Page 20 - Studio International - September 1965
P. 20

place) and the sliding walls on the upper floor.
                                                                                  When.  in  the  winter  of  1959/60  (two  years  prior  to
                                                                                 the opening of the gallery),  I was able to start buying,  I
                                                                                 realised  that  it  would  be  presumptious  to  try  and
                                                                                 compete with  Zurich.  Munich.  Paris  or  Basle.  Never­
                                                                                 theless. my aim was to present on a broad international
                                                                                 scale  an  uncompromising  picture  of  the  evolution  of
                                                                                 painting,  sculpture  and  architecture  since  the  time  of
                                                                                 the 'Jugendstil'  (Art  Nouveau).  Within this framework
                                                                                 the  major  achievements  of  Austrian  art  were  to  be
                                                                                 stressed. avoiding at all cost the mixing of works of an
                                                                                 international  level  with  those  of  a  local  level-some­
                                                                                 thing  which  is  inevitable.  for  instance.  in  the  Basle
                                                                                 Museum. Therefore. quite independently of the Museum
                                                                                 of the  20th  Century. the Austrian  Gallery in  Belvedere
      , ;2                                                                       continues  to  show the  inner-Austrian  continuity  on  a

                                                                                 broad  basis  and  furthermore  offers  the  visitor  the
                                                                                 possibility  of  studying  in  detail  artists  like  Schiele.
                                                                                 Kokoschka  and  Klimt.  whose  work  can  figure  only  in
                                                                                 a general way in the international  panorama.
                                                                                  The first acquisitions were sculptures by  Pevsner and
                                                                                 Laurens.  This  choice  already  showed  my  intention  of
                                                                                 giving  to  sculpture  special  consideration  in  the
                                                                                 building-up  of  the  collection.  Ever  since.  and  not
                                                                                 without success. I have tried to put into practice in the
                                                                                 Museum  the  theoretical  and  art  historical  argument
                                                                                 advanced  in  my  book  Sculpture  of the  20th  Century
                                                                                 (Frankfurt  1958).  namely,  the  conviction  that  we  are
                                                                                 living in a great new era of sculptural possibilities.  It is
                                                                                 this  fact.  as  yet  insufficiently  realised.  which  the
                                                                                 Vienna  Museum  of  the  20th  Century  is  designed  to
                                                                                 illustrate  convincingly and within the framework of its
                                                                                 geographical  position.  This  choice  of  emphasis  was
                                                                                 furthermore  determined  by  the  fact  that  Vienna  is
                                                                                 today  a  centre  of  European  sculpture.  To  underline
                                                                                 this. one-man shows of the work of Wotruba. Hoflehner.
                                                                                 Urteil and Bertoni were organised.
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