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The Ringturm towers over the Donaukanal , Source: Herta Hornhaus, Vienna Insurance Group on Twitter

4000-square-metre art piece will cover one of the tallest buildings in Vienna

4000-square-metre art piece will cover one of the tallest buildings in Vienna

The Ringturm has been used as a giant canvas since 2006. After a two-year break due to COVID-19, it will be wrapped in Hungarian artist Dora Maurer’s artwork called ‘Together’

Last week, the Ringturm (Ring Tower) in Vienna adored a new artistic layer – a 4000-square-metre work of art under the title of ‘Together’. The Ringturm is Vienna’s first ever high-rise office building, built in the 1950s and was the second tallest building in the city at the time, only surpassed by St Stephen’s Cathedral.

In 2006, the fairly dated façade of the tower was reimagined as a huge canvas and every year since it has been covered by a new and enormous art piece every year. The last time, however, the grey exterior of the tower featured some colour was in 2019, as the practice took a hiatus during the pandemic.

The art tower – a symbol of hope and cohesion

The Ringturm has been the headquarters of the Wiener Städtische – Vienna Insurance Group since its very conception. Its design was novel by Austrian standards and was inspired by Norbert Liebermann, the general director of the company.

He emigrated to the United States during World War 2 and the National Socialist regime in Austria and came back with an appreciation for the utility of high-rises. The tower itself is supposed to symbolise the reconstruction of Austria, after the war, as a powerful and visible example of the future.

In 2006, after half a century, the tower’s bland exterior was reimagined as a space for art. Every summer, Ringturm has been wrapped with 30 printed mesh panels, covering an area of 4,000 square meters. The impressive list of artists features well-established Austrian creators like Arnulf Rainer and Gottfried Helnwein, as well as foreigners, like Serbians, Croatians and Bulgarians.

This year, the art piece was created by Dora Maurer, a Hungarian visual artist, part of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde movement. Her piece ‘Together’ is supposed to represent the multifaceted and colourful nature of Central Europe, and is also a symbol of cross-border dialogue.

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