Austrian Cultural Forum
January 20, 2016
7:30 pm
Austrian Cultural Forum
3524 International Court NW
Washington DC 20008

EXHIBITION OPENING | The Jewish Museum Vienna on International Court: Erich Lessing. Andrew Mezvinsky

The Austrian Cultural Forum Washington DC is pleased to announce two exhibitions touring from the Jewish Museum Vienna: LESSING PRESENTS LESSING, works by noted photographer Erich Lessing, curated by his daughter Hannah Lessing and A GOOD DAY, a multimedia installation by Andrew Mezvinsky based on Primo Levi's account of survival in Auschwitz. The two shows offer intimate insights into Austrian Jewish life past and present, serving as a platform for discussion, experience and confrontation. Lessing and Mezvinsky on display in one exhibition is a vital symbol of the ongoing, thriving cultural bridge building between Austria and the US.

With their work, both artists embrace generations, cultures, and traditions, yet they claim very distinct artistic positions. Andrew Mezvinsky is a young Jewish-American artist who was born in Philadelphia. Having travelled the world, Mezvinsky five years ago chose the city of Vienna to be his center of life and creative work. Erich Lessing fled Vienna for Palestine in 1939 and returned to Vienna in 1945.  As a photojournalist for the Associated Press in 1947, he became one of the most important Austrian and international photographers.

Erich Lessing achieved renown through his candid pictures of major political moments of his day, with his documentation of the signing of the Austrian State Treaty, now serving as the iconic symbol of the reformation of Austria as a sovereign state after World War II. His famous portrait subjects included the likes of Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle. From the 1960s on he turned his focus to the arts, notably serving as on-set photographer for The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews, which celebrates its 50 year anniversary in 2015.

By contrast, American artist Andrew Mezvinsky’s work A GOOD DAY contemplates a single day in Auschwitz in 1944. Inspired by the Jewish-Italian Holocaust survivor Primo Levi’s autobiography If This Is a Man, Mezvinsky depicts Levi’s traumatic experiences in the concentration camp, including a chapter titled “A Good Day” that describes a day at the end of winter when the first rays of sun heralded a relief from the cold.

When: January 20, 2016 | 07:30pm
Where: Austrian Cultural Forum, 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Tickets: Free Admission! | Please register at

General exhibition will be open to the public from 
January 21 - March 18, 2016 |
Mon - Fri: 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 5 pm

No tickets or registration required for visiting the exhibition afterwards.

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