During the summer months, the once crowned Monte Carlo of the Alps - spa town & resort Bad Gastein (in the Salzburger region of Austria) - plays host to an inspiring artists-in-residence cultural programme now in its 9th year: sommer.frische.kunst 2019 (Summer Fresh Art). Bad Gastein – a popular ski & spa resort in the winter – transforms itself in the warm summery months into a cultural hub of artistic brilliance set against the town’s abundant belle-époque heritage and dramatic mountain scenery that surrounds.
The brainchild & curators of sommer.frische.kunst, Andrea von Goetz und Schwanenfliess, sift through hundreds of applicant artists, finally selecting just a lucky handful to take up residency in Bad Gastein for 4 weeks based in the pop-up gallery at the old hydro-plant – a spectacular setting of nature, water and sounds – adds a theatrical edge to the studios. Their cultural inspirations are then showcased throughout Bad Gastein until late summer.
The sommer frische kunst line-up in 2019 sees four artists create their installations set tot he backdrop of faded Baroque splendour and the moutnains.
Clemens Wolf, born 1981, lives and works in Vienna, Austria. He studied painting at the University of Art in Linz. Since his graduati-on he is fascinated by inaccessible places in urban spaces like abandoned warehouses and unfinished buildings, often cordoned off by chain-link fences and construction boarding, which function simultaneously as physical barriers and as visual frames.In his latest works, he sets his main focus on the process of transformation haunted by his own history. Old discarded parachutes (he is a passionate parachutist) are transformed into sensual objects. After they are immersed in epoxide resin they are layed out, hung or stand up as sculpture or stretched on frames as paintings, every crease being arranged meticulously and finally left to dry.
Alexandra Baumgartner, born 1973, initiallystudied at the Mozarteum in her hometownof Salzburg and then at the photographycollege and the University of Applied Arts inVienna. Today, she lives and works in Viennaand Berlin. She is particularly interested inpsychological and moral abysses as well asthe physical decline of man. After analyticaldebates, she places focus on themes such astransience, loss of control, and dependenciesin her works. Through the combination andalteration of found, anonymous everyday ob-jects from the 1930s to the 1970s, she createsthrilling wall and/or room installations.
Holger Schmidhuber was born in 1970 in Bad Mergentheim. He studied Painting and Com-munication Design at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden and at Parsons School of Art, Media, and Technology in New York City. In his work cycles, Schmidhuber continually examines the interfaces between artisanal perfection and intellectual, intuitive processes. For example, he develops ever new painterly techniques and has even created specially patented binding agents that enable him to technically realize his special form of emotional, gestural painting. Handmade Oriental rugs up to 100 years old serve as the base material for “Carpets of the Forgotten;” he paints on them in a gestural style and adds typographic statements to them, thus trans-forming them into floor paintings that can be walked on.
Christian Schwarzwald, born in Salzburg in 1971, lives in Berlin and studied at the Aca-demy of Fine Arts in Vienna and in Athens.His idea of drawing is that of an all-encom-passing and unrestricted medium. Historical context as well as outer appearance often play a central role in his works. Faces, abstract patterns, architecture, plants, and objects are rigorously worked through and combined in blocks to create installations and entire rooms that embrace the visitor upon entering. His works often feature clear parallels to the exhibition character of historic and archaeo-logical museums.
Owners, hotel pioneers and self confessed art lovers – Spa yoga guru Evelyn (Haus Hirt Hotel) & architect husband Ike Ikrath (Miramonte Hotel) call the festival “A cultural lifeline that brings a fresh new focus on the town but also allows young contemporary artists the opportunity to shine. The place becomes alive with culture, loved by us all, like one big family”.
Where should you take up residence in Bad Gastein – we’ve picked a choice of two cool pads of creativity run by the same family – one a chilled country villa for those feeling en-vogue and the stylish sister hotel up the hill, a cool, sophisticated and designer haven;
A real lovely traditional Alpine lodge that has had a chic refit of eclectic styling of quirky design elements, stacks of well positioned collectables and lively, modern takes on the heritage prints & textiles.
This urban family retreat is alive with positive energy as inspired by the Aveda spa & setting.
This sophisticated bolthole, oozing a fifties Vogue glamour, makes for a luminary getaway. A favourite of the creative scene, tastefully timeless, postmodern pieces feel perfectly at home in this Alpine masterpiece of chillax.
Travel tips – stop through in Salzburg at the Arthotel Blaue Gans – an edgy contrast of an aged coaching inn and a gallery of curatorial art that adds a flavour of an east-side gallery – this is all about a bold, contemporary art scene flanked by twisted beams and heritage thick walls.
White Line Hotels® is a curated edit of some 70+ creative hotels that have soul and were crafted just for their neighbourhood and if you love the ALPS we’ve got more than 20 hotels that we love too. For art lovers check out our CULTURE KIDS – a concise edit of those creative dens with culture at their hearts.