Naturhistorisches Museum

Al Hansen – Venus, Venus, Venus

The small limestone figurine known as the “Venus of Willendorf” was excavated in 1908. It depicts a nude woman with dense curly hair, or striking headwear, and with thin arms and voluminous breasts, a masterpiece of Paleolithic mobile art. The name commonly used for the statuette is in itself an interpretation, drawing a relationship between the 29,500-year-old figurine and her much younger sister, the Venus of antiquity, the Roman goddess of love.

American Fluxus artist Al Hansen devoted a complex work group to the Venus of Willendorf by creating in several thousand works an exemplary figure that revolved around the mystic Paleolithic figurine. Al Hansen took both the age and the interpretation of the figurine as his point of departure. As the first human figurative artworks depict women, he focused on the relationship between these archaic objects and his own work. He was less concerned about conforming with the Paleolithic model than about evolving a free interpretation, which, regardless of the specifics of its technical execution, repeats the same type in outline and plastic corpulence. In non-figural works he also used the words “she, her, clit, hers”, thus referring to this archetypal model of a woman, which can encompass many roles, from goddess to mother.

Hansen (1927–1995) is primarily known as a performance artist. He was part of the circle around John Cage and was often to be found with Warhol at the Factory. In 1965 he published “A Primer of Happenings and Time/Space Art” with New York's legendary Something Else Press.

The Natural History Museum Vienna now presents a selection of Al Hansen’s Venuses from the Collections of mumok (Museum of Modern Art, Vienna), Christine König Galerie (Vienna), and from the LMV collection, a very significant French private collection (Paris), together with the famous model – the Venus of Willendorf.

Current Dates

  • Sun. 28 May 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon. 29 May 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Wed. 31 May 2017, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Thu. 01 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Fri. 02 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sat. 03 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sun. 04 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon. 05 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Wed. 07 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Thu. 08 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
All dates

All Dates

June

  • Fri. 09 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sat. 10 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sun. 11 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon. 12 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Wed. 14 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Thu. 15 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Fri. 16 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sat. 17 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sun. 18 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon. 19 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Wed. 21 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Thu. 22 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Fri. 23 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sat. 24 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Sun. 25 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon. 26 Jun 2017, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.