This weekend we left for a long weekend in Vienna, Austria. After a tiring train ride we kicked off the weekend with a city tour, followed by an authentic dinner of schnitzel and wine. By Friday we were ready to tackle the city with another city tour, a visit to Friedensreich Hundertwasser‘s gallery, and dinner under an ivy canopy outside of the city.
The Hundertwasser exhibit was one of my favorites art exhibitions in Europe so far. The artist lived a frugal life, using recycled papers and art supplies to survive in the career he desired most. His art uses the common motif of nature and spirals to reflect the circle of life and interconnectivity. His painting style uses distortion and breaks all rules set by the Renaissance artists, which I found attractive along with the vibrant colors. Not only was the artwork spectacular but also the architecture of the building itself. Within it was a small fountain, and what to me seemed like the living machines I learned about in sustainability class (essentially plants used for water purification). Hundertwasser became involved in the architectural world when he created a model for a new cityscape. The model utilizes organic and free flowing homes, built into hills like that of ancient civilizations.
Saturday we explored the city on our own and visited the Natural History and Albertina museums. The Albertina was another great art museum with popular artworks by Monet, Picasso, Kirchner, and so on. One of the featured exhibits by the Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein bothered some of us but was one of the most powerful exhibits I’ve seen. The artist’s focus is on violence and the way society ignores it’s existence in our lives. Helnwein uses young children in most of his pieces and shows them vulnerable, with bound hands and eyes. Many of the paintings were hard to take in but shed light on a prevalent issue.
The last night in Austria we spent at the Film Festival, which is free of charge and has some of the best food tents imaginable! I could go on about Vienna but simply put, found it to be a culturally packed city that I would visit again.