny. These and other artists that are featured in the Galerie bei der Albertina ▪ Zetter shaped a wide range of reliefs and free-standing sculptures with a unique effect. The lively play with form and size is as impressive as the different patinae which give every exhibit its very own individual aura.

Sculpture of the 20th century with different materials

Of course, bronze is not the only material used by Austrian sculptors. Other materials such as ceramic, wood, glass or metals like iron or aluminium have inspired and challenged many artists. Each substance confronts the artist with new difficulties but also opens up new possibilities to express oneself. A sculpture takes its inner force from the combination of form, colour and material or surface. This interplay of a few different factors in three dimensions allows for a diverse array of artistic expression, making sculpture a particularly captivating field.

Sculpting in Art Nouveau and the Wiener Werkstätte

As experts for Austrian art of the 20th and 21st century we are of course very interested in art nouveau and the famous Wiener Werkstätte (which translates to ‘Viennese workshops’). The expressive sculptural ceramics of artists like Susi Singer, Gudrun Baudisch und Vally Wieselthier speak a different language than the bronze cast. Expressive faces, round and dynamic forms paired with complex ideas and executed with a picturesque and colourful vocabulary of forms lend a special and quite emotional originality to these works.

Connecting sculpture and design

Especially the grey area between sculpting and design has attracted many great artists and gained a whole new quality through the work of the Wiener Werkstätte. Where does one field end and the other begin? Where is art seamlessly integrated into everyday life and where do ideas go far beyond the actual object, becoming visions of a better world? Visiting the Galerie bei der Albertina ▪ Zetter will open your eyes to the remarkable tension but also the cross-pollination between classical sculpting and artistic design.

Since the early 1990s we also show glass-heads and ceramic sculptures by Carinthian artist Kiki Kogelnik, known as Austria’s only pop-art artist, whose work we greatly admire. Particularly in her later years Kogelnik worked in the area of tension between the reality of her sculptures and their imaginary aspect, thus creating remarkably expressive artworks. In case of further questions regarding Austrian sculpture of the 20th and 21st century please contact us by phone
(+43-1-513 14 16) or by e-mail (