Sometimes a date or rendezvous can ignite an exceptional story, as was the case with the initial meeting of Agnes and Karlheinz Essl in 1959 in New York. They immediately became a couple and enjoyed their first encounters with contemporary art in the fascinating metropolis on their dates which took them to the museums and galleries of New York. This was the origin of their love for art which soon became a passion: The beginning of the Essl Collection.
Actual romantic rendezvous like the ones Maria Lassnig and Arnulf Rainer had in the 1950s in Paris come upon imaginary What-if encounters: Max Weiler meets Cecily Brown, Martha Jungwirth has a date with Asger Jorn, and Kurt Kocherscheidt with Antoni Tàpies.
Far Eastern philosophies with their focus on reduction influenced not only Hans Bischoffshausen, Georges Mathieu and Friedensreich Hundertwasser, but also the aforementioned Rainer and Lassnig. Encounters with the archaic and the primal bring together such divergent artists as Kurt Kocherscheidt, Antoni Tàpies, Hermann Nitsch and Eduardo Chillida.
Nature’s creation is the focal point for Max Weiler and Per Kirkeby, the painterly process of transformation connects Weiler with the much younger artist Cecily Brown. Other meetings celebrate the spontaneous, unbound act of painting valued by the artists of COBRA.
The last room of the exhibition hosts a rendezvous with an unknown outcome with works chosen by friends of the Essl Museum. The first selection will be made by the collectors Agnes and Karlheinz Essl, a profession of love to art..