Set within the broader context of post-war Austria and the re-education initiatives set up by the Allied forces, particularly the US, this book investigates the art and architecture scene in Vienna to ask how this can inform our broader understanding of architectural Postmodernism.
The book focuses on the outputs of the Austrian artist and architect, Hans Hollein, and on his appropriation as a Postmodernist figure. In Vienna, the circles of radical art and architecture were not distinct, and Hollein’s claim that ‘Everything is Architecture’ was symptomatic of this intermixing of creative practices. Austria’s proximity to the so-called ‘Iron Curtain’ and its post-war history of four-power occupation gave a heightened sense of menace that emerged strongly in Viennese art in the Cold War era. Seen as a collective entity, Hans Hollein’s works across architecture, art, writing, exhibition design and publishing clearly require a more diverse, complex and culturally nuanced account of architectural Postmodernism than that offered by critics at the time.
Across the five chapters, Hollein’s outputs are viewed not as individual projects, but as symptomatic of Austria’s attempts to come to terms with its Nazi past and to establish a post-war identity.