Image: ‘Salzburg is a Magical Place’
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‘Salzburg is a Magical Place’ Regine Müller in conversation with Thaddaeus Ropac

17 August 2023

Thaddaeus Ropac opened his first gallery in Salzburg in 1983. At six locations between London and Seoul, 130 employees now organise 35 to 40 exhibitions a year.

A bleak industrial area in the north of Salzburg, you walk a while from the bus stop, then you stand incredulously in front of a plain block of a building. Here, Galerie Ropac, one of the world's major galleries, maintains a space for large formats and bold juxtapositions. In addition to the main gallery in the old town.

In this decentralised annexe, one is still completely alone with the art. The first room shows Wolfgang Laib's large work "The Rice Meals" from 1983 with 25 copper plates arranged in a dead straight line and filled with rice and hazelnut pollen. Laib has been creating installations from natural materials such as wax, flower pollen, marble, milk and rice since the 1980s. This is one of his exemplary works.

On the front wall, Anselm Kiefer's "Vineta" (1982/1986) sets a massive, rasping accent. On the sides, Robert Longo's large paper work "Men in the cities" (1981), his sombre charcoal composition "Untitled (After Soulage)" from 2022 and Imi Knoebel's luminous pink painting "Once upon a time II", also from 2022, are secondary works.

The "age difference" of the works shown is intentional. The concept of the leap in time continues in the gallery's main building in the centre of Salzburg. In the palatial Villa Kast on Mirabellplatz, works from the founding period can be seen on the ground floor, while upstairs are the latest works by gallery artists, some of which were created especially for the anniversary exhibition.

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