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The Ploner Collection

08 July 2015 to 27 September 2015
Orangery, Lower BelvedereBelvedere

“To me collecting is an adventure and experience that goes way beyond discovery and possession. Crucial factors are understanding the artworks and artists and a fascination for the total individuality of the artist personality.” (Heinz Ploner)

In summer 2015, the Belvedere is showing a representative selection from the Ploner collection, the majority of which has been donated to the museum. The collector Dr. Heinz Ploner (born 1952 in Upper Austria) amassed an outstanding presentation of contemporary Austrian art within a short time. He started exploring this field and seriously collecting in 1997, following a successful career in business. Initially he approached art from a purely intuitive and emotional perspective; his first purchases arose from many friendly contacts with artists and visits to their studios. In fact, his collecting was sparked off by a visit to Josef Mikl, when Ploner was looking for a picture for his living room. From that point on, he never ceased to be fascinated by abstract painting. He then started to concentrate on what is known as New Painting in Austria. The large groups of work by Herbert Brandl, Gunter Damisch, Hubert Scheibl, and Otto Zitko, together with Erwin Bohatsch’s lyrical abstract images, form the focus of the collection, revealing how important representatives of Austrian abstract painting and international trailblazers interpret this field in different ways. He then expanded his collecting practices to incorporate multimedia and Conceptual contemporary art. Brigitte Kowanz, Adrian Schiess, Erwin Wurm, Lois Renner, and Markus Huemer are just some of the names that deserve a mention in this regard.