Final show in Vienna for Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary as organisation relocates to Prague

Exhibition inspired by oceans opening this week will be the last for “some time”


Works from the collection of the Vienna-based Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary organisation, known as TBA21, will go on show at the National Gallery in Prague next year as part of a new initiative spearheaded by the Austria-based foundation. Meanwhile, a new show inspired by the oceans, Tidalectics, launches at the TBA21 Augarten space in Vienna this week (2 June-19 November).

“This will be the last exhibition for TBA21 in this venue [the Augarten] for some time as the foundation is relocating its collection to Prague, following an invitation by the director general of the national gallery, Jiri Fajt, and the National Gallery chief curator, Adam Budak,” says the patron and collector Francesca von Habsburg who founded TBA21. According to the organisation’s website, the TBA21 Augarten space “will close its programming in December 2017”.

The TBA21 collection includes around 700 works by artists such as Candice Breitz, Simon Starling and Kutluğ Ataman. The five-year cyclical presentation of the collection is due to open in June 2018 at the Salm Palace in Prague. “We feel honoured by this opportunity as this represents a new challenge for the foundation. With its strong history in the humanities and arts, it is a perfect fit,” von Habsburg says. She considered moving the collection to Switzerland in 2015 after calling Vienna a “static” place for contemporary art. 

The TBA21-Academy, an offshoot of TBA21 that focuses on ecological and social issues, is relocating to London this autumn; its first show, Tidalectics, is due to launch this week at the Augarten in Vienna. “Right now we are focused on the oceans,” von Habsburg says, describing the TBA21-Academy as the “exploratory soul” of the organisation.

Thirteen artists, including Darren Almond, Julian Charrière and Jana Winderen, present “perspectives on the cultural, political and biological dimensions of the oceans”, say the organisers of Tidalectics. Some of the artists created works after travelling on Pacific Ocean expeditions undertaken by TBA21. These include a new video and sculpture work by the Argentine artist Eduardo Navarro who travelled to Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. German artist Susanne M. Winterling’s installation Glistening Troubles (2016), based on her residency at the TBA21 Alligator Head Foundation in Jamaica, focuses on dinoflagellate algae.