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“Blue Mountain” to go on display for the tenth artistic wrapping of the Ringturm

15.05.2017.

This summer, the Ringturm will be transformed into an eye-catching work of art for the tenth time. Serbian artist Mihael Milunović’s monumental installation will bring a mountain massif to the heart of the Austrian capital.

“Blue Mountain” to go on display for the tenth artistic wrapping of the Ringturm

As part of an initiative launched by Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, the main shareholder of the Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), the Ringturm will become a symbol of cultural exchange once again in 2017. “Blue Mountain” by Mihael Milunović represents a cultural dialogue between Austria and Serbia. It also underlines the southeast European country’s significance for the Vienna Insurance Group – Wiener Städtische osiguranje a.d.o. Beograd has grown to become one of Serbia’s leading insurers. “We are proud to announce that Serbian artist Mihael Milunovic will provide the design for the tenth-anniversary wrapping of the Ringturm. Entrusting him with the project is an expression of our high regard for his work and our close ties with our Serbian partners”, commented Günter Geyer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein.

The work: “Blue Mountain”

The tenth artistic wrapping of the Ringturm presents observers with a view of an imposing mountain. Mihael Milunović’s work can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but also speaks a universal language. A blue mountain dominates the motif, while a red train struggles up the steep track to the summit. Thanks to the numerous blue tones in the painting, the image blends into the sky above the city. The mast on top of the Ringturm is a valued source of meteorological information for the people of Vienna, but the significance of the mast on the peak of Milunović’s mountain is initially obscure. In contrast to the lights on the Ringturm’s weather mast, the signal sent into the blue ether by the mountain-top antenna is scrambled. “My work ‘Blue Mountain’ deals with the individual and their relationship to the group, driven by their pursuit of transcendence. The red train which goes up the blue mountain is an allegory of solidarity and perseverance – qualities that come in useful when climbing a steep mountain. The funicular is the vehicle that takes us to a better understanding of ourselves. The antenna on top of the mountain is a very important element for me – it is a symbol of the willingness to share positive energy with others,” said Mihael Milunović of the 2017 design. The artist, who hardly ever alludes directly to reality, sees the mountain as a symbol of a place of longing onto which we may project the individual aims and principles that we pursue in our lives. 

The artist

Born in Belgrade in 1967, Mihael Milunović comes from a family of artists. “Blue Mountain” contains traces of his childhood experience of his parents’ studio, as well as his early interest in geography, mechanical engineering and the paintings of masters such as Titian and de Chirico. Milunović studied at the Belgrade Faculty of Fine Arts and then at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His multidisciplinary oeuvre covers various forms of expression, from painting, sketching and photography to sculpture and installations. Milunović triggers amazement and curiosity by removing everyday objects, symbols and situations from their original contexts. His highly expressive works address fundamental topics such as power, suppression and manipulation. 

His works have been on display at a host of high-profile museums, such as MUMOK – Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna (Austria); the Jeu de Paume in Paris (France); the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Étienne Métropole (France); Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art (Serbia); the Stedelijk Museum, Aalst (Belgium); Musée International des Arts Modestes, Sète (France); PAN – Palazzo delle Arti, Naples (Italy); the Fridericianum in Kassel (Germany); and Vienna’s Secession (Austria). Currently his works are on show as part of numerous public and private collections, for example: mumok – museum of modern art ludwig foundation vienna (Austria); Musee d'Art et d'Industrie in Saint-Etienne (France); Moet & Chandon LVMH (France); Siemens AG Vienna (Austria); Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art (Serbia); Coleccion Solo in Madrid (Spain); The Telenor Art Collection in Oslo (Norway); the Renoir collection (France); the Maya Picasso collection (France); the Palazzo Forti collection in Verona (Italy); the Azraq collection in Marrakech (Morocco); the Barzai-Hollander collection, Brussels (Belgium) and the Wiener Städtische osiguranje a.d.o. Beograd collection. 

The Ringturm as a giant installation

“Blue Mountain” is the tenth work of art to be presented by Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein on the outside of the Ringturm during the summer months. “Looking back on our artistic wrappings fills me with pride and also emphasises our commitment to continuing this outstanding initiative for cultural exchange and making art accessible to a wider audience,” said Günter Geyer. 30 printed netting sheets, each around 3 meters wide and up to 63 meters long, will be installed, transforming Mihael Milunović’s painting into an eye-catching 4,000 square meters work on the banks of the Danube Canal. The artistic wrapping of the Ringturm is one of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein’s numerous cultural activities. Following four successful wrappings by Austrian artists, since 2012 artists from abroad have also been invited to create new designs – five of the ten wrappings are the work of artists from Central and Eastern Europe. 

The artists behind the ten artistic wrappings of the Ringturm

2017                Mihael Milunović                                Blue Mountain

2016                Ivan Exner                                          Unburdened

2015                Tanja Deman                                     Summer Pleasures

2014                Arnulf Rainer                                      Veil of Agnes

2013                Dorota Sadovská                               Ties

2012                László Fehér                                      Society

2011                Xenia Hausner                                   A Sense of Family

2008                Hubert Schmalix                                 Tower in Blossom

2007                Robert Hammerstiel                           Tower of Life

2006                Christian Ludwig Attersee                  Don Giovanni 

Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein is the main shareholder of the Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) and supports the Group’s cultural and social activities, with a focus is on enhancing cross-border, intercultural exchange. There is also an emphasis on creating an environment in which individual cultures can thrive. Partnerships and initiatives are geared towards supporting the activities of social organisations, especially in the Central and Eastern European countries in which the Vienna Insurance Group has a presence.