In 1897 the Secession was founded by a group of artists led by Gustav Klimt who had split off from the conservative “Künstlerhaus” (Academy of arts). Klimt became the first president of the Association of Visual Artists; other founding members included the painters Koloman Moser, Carl Moll and the architects Josef Hoffmann and Joseph Maria Olbrich.
In 1898, Olbrich designed the Secession building as a built manifesto; the structure advertised the new association’s commitment to cutting-edge modernist ideas. Another central vehicle for the Secessionist movement was the association’s art magazine Ver Sacrum (Latin for Sacred Spring).
Today, the Secession is the world’s oldest independent exhibition institution specifically dedicated to contemporary art.
There are currently 3 exhibitions to visit – ranging from sculptural works to photography and film installations, more about them here. My favorite exhibition was about abstract sculptures by Vincent Fecteau. The American artist creates the objects out of everyday staples like cardboard, pictures from magazines and paint. His works evoke associations ranging from utopian architecture and avant-garde stage design to masks and industrially manufactured components, yet they do not spell out their references. Enjoy my photos!
Adress: Friedrichsstraße 12, 1010 Vienna (U1/ U2/ U4 “Karlsplatz”)