The curatorial idea

“The space in between connects the spokes to the wheel” (Lao-Tse)

The exhibition “Spatiu intre – In between” refers to the interstices that give meaning to the whole. Gabriela von Habsburg is describing in her three-dimensional sculptures and her lithographs the space in between, as the element giving purpose and meaning. The dialectic of clear geometric forms and space in between, the presence and absence is sharpening the identity and creates the whole artwork. In fact that the clear lines of her sculptures are from steel sharpens the contrast in our perception and creates an elegance, carried by the space in between.

In the same way, Romania is an intermediate space between the “Western Roman Empire” and the “Byzantine Orthodox Empire”, a country in between that gives meaning to both cultures and develops its own meaning in its diversity. And then, we can discover that not the diversity is important, different languages, family-names, etc. The mutual aspects have to gain awareness, as the Christian-Hebrew roots of our civilization and its development in the last 2.000 years.

At the end of the line, the Luxembourg born, Gabriela von Habsburg shows us in this exhibition that the cultural and geographical “space in between” teaches us to respect diversity in our daily life and constant connection with people.

Dr. Oana Ionel, Bucharest, 2021

The artist

Gabriela von Habsburg is one of the most important sculptors of contemporary art. Almost unnoticed by the noisy world of the art industry, which is busy with itself and its rules of the game, Gabriela von Habsburg had overtaken and made formative contributions to the further development of constructive-geometric sculpture.

This is most evident in the outdoor monuments such as “Betasith” at Munich Airport Terminal 2, “Five Continents” in front of the Franke Group’s headquarters in Aarburg, Switzerland or “The 3 Powers in The State” in front of the Georgian President’s palace in Tbilisi. But we also experience the same effect with smaller and medium-sized sculptures: that by lining up geometric shapes, treating the surface of the steel and enclosing a space with rods, plates, triangles, perforated plates, something new is created that defines a space, it represents something of its own, which can be viewed and rediscovered again and again, depending on how you turn the sculpture and from which angle you look at it.

We discover a deeply impressive imperial aesthetic that is simple and natural from the inside. There are clear angular “iron lines drawn in the room” as she describes it herself, at the core of which the round of warm warmth defines the newly created space. We find responsible discipline and understanding, respect and openness. All this is balanced by the artist in her own way, powerfully, courageously and carefully.

Gabriela von Habsburg has both feet firmly in the tradition of classic-modern art and in the tradition of her family. As a European politician, her father Otto von Habsburg (1912 – 2011), son of the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia, was able to benefit from the experience of his ancestors and an almost 800-year reign of the Habsburgs over a Central European multiethnic state and this in bring coexistence to a democratic Europe today. We also find this translation into a current context in the work of the artist Gabriela von Habsburg, it seems to be part of the family tradition, to bring phenomena into contemporary, sometimes futuristic context. As the Munich art historian and critic Dr. Elmar Zorn 2016 in his foreword to the book “Gabriela von Habsburg” writes:

“She completely lacks any trumpeting behavior, as the so-called” artist princes “sometimes show at their appearances. Although, she is very conscious of her social status as the granddaughter of the last Emperor of Austria and Archduchess. . . ”One might add, because leadership in politics, society and art always means first and foremost chivalric responsibility, something that very few conformist actors in the current art industry are aware of or even known about. This is expressed in the care with which Gabriela von Habsburg deals with space, body, geometry and balance. This is where the tension arise that leads to progression, especially when looking at the space in between, which leads to something new and unique. With this, the artist also describes the essence of the space in between, generating dynamics and tension from which the new is created by it-self.

The viewer should be given new insights, to know new perspectives and learn to look at the familiar from a whole new angle.
Gabriela von Habsburg
1956Born in Luxemburg
1976-78Studies of Philosophy at the LMU Munich
1978-82Studies of Arts at the Academy of Arts in Munich
Since 1980Member of BBK, the Professional Artists Association of Germany, Section Bavaria
Since 1985Member of GEDOK, Woman’s Art Association, Germany
1987-88Work stay in USA
1991Award for Fine Arts and Architecture of Sudetendeutschen Landsmannschaft, Germany
1995Award of Masaryk Academy of Arts, Prag
1994-01Design of the film award „MediaNet-Award“
1996-08Design of the film award „TV Movie-Award“
1997-00Design of the film award „High Hopes Award“
1997-07Design of the film award „CineMerit Award“
1998-02Design of the film award „Deutscher Filmschulpreis“
2008-18Design of the film award for VFF „Bernd Burgemeister Award“
1999Design of the film award „Nivo Dij TV2“ Budapest
2000Award of the European Art Union
2001-02Lectureship at the Summer Academy Neuburg a.d. Donau
2004-08Lectureship at the Academy Bad Reichenhall
2001-09Professor at the State Academy of Arts in Tbilisi
2004-07Art lessons at the BOS Scheyern
2008Design of the prize for young entrepreneurs in Eastern Europe, Raiffeisenbank Austria
2007Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for Helmut Schmidt
2008Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for George Bush sen.
2009Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for Richard von Weizsäcker
2010Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for Michael Bloomberg
2011Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for Helmut Kohl
2012Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for George P. Schultz
2013Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for Ewald Heinrich von Kleist
2014Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for James A. Baker, III
2014Visual Art Architecture and Design
2015Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for H. D. Genscher and Giorgo Napolitano
2016Design of the ‚Henry Kissinger Prize for Transatlantic Relations’ for Amb. Samantha Power
2009-13Ambassador of Georgia to Germany
Since 2013Senior Fellow at GISS Georgian Institute for Strategic Studies
Since 2014Professor at VA[A]DS, Visual Art Architecture and Design School, Free University, Tbilisi
Since 2014Member of Chatham House
  • Exhibitions
  • Group exhibitions
  • Works in public space


1988Susan Conway Carroll Gallery, Washington (USA)
1989Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
1909Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
1990Susan Conway Carroll Gallery, Washington (USA)
1990Galerie PS, Rottach-Egern
1991ARTE Galerie N, Munich
1991ART Hamburg ’91, with Helmut Vakily
1992Csikász Galéria, Veszprém (Hungary)
1993Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
1993Hart Galerie, Germering (Bavaria)
1994Galerie Rieder, Munich
1994Hipp Halle, Gmunden (Austria)
1994Casa di Giulietta, Verona (Italy)
1994Galleria Giorgio Ghelfi, Verona (Italy)
1994Achmatova Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia)
1994Museion, Bolzano (Italy)
1994Galleria Goethe, Bolzano (Italy)
1994European Parliament, Strasbourg (France)
1995Museum for Foreign Art, Riga (Latvia)
1995University of Salzburg, Galerie Forum West (Austria)
1995National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta (Malta)
1995Art Gallery (Luxembourg)
1996Art Association, Sopron (Hungary)
1996Galerie im Schlosspavillon, Ismaning (Bavaria)
1996Burgmuseum, Esztergom (Hungary)
1996Ausseer Kultursommer, Styria (Austria)
1996Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
1996Moscow Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (Russia)
1996House of Art and Literature, Pécs (Hungary)
1997Galerie & Museum Lendava (Slovenia)
1997Schlosspark Ebreichsdorf/Galerie Ulysses, Vienna (Austria)
1997Burgmuseum Bodrum (Turkey)
1997Budapest Galéria (Hungary)
1997Schlösschen Vorder-Bleichenberg, Biberist (Switzerland)
1998City Museum, Skopje (Macedonia)
1998Galería de Arte Arrabal, Callosa (Spain)
1998Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
1998Galerie Risse, Wessling (Bavaria)
1998Museum of Modern Art, Erivan (Armenia)
1998Galerija Murska Sobota (Slovenia)
1998Galerie Leupi, Zofingen (Switzerland)
1999Kreuzfahrerhalle, Bethlehem (Palestine)
1999Kunstpavillon, Munich
1999Galerie Leupi, Ascona (Italy)
2000IHK, Würzburg
2000Caravanserai, Tbilisi (Georgia)
2000Studio Tommaseo, Triest (Italy)
2000Castello di Miramare, Triest (Italy)
2000Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Gyõr (Hungary)
2001Galerie am Rathausfletz, Neuburg an der Donau
2001Nationalgalerie, Tbilisi (Georgia)
2001Galerie Karin Klesper, Jesteburg (Lower Saxony)
2001Galerie im Avacon, Lüneburg
2001Art-Galerie an der Stadtkirche, Bayreuth
2001Gallery in the Colonnade, Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic)
2001Galerie Leupi, Zofingen (Switzerland)
2002Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
2002Dostoyevsky Museum, St. Petersburg (Russia)
2002National Gallery, Sofia (Bulgaria)
2002Goethe-Institut, Athens (Greece)
2003Art Museum, Voronesh (Russia)
2003Schlösschen Vorder-Bleichenberg, Biberist (Switzerland)
2004Stadtpfarrkirche St. Jakob, Dachau
2004Galerie der Stadt Traun (Austria)
2004IMADEC, Vienna (Austria)
2005Galerie Marschall, Bernried (Bavaria)
2005Galerie der Stadt Traun (Austria)
2006Camera Artis, Munich
2006Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
2007Monastero dei Benedettini, Catania (Italy)
2007Drissien Galerie, Munich
2008Atelier zwischen den Häusern, Marburg
2009Oriol Gallery, Munich
2010Cal(l)las, Vienna (Austria)
2011ART Innsbruck, with Leda Luss Luyken (Austria)
2011Gallery Avec Elize, Riga (Latvia)
2012ART Innsbruck, with Leda Luss Luyken (Austria)
2012Lagidze Gallery, Tbilisi (Georgia)
2013Galerie der Sparkasse Neubrandenburg, Potsdam
2013Aaart Foundation, Kirchberg in Tirol (Austria)
2014Deutsches Hopfenmuseum Wolnzach
2014Galerie M Beck, Saarbrücken
2014Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
2014AB Gallery, Lucerne (Switzerland)
2014Gallery Avec Elize, Riga (Latvia)
2015Münchner Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz
2015Galerie im Grauen Haus, Munich
2015Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
2015Museum im Schloss Elisabethenburg, Meiningen
2016Schloßpavillon Ismaning
2017Art Karlsruhe, Galerie Schloß Mochental
2017Werkhaus Munich
2018Autoren Galerie 1, Munich
2018Galerie Bagnato, Konstanz
2019Pavillon, Kloster Beuerberg, Freisinger Diazösanmuseum
2019Nationalmuseum, Tbilisi, Georgia
2019Goethe Institut, Tbilisi, Georgia
2019Museum Schloß Mochental


“Conjured Beauty of Human – Space in Steel and Pencil”

In her works, the sculptor Gabriela von Habsburg, as described in the other articles in this publication, deliberately creates rhythms of rooms, inter-space, and empty spaces, comparable to the sounds and pauses, as they are in music constituent for the whole structure. By formulating spatial bodies, the artist creates a kind of expansive writing with a noticeably playful ease and grace that, as far as I know, is not to be found in contemporary art.

It is an extraordinary, almost paradoxical quality of Gabriela von Habsburg’s work that – without having to lapse into the comfort of plastic figuration, her art has a strongly anthropomorphic recognizability, so that the viewer finds the human dimension in him or even finds it anew. How does the artist manage to achieve this in view of the reduction in the form of her work, which can no longer be increased?

On the one hand, I see the surprising traceability of organic shapes in the hard material of stainless steel – surprising, because apparently the heaviest things turn out to be easy to model – on the other hand, the combination of linear-vectorial and voluminously filled segments in circles and rectangles suggests a multitude of other options. The viewer’s imagination is animated because their sculptural structures direct and trigger additions. To that extent, they are not dogmatic propositions like we, so often, have to experience in the stately gesture of public monuments. The high participation ability for the viewer, as we can experience in her large, permanently installed works, but also in her smaller sculptures, shows the great empathy of a political artist who deeply emphasizes the human. The encounter with her sculptures and lithographs becomes a communication with open works of art, in the sense of the famous word coined by the cultural philosopher Umberto Eco in 1962.

In the thirteen pages appraisal of Gabriela von Habsburg’s work in the large catalog of Hirmer Verlag Munich, Manfred Schneckenburger, known to be one of the most important art critics of our time, comes to a remarkable judgment as to its status in the contemporary art scene:

“As she strives to place successfully every single work process, every single form decision, every single piece of steel, she goes her own contemporary path to an authentic work. Behind the artists of their generation, nobody wins the seductive stainless steel on such a high formal level so much individual expression and so much communicative density.”

The fact that it is a highly prominent European who succeeds in such a forward-looking dynamic in art, on the basis of a grandiose and unforgettable tradition over the centuries, nourishes the hope in difficult times that our best cultural inventions will remain effective and in the medium of art signs of orientation can be set in view of the increasing disappearance of public spaces, caused for example by the displacement of retail in the cities and strongly promoted by the pandemic of the last year and a half. The restart of culture after the end of the Coronavirus crisis, which is so existentially necessary for the whole world, but also for the diversity of art, for us, Europeans, is encouragingly taking place through such manifestations and exhibitions as that of the ardent European Gabriela von Habsburg. It is notable that this is happening in Romania. Exemplary creative spaces become thematized and fulfilled in a geographical, political, even work-immanent respect. In Gabriela von Habsburg’s sculpture and in her lithography, we see such contexts reflected programmatically, quite specifically in this exhibition and in a place like Michelsberg, part of the cultural and multi-cultural landscape of Transylvania. Thanks to Thomas Emmerling, a determined European, art collector and art-agent who is just as enthusiastic about Europe as our artist, such a Romanian and internationally English-speaking new beginning promises to be both captured and broadcast here in this European networked cell of the Kunsthaus 7B.

Elmar Zorn

(The author, who lives in Munich and on Lake Chiemsee in Upper Bavaria, is a cultural scientist, dramaturg and exhibition curator. He was a manager at the cultural office of the municipality of Munich, and he was involved in the founding of global and European art networks such as “Art in Nature” Paris / Berlin, the “Scociété Imaginaire” Washington / Buenos Aires and the “Accademia Europea Del Fuoco ”Campi Flegrei / Irpinia and taught at universities in Austria and Italy.)

Selection of artworks