In 1977, Linz captured attention far beyond the borders of Austria with an artistic sensation: the forum metal presented large format metal sculptures by contemporary, internationally renowned artists in the Danube Park to coincide with the opening of the fourth Bruckner Festival.
Linz: Industrial Location and Rising Art Metropolis
Three years after the building of the Linz concert house, the Brucknerhaus, the forum metall set another important step in the development of Linz from industrial city to city of culture. On 12 September 1977, the first open-air museum was opened in the Linz Danube Park, showing a representative cross-section of abstract sculptures from the sixties and seventies for the first time. The forum metall also provided a broad insight into the possibilities that iron, steel and aluminum offer sculptors.
A New Type of Event
Helmuth Gsöllpointner, former Principal of the University of Arts Linz and professor of the master class for metal works, and Peter Baum, former director of the New Gallery of the City of Linz, were responsible for the concept, organization and artistic direction of forum metall. With it, the organizers purposely left the beaten track of conventional exhibition practice. At the same time, the material choice highlighted the importance of metal for the "steel city" Linz. A perfect cooperation between art and economy made it possible to realize this unique open air ensemble of modern art.
The Who's Who of Sculptural Elite
Internationally renowned sculptural artists from seven countries were invited to the forum metall. All sculptures were especially designed for Linz according to the plans of and in cooperation with the artists, and some even supervised the creation process. Initially, it was envisaged that the sculptures would be installed for at least two years. Thanks to the spontaneous cooperation on the part of the participating artists, many of the sculptures became permanent loans.
"Super Coup in Linz" (Newspaper Die Zeit)
The broad media response to the forum metall surpassed all expectations. No modern art exhibition had ever aroused so much interest from the media and the public. With it, forum metall succeeded in focusing international attention on Linz as a rising art metropolis.
forum metall: Artists and Art Works
- Herbert Bayer, Fountain Sculpture (1977)
- Max Bill, Pavilion Sculpture III (1977)
- Amadeo Gabino, Hommage à Anton Bruckner (1998)
- Mathias Goeritz, The Snake – La Serpiente (1986)
- Erwin Heerich, Untitled (1977)
- Piotr Kowalski, Thermocouple (1977)
- Eduardo Paolozzi, Hommage à Anton Bruckner (1977)
- David Rabinowitch, Ellipse in 10 Parts (1974-77)
- Erwin Reiter, Current (1977)
- Günther Uecker, Table of Expulsion (1977)
Former art works of the forum metall
- Haus-Rucker-Co, Nike of Samothrace (1977)
- Donald Judd, Four Boxes (1977)
- Bernhard Luginbühl, Linzer Atlas (1977)
- Klaus Rinke, Two Vertical Axes Meeting at the Center of the Earth (1977)