Modern-art museum MUMOK contains Vienna’s premier collection of 20th-century art, taking in Fluxus, nouveau realism, pop art and photorealism. Rotating, thematic exhibitions also showcase the museum's 9000-strong collection of expressionism, cubism, minimal art and Viennese Actionism (though sometimes temporary exhibitions take their place). The angular dark basalt building contrasts starkly with the historic MuseumsQuartier architecture.
Viennese Actionism evolved in the 1960s as a radical leap away from mainstream art in what some artists considered to be a restrictive cultural and political climate. Artists like Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler aimed to shock with their violent, stomach-churning performance and action art, which often involved using the human body as a canvas. Not only did their work shock, some artists were even imprisoned for outraging public decency. Other well-known artists represented throughout the museum – Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, René Magritte, Max Ernst and Alberto Giacometti, Dorit Margreiter and Yto Barrada – are positively tame in comparison. Check the program before visiting with children to ensure exhibits are suitable.
One-hour guided tours in English (included in admission) take place at 4pm on Saturdays. There are more frequent tours in German; check the online calendar.