One of the most impressive baroque palaces of Austria, representing the former country estate of Colonel steward of Maria Theresa, Prince Johann-Joseph Khevenhiiller-Metsch, is located between Vienna and Prague.
After the success of the previous seasons, Countess Francesca Pilati von Thassul, simultaneously Museum Director and Lady of the House Riegersburg, decided to show also 2010, from 29.4 to 15.11.2010, a special theme-exhibition with the title „The Power of Fantasy“. The Vernissage will be on 28.4.2010 only upon invitation.
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Every year since 2004, Countess Francesca Pilati, together with the curator Mrs. Dr. Cornelia Mensdorff-Pouilly, had already organised big exhibitions on different subjects.
This series started with the exhibition „Vom Surrealismus zur Moderne“ and the last Exhibition in 2009 had as title „Kunst zur Zeit des Kalten Krieges“ and took place to commemorate the 20 years´ jubilee of the fall of the Iron Curtain and was meant as a complement to the first 2009 Cross-border Exhibition of the Government of Lower-Austria.
Benedetto Fellin, Old European
For these activities, the lady of the House received on the 10th of November 2009, from the Austrian Ambassador in the Czech Republic H. E. Dr. Margot Klestil-Löffler, the decoration of the Cross for the merit for Sciences and Arts, granted to her by the Austrian President, Dr. Heinz Fischer, and recommended by the Culture Minister, Dr. Claudia Schmied. Countess Pilatii was shown peculiar acknowledgement for her cross border exhibitions especially with the Czech Republic.
With very little financial support, she succeeded during almost six years now, to organize exhibitions which have been highly prized by the art experts.
The Lady of the House has a special thread to Fantastic Art and likes to say: „We need an unreal world to be able to escape in the Fantasy and Dreams. Only in this way one can get power to manage everyday’s life“.
Christian Flora, Angels and Demons
The Exhibition „The Power of Fantasy“ should show that Fantastic Art was during centuries an important part of art history . Works of famous Austrian names (and friends of the Lady of the House) like Prof. Ernst Fuchs, who will be 80 this year, will be shown as well as recently passed away artists, like Kurt Regschek and Fritz Aigner. And last but not least not to forget also artists from the youngest und middle aged generation.
Kurt Regschek, The Cello Girl
The exhibition organizers are especially grateful to the German Painter and Curator Ottfried Culmann, who organizes in his country from time to time exhibitions of Fantastic Art and who has declared that he will show some important German artists, like the already passed away German surrealist Edgar Ende (Father of Michael Ende). Czech artists like Lukas Kándl as well as Italians, like the late surrealist Leonor Fini (+ 1994)will also be present with their works of art.
Countess Pilati would have never thought, many years ago, that she would have one day exhibited works of Leonor Fini. She used to sit every second day, together with her in the late 60ies and beginning of the 70ies, in Rome in the famous literary Caffe Greco in the via Condotti at lunch time. As once Leonor Fini wanted to make a portrait as a cat, she tried to dissuade her to stop to design cats....she does not like such animals and she cannot stand their hair.
The baroque House of Riegersburg, hidden in the deepness of Waldviertel, is the ideal spot where to show such an exhibition. This area, very often hidden in the mist, is an invitation to meet the Fantastic, the Grotesque and the pure Mystery. And especially in Summer this area is a very appreciated excursion place, with the National Park Thayatal and the famous Fortress of Hardegg rising romantically from its stone hill. The tourist interested in art can sit with a cup of coffee in the wonderful garden by the sea and rest before he visits the Exhibition which will give him a wide spectrum of manneristic and fantastic art and shows that this form of art still fascinates the very young generation of artists.
Mag. Hanno Karlhuber (Curator)
Macht der Phantasie – The Power of Fantasy