Contemporary Art

Collector's Item Secession at Vienna Secession

The Secession, the world’s only exhibition centre dedicated exclusively to modern art, currently shows the exhibition of the artist Verena Dengler "The gallery owner and the beautiful anti-capitalist on the Gothic G’stettn (Corona srecession session Dengvid-20)". The artist included Collector's Item Grand Piano Secession into her installation.

The Viennese artist Verena Dengler is an attentive observer of today and its globalization, especially the art world and its mechanisms. She often takes up these topics in her works of art and installations, reflecting this critically and humorously also her own interdependencies.

The exhibition

In the main room of the Secession, the artist creates a "landscape" from a pond with surrounding, overgrown fallow land, a so-called "Gstettn", in which she integrates further artistic elements. She refers to the time when the Secession was founded and its flower-rich sales exhibitions and deals with the "omnipresent Romantic legacy" (Urbanic). To this day their characteristic attributes - such as the emphasis on individuality and the search for the sublime, but also its "dark flipside" - have an impact on our social and political life.

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In the style of the Hirschstetten bathing pond, a local recreation area in one of Vienna's outer residential areas in which the artist also lives, she takes up the hierarchical relationships between the periphery and the centre and between the natural and cultural landscape.


Dengler sets of the overgrown and abandoned "Gstettn" also in a politically context.






The artist integrates in the “Gstettn” a Bösendorfer Grand Piano – the Collector’s Item Secession, whose design picks up on the zeitgeist of the Secession of “unity in diversity” and the “Gesamtkunstwerk”. In the installation, the Grand Piano Secession represents quality, a sense of tradition and cultural values ​​and is an indication of the challenges of a global market.

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The exhibition title and its meaning

"The gallery owner and the beautiful anti-capitalist on the Gothic G’stettn (Corona Srecession session Dengvid-20)"

"The gallery owner and the beautiful anti-capitalist" - Dengler refers here to her literary project, in which she deals with the mechanisms of the art business and the art market as well as the self-presentation and marketing on social media channels. In the exhibition, she uses a modular wall system to stage exhibition stands and bunks that refer to the commercialisation of art and its status as a commodity.

"Dengvid-20" refers to the current Covid-19 situation and its measures to contain a pandemic. Dengler thus criticizes the artistic framework and precarious living conditions of many artists and cultural businesses, which are particularly affected by the economic impact of these measures. “Srzession” hides the specter of a recession that can be triggered by a pandemic.

The exibition will be shown until September 6, 2020

The exhibition can also be visited virtually:


Collector's Item Bösendorfer Secession

Read about the zeitgeist of the secessionists and the details of the design 


Credits: Verena Dengler, Die Galeristin und der schöne Antikapitalist auf der Gothic G’stettn (Corona Srezessionsession Dengvid-20), installation view Secession 2020 / photo: Apollonia T. Bitzan