art in public space

Following Peter Noever’s appointment as director of the MAK (1986–2011), the Viennese institution began to redefine its exhibition and museum program. In addition to the research and scientific evaluation of the traditional collection of applied art, the MAK has made its priority to address the art, architecture and design of today. The MAK is aimed at gradually resolving the conflict between “applied” and “fine” art, facilitating exchange between artists, philosophers, architects and scientists.

These projects were realized based on Noever’s gegenwartspolitik (policy of present) and his credo according to which the present is never simply a given, but rather always to be “fought for” via intervention and presentational effort, through correction and media activisim. In this respect Noever’s “art in public space program” is the programmatic opposing concept of the longstanding “orphanage" of the arts. Uncompromising interventions were created by exceptional artists in public space in Vienna, Venice and Los Angeles. The vast majority of these interventions and sculptures are permanent and shape the urban image. They are unique signs of the importance of contemporary art.

“How Many Billboards” (2010) and Jochen Traar’s “Art Protects You” (1996) had a powerful impact on Los Angeles’ cityscape.


Brigitte Kowanz, “Fountain”
2017, Permanent installation on site at Glanzstoff, St. Pölten, Austria

Zaha Hadid, “Trompe l’œil”
2015, City palace of Prince Eugen/Belvedere, Vienna


Erwin Wurm, “Narrow House”
“glasstress”, site-specific installations by six artists curated by Peter Noever
2011, La Biennale di Venezia

Magdalena Jetelová, “Celebration”
“glasstress”, site-specific installations by six artists curated by Peter Noever
2011, La Biennale di Venezia


21 artists / Kerry Tribe (photo), “How many billboards?” (temporary)
2010, Los Angeles

Ross Lovegrove, “Solar Tree” (not realized)
2007, Vienna


Erwin Wurm, “Geste mobil”
2007, Vienna

Chris Burden, “Vienna Shining” (not realized)
2006, Vienna, (Urban Light, 2004)


Michael Kienzer, “Stylit”
2004, Vienna

Lebbeus Woods, “Project for the Vienna Festival”, (not realized)
2003, Vienna


Franz West, “Four Lemurheads” (Foto: Matthias Cremer)
photo: Matthias Cremer

Franz West, “Four Lemurheads” (not permanent)
2001, Vienna

James Turrell, “MAKlite” (Foto: MAK)

James Turrell, “MAKlite”
1998, Vienna


James Turrell, “Sky Space” (Foto: MAK)

James Turrell, “Sky Space”
1998, Vienna

Hubert Schmalix, “Der Vater weist dem Kind den Weg” (Foto: MAK)

Hubert Schmalix, “Der Vater weist dem Kind den Weg / The father shows the way to the child”
1998, Vienna

Martin Kippenberger, “The Last Stop West”
1998, West Hollywood, Schindler House, Los Angeles

Philip Johnson, “Wiener Trio” (Foto: MAK)

Philip Johnson, “Wiener Trio”
1996, Vienna


Peter Noever, “Tempelfragment”

Peter Noever, “Tempelfragment” (not realized)
1996, Vienna

Peter Noever, “MAK terrace plateau”
1991–1993, Vienna


James Wines, “Gate to the Ring”

James Wines / Site, “Gate to the Ring”
1992, Vienna

Donald Judd, “Stage Set”

Donald Judd, “Stage Set”
1991/1996, Vienna


Walter Pichler, “Tor zum Garten” (Foto: Gerald Zugmann)
photo: Gerald Zugmann/MAK

Walter Pichler, “Tor zum Garten”
1990, Vienna