10 Years of viennacontemporary in 10 Minutes

Follow us on our exciting journey of the last decade, navigating through the Austrian and international art sphere, discovering the up-and-coming art scene of Central- and Eastern Europe, and supporting contemporary art along the way. 




The first viennacontemporary takes place in Marx Halle from 24 – 27 September 2015. The team around Artistic Director Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and Managing Director Renger Van der Heuvel, supported by founder Dmitry Aksenov, presents 99 galleries. The crème de la crème of the Austrian art scene cannot resist checking out the impressive hall from the end of the 19th century – Karola Kraus, Director, mumok – museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien, Agnes Husslein, Director, Belvedere, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Director, MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Herwig Kempinger, President, Secession, Peter Bogner, Director, Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation, Hans Peter Wipplinger, Director, Leopold Museum, Gabriele Schor, Director, Verbund Collection, Christiane Krejs, Director, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, and artists such as Brigitte Kowanz, Erwin Wurm, Gunter Damisch, Ona B, Manfred Wakolbinger, Hans Kupelwieser, Marko Lulic, and many more enjoy the special atmosphere of Marx Halle.




With 112 galleries from 28 countries, viennacontemporary 2016 is the largest and most prominent art fair in the region, offering the most extensive array of contemporary art from Austria, the highest concentration of Eastern European galleries worldwide, and a continuously growing international scope with special attention to emerging art markets. A special highlight introduced that year is “Solo Expanded,” curated by internationally renowned art expert Abaseh Mirvali, connected to the history of contemporary art in Vienna, a city with an outstanding cultural heritage, home to the Vienna Secession, among many other amazing institutions, and the birthplace of Viennese Actionism.




With the presentation of high-quality sculptures by celebrated international artists, Solo & Sculpture, curated by Miguel Wandschneider, a new special program is introduced.

Focus Hungary, curated by József Mélyi, explores Hungary’s 1960s-70s art scene in a captivating exhibition. Touching upon a clash of cultural openness, avant-garde innovation, and political suppression, the special program dives into artists’ struggles with oppression and presents groundbreaking neo-avant-garde expressionists.

With 29.767 visitors, viennacontemporary welcomes more guests from Austria and abroad than ever and consolidates its international profile.



From September 27 to 30, 2018, 118 galleries and institutions from 27 countries showcase their artists and programs in the Marx Halle. Up-and-coming curator Victoria Dejaco curates a diverse ZONE1, uniting international and Austrian galleries that show young, Austrian positions, while the new special format Explorations showcases vital positions throughout Western, Central, and Eastern Europe – bringing together both emerging and senior artists. For the first time, Art Collection Deutsche Telekom exhibits parts of their corporate collection, curated by Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher.

Another highlight is the Nadikhuno muzeumos / The Invisible Museum, presented by in cooperation with ERSTE Foundation. The two curators Judit Angel and Oto Hudec exhibit their vision of a Roma culture museum.




2019 marks the appointment of Johanna Chromik as the successor to long-serving Artistic Director Christina Steinbecher-Pfandt. In her first year, viennacontemporary thrived with a high-quality offering from Eastern Europe. The exhibition NSK State in Time curated by Tevž Logar, titled, presents the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) movement, which issues passports grants citizens various rights, and encourages open-ended actions for self-constitution, including decisions on currency, education, religion, folk culture, and other state functions. Fair attendees can become members and obtain NSK passports at the special presentation.




Despite the Covid–Pandemic and international travel restrictions, viennacontemporary is not only one of the only fairs taking place – with strict hygiene measures to protect its guests and exhibitors – but, thanks to local collectors and buyers, who loyally step in, fixing the gap caused by the missing international audiences, becomes a huge social and economic success as well as an important support for the heavily affected contemporary art scene. 65 participating galleries from 16 countries, including 8 excellent ZONE1 presentations, curated by Cathrin Mayer, can be visited at Marx Halle. Tatiana Ilyina follows Renger van den Heuvel as Managing Director.




Boris Ondreička follows Johanna Chromic, while Markus Huber takes over as the fair’s new Management Director. With Covid still having its grip on Vienna and travel restrictions and lockdowns persisting, viennacontemporary moves to the smaller location of Alte Post, and extends its program into the city of Vienna. With only 25 exhibitors and placed in a construction site, this edition is the most experimental thus far, highlighting the strengths of a smaller, regional fair.




This year, the fair moves from a construction site into the picturesque neo-classic ballrooms of Kursalon Vienna. The 19th-century palace in the very center of the city makes room for 61 galleries and invites its guests to discover the fair and Vienna’s rich art scene, right in front of its doorsteps.

The Russian attack on Ukraine results in the birth of STATEMENT, a special program dedicated to the support of the cultural and artistic scene of Ukraine. Two panel discussions with high-ranking speakers and a special exhibition at das weisse haus, curated by Kateryna Filyuk and kindly supported by ERSTE Foundation, highlight the struggles of Ukraine and Europe, and add a new political perspective to the fair.




In its second year at Kursalon, viennacontemporary introduces new and popular special programs such as Sculpture – a public art project in cooperation with JP Immobilien – and VCT Activation, a program exploring the digital spheres of the art world in cooperation with Meta Platforms and MAK – Museum of Applied Art. A highly acclaimed success is ZONE1, the emerging section curated by Francesca Gavin, who will later be announced as Artistic Director of the fair.




With Francesca Gavin as the new Artistic Director, viennacontemporary moves to the spacious halls of Messe Wien to offer a larger space for international exhibitions. On the fair’s tenth anniversary, the team of viennacontemporary is working hard on organizing a wonderful fair from September 12 to 15, 2024.

After years of worldwide changes, the fair is ready to grow internationally again and attract its local and international audience with a unique high-end art experience.