We recently had an evening at the Vienna Art & Design exhibition at NGV. This exhibition explores the concepts which were in vogue in Vienna just before and just after the commencement of the 20th Century.
The display contains art works, examples of architecture, fashion, furniture and decorative arts. Included are works by the Secessionists who desired to integrate art into all aspects of life. As the website states, they “embraced extreme rationality in its architecture and design, [and] equally encompassed the irrational and dark side of human nature.” There are also examples of work by architect Otto Wagner, who was deeply involved in Vienna's transformation form a city of "historicism" to a city of modernism.
Of particular interest was that this exhibition was not imported from a single source. Rather, it was assembled in Melbourne, using a number of items (especially furniture ) held by NGV as the basis, with other items borrowed from a variety of public and private sources.
Following the guided our, we had dinner at the Savage Club, where two of the curators offered some further insights into the exhibition, complemented by comments from a couple of well-qualified Club members.