The special exhibitions and the work of art of the month

You’d be mistaken if you thought you’d seen everything on a single visit to Neustift. Since the new wing of the museum was opened in May 2021 there has at last been room for special exhibitions – and the monastery has numerous works of art and topics that have not yet been processed or shown.


The themes of the exhibition range from aspects of abbey history to modern art. As part of the series ‘Work of art of the month’, interesting, curious and valuable objects from the Neustift parishes are presented in the ‘Chamber of Art’ designed by Paul Renner.

Chemical Landscapes - Experimentelle Fotografie. Matthias Guido Braudisch

2. Juni - 2. September 2023

In der Ausstellung „Chemical Landscapes“ zeigt Matthias Guido Braudisch seinen experimentellen Umgang mit Fotografie. Die Kombination von analoger und digitaler Technik, gepaart mit der fundierten Kenntnis alter Edeldruckverfahren und einem Gespür für das Material und den richtigen Moment, macht den besonderen Charakter seiner Werke aus.

Chemical Landscapes sind wilde Felsformationen, schwindende Gletscher, kantige Gebirgszüge und fast schon surreale Vulkanlandschaften, die den Zauber und die Vergänglichkeit unberührter Natur in nahezu abstrakten Formen einzufangen vermögen.


Matthias Guido Braudisch, geboren 1985 in Bregenz, diplomierte 2010 am fotoK, Schule für künstlerische Fotografie in Wien. 2019 schloss er sein Studium der Malerei an der Akademie der bildenden Künste in Wien bei Daniel Richter ab. 2020 erhielt er ein Medienstipendium der Nationalparks Austria und setzte sich fotografisch und künstlerisch sehr intensiv mit den schwindenden Gletschern der Hohen Tauern auseinander. Braudisch lebt und arbeitet in Kennelbach, Vorarlberg. |

Work of art of the month

Monstrance from Kiens

The filigree tower-like structure of this monstrance from the Parish of Kiens in the Pustertal Valley (affiliated with Neustift Abbey) follows the stylistic tradition of the late Gothic. However, details such as the reliefs of the evangelists at the base reveal that it is a late Renaissance piece of extremely high quality. The enamelled coat of arms and the tiny relief with the Adoration of the Kings mark the monstrance as a donation from a member of the noble Künigl family, whose name refers to the German word “König”, meaning “king”.

Water Light Lab

5 - 20 May 2023

Contemporary light art projects contained by historic walls: As part of the BRIXEN WATER LIGHT FESTIVAL ©, objects and installations by international artists have been presented in the Augustinian Canons’ Monastery of Novacella. They all work with light as a luminous element, as a pictorial material or as a digital medium. They direct it through transparent substances, they confront it with reflecting foils, they distribute the light with the help of lenses. The dialogical relationship between light and shadow, reflection and absorption, contrast and colour are their tools. The WATER LIGHT LAB provides an insight into the diversity of artistic work with light since the 1960s.

The artists of the WATER LIGHT LAB differ in their forms of expression, their artistic concepts and the themes they engage with. They refer to natural phenomena such as water, clouds or rainbows and develop artistic equivalents. They study the shaping of nature in ramifications, interconnections or growth processes and translate these into aesthetic constructs. They learn from natural habitats for digital environments. They all exemplify how artists shape research and development processes.

With contributions by Philipp Artus, Benjamin Bergmann, Nazanin Fakoor, Sam Durant, Groll - Berndt - Seltmann, Angelika Höger, Ken Matsubara, François Morellet, Christine Sciulli, Gudrun Barenbrock.


The WATER LIGHT LAB is curated by Bettina Pelz.

With the active support of the Zumtobel Group and presented by Alperia.


For further information:

Christmas and nativity scene exhibition

26 November 2022 - 4 February 2023

Amongst the Neustift collections are numerous paintings of the birth of Christ as related in the Bible, especially from the Baroque era. They are by important Tyrolean painters such as Ulrich Glantschnigg, Matthias Pussjäger and Kaspar Waldmann. The exhibition presents a representative selection of works, some of which have never ever been on display. There are also a number of models of the scene presented by the South Tyrolean association of friends of nativity scenes.


The prelate who paints. Paintings by Chrystostomus Giner

28 May - 5 November 2022

Chrysostomus Giner (*1930) was Prelate of Neustift Abbey from 1969 to 2005. Ever since the time he was working as a co-operator in the parish of Assling in East Tyrol (1956-1960) he has been an enthusiastic amateur painter. The 92-year-old Giner still paints every day.

The exhibition shows a representative cross-section of his work. In addition to portraits, religious pictures and motifs from Neustift history, this consists in particular of depictions of mountain scenes, farmhouses and flowers.

Lorenzo Brivio. Ex Voto

19 February - 21 May 2022

In this group of works that are being shown for the first time, Lorenzo Brivio (born in 1993 in Carate Brianza/Lombardy) explores the tradition of ‘ex voti’ – votive offerings and pictures with which the faithful thank God, the Virgin Mary and the saints for grace received. Brivio’s paintings in cyanotype technique show parts of the human body integrated into prints of photos and symbolic objects. They can be seen in the context of the artist’s wider investigation into ‘Freedom between the human and the divine’.

Nativity scene exhibition 2021/22

27 November 2021 - 2 February 2022

The exhibition shows a selection of nativity scenes kept in the abbey. It centres around two large scale nativity scenes that were made by two former Neustift prelates. The nativity scene with clothed figures from the Neustift school boarding house dating from 1974 is a typical work by Konrad Lechner (1901-1994). The nativity scene made from 1980 by Chrysostomus Giner (*1930) has painted figures based on models by Josef Bachlechner the Elder. Also included are several scenes presented by members of the Brixen branch of the South Tyrolean association of friends of nativity scenes.

Between Budapest and New York. Neustift’s lost treasures

17 July 2021 - April 2022

They were carted off or sold and have now returned in the form of short films and picture panels to their place of origin: the numerous items that form part of Neustift Abbey’s art and cultural heritage and found their way into international museums and collections from around 1810 after Tyrol was taken over by Bavaria. Late Gothic panel pictures, Baroque ivory sculptures, early printed books and manuscripts from Neustift are now in Munich and Innsbruck. Other objects even reached Hungary and the U.S. The exhibition presents a selection of ‘Neustift’s lost treasures’ and relates their eventful histories.

Christian Thanhäuser and Lorenzo Brivio

Summer 2021

The exhibition shows works by the two artists who together with Paul Renner created the monumental work of art ‘Hortus Sancti Augustini’ (‘Garden of St Augustine’) in the new staircase hall of Neustift Abbey’s museum. On display are graphics by Christian Thanhäuser and paintings by Lorenzo Brivio.

Silver relief of St Agnes from Niederolang

Viennese goldsmith A. H., 1764

The silver relief shows the early Christian martyr Agnes, the auxiliary patron saint of the church in the Neustift parish of Niederolang. The lamb (in Latin agnus) at her feet symbolizes her innocence and is also a play on her name. This outstanding work of art was produced in the year 1764 by a Viennese goldsmith with the initials A.H. On the base of the frame is the coat of arms of the aristocratic Leyss von Paschbach family with the date 1743.

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