This year, from mid-February to late August, the Leopold Museum, located in Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, hosted an exhibition consisting of 170 paintings, sculptures and installations that belong to the private collection of Heidi Göess Horten ( The exhibition, suggestively named WOW! and curated by Agnes Husslein-Arco, is but a sample of the 500 art pieces detained by this Austrian art collector. The content and scope of the exhibition, and, by extension, of the collection, are intimately related to Leopold Museum. 

The Museum itself was opened to the public in 2001 and it is based on the significant collection of Rudolf Leopold, a modest graduate of Vienna`s Medical School who, as early as 1950, started to amass pieces less known at the time, which would later become immensely successful. Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka are a perfect illustration in this sense. Sometimes, Leopold obtained the paintings in change for the price of his tutoring lessons. 

In the same vein with Rudolf Leopold`s inclination for late nineteenth and early twentieth-century art, Heidi Horten and her husband, Helmut Horten, the founder of Horten AG department stores, began in the 1970s to collect modernist paintings, particularly pieces of German Expressionism. After her husband died in 1987, Heidi Horten continued to add to the initial collection. In the last twenty years, the rich inheritor of Horten foundation and estates has wisely acquired a selection of the relevant names of the early twentieth century, modernist, and respectively contemporary painting. Klimt, Picasso, Chagall, Magritte, Fontana, Warhol, Rothko are part of the collection.  Indeed, the Heidi Horten`s collection is comprehensive and coherent enough to include pieces of Edvard Munch, Erich Heckel (the founder of Die Brücke artistic movement), August Macke, Kees van Dongen, Roy Lichtenstein and other representatives of Pop Art like Robert Raushenberg, Niki de Phalle, but also Yves Klein, J.M. Basquiat, and finishing with contemporary artists like the British Damien Hirst and Japanese Yoshitomo Nara. These very few mentioned names, as well as the pictures below, do not do justice to the 170 pieces gathered in the exhibition hosted by the Leopold Museum in Vienna, in this summer. 

The exhibition WOW! meant that it was for the first time when the Heidi Horten`s private collection, one of the most important in Europe, if not in the world, was accessible to the broad public. Thus, WOW! is an unforgettable experience :). 


Pictures: (c) Heidi Horten Collection 

Heidi Göess-HortenErich Heckel, Erich Heckel and Sidi Riha, 1910August Macke, Two Women before the Hat Shop , 1913August Macke, Sunset after the Rain, 1914Marc Chagall, The Lovers, 1916Edvard Munch, Self-portrait with the Spanish Flu, 1918Henri Matisse, Young Woman at the Window, 1921:1922Kees van Dongen, Comedy, Montparnasse Blues, 1925Marc Chagall, The Green Donkey, 1936Jean Dubuffet, Minerva, 1945Lucien Freud, Girl in a White Dress, 1947Marc Chagall, Prophet with Thora, 1952Serge Poliakoff, Composition, Red, Yellow, Green, and White, 1953March Chagall, The Bride and Groom in Heaven, 1954:1956Marc Chagall, Couple with Flower Vase, 1955Andy Warhol, Group of Five Campbell`s Soup Cans, 1962Robert Rauschenberg, Dry Run, 1963Sigmar Polke, Untitled, 1963Niki de Saint Phalle, Nana, pomme de terre (Nana, potato), 1964Yves Klein, PR-1 (Portrait- Relief- d`Arman), 1962-1965Roy Lichtenstein, Memory haunts, My Reverie, 1965Marc Chagall, Clown with a bunch of flowers, 1970-1974March Chagall, The Acrobats, 1971Andy Warhol, Portrait of Lee Radziwill, 1973Andy Warhol, Rolling Stones, Love you Live (Mick Jagger), 1975Andy Warhol, Nine Multicolored Marilyns (Reversal Series), 1979-1986Roy Lichtenstein, Forest Scene, 1980J.M.Basquiat, Red Savoy, 1983Any Wrahol & J.M.Basquiat, Collaboration (Paramount), 1984, 1985Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait of John Edwards, 1985J.M.Basquiat, Untitled, 1986Damien Hirst, Ammonium Biborate, 1993Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled, Zorro, 1997Yoshitomo Nara, Little Thinker, 2002




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