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The Most Valuable Resource in the World

3 October 2014 to 15 February 2015

Water, a resource that is a precondition for life like no other, is increasingly coming under pressure for ecological as well as economic reasons. Water keeps us alive, water is in need of protection as a public good. Pure water is also an emotional resource and a prime ingredient for wellbeing and happiness.

The 1960s saw the beginning of two developments that continue to make water a fascinating subject for art to this day. On one hand, socially relevant themes such as ecology moved to the fore in artistic projects and, on the other, the fluid, changeable, elusive aspects of water lend themselves to an enlarged sculptural practice. Artists use water in its different states of aggregation as a material. Water is synonymous with a high quality of life. It is indispensable for cleaning, bathing, swimming and central to religious and spiritual rites. The struggle against pollution and against exploiting water as simply another economic resource is essential.

Artists accompany this struggle, comment on it and take part in it. This is an exhibition that features the economic, social, emotional and aesthetic aspects of an indispensable element.


Vito Acconci | Francis Alÿs | Kenneth Anger | John Baldessari | Bernd und Hilla Becher | Daniel Beltrá | Joseph Beuys | Ursula Biemann | Louise Bourgeois | David Bowen | Herbert Brandl | George Brecht | Kaucyila Brooke | Chris Burden | Daniel Canogar | Peter Dreher | Jürgen Drescher | Joachim Eckl | Marina Faust | Eric Fischl | Regina José Galindo | Franz Gertsch | Andy Goldsworthy | Tue Greenfort | Asta Gröting | Andreas Gursky | Rachel Harrison | Roni Horn | Indra. | Allan Kaprow | William Kentridge | Leopold Kessler | Jacques Henri Lartigue | Ulrike Lienbacher | Shinichi Maruyama | Gabriele Münter | Carsten Nicolai | Fabrizio Plessi | Wilfredo Prieto | Annie Ratti | Clare Richardson | Gerhard Richter | Klaus Rinke | Gerwald Rockenschaub | Hubert Schmalix | Christoph Schmidberger | Werner Schrödl | Roman Signer | Robert Smithson | Superflex | The Yes Men | Lew Thomas | Timotheus Tomicek | Bill Viola | Johannes Vogl | Peter Weibel | Elizabeth Weinberg | Bernd Zimmer

Supported by



Thursday, 2 October 2014, 7 pm
Together with Pure Water will be opened the exhibition Oliver Ressler.

Guided tours

    Every Sunday, 4 pm
    Duration 1 hour, costs € 3, exclusive admission, German only

    in English, Czech, and BKS (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian)
    Every 1st Saturday in a month at 4 pm
    Duration 30 Min, € 2 plus admission fee
    with sign language interpreter
    Every 1st Saturday in a month at 4 pm
    Admission and guided tour free for deafs


Book Cover The exhibition is accompanied by by the publication Reines Wasser. Die kostbarste Ressource der Welt. Edited in Verlag Jung und Jung. With texts in German language by Margareta Sandhofer, Angelika Reitzer, Klaus Rinke (Interview), Peter Dreher (Interview), Ursula Biemann, Annie Ratti, The Yes Men, Elisabeth Nowak-Thaller, Bill Viola, Bertolt Brecht, Louise Bourgeois (including photo gallery).
160 pages, 4c, hardcover, price: € 22

Buy online at the LENTOS Shop
(Order transaction in German only)

In cooperation with

Exhibition booklet

A free exhibition booklet with information on all exhibits is available in German and English language.

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Photo: © maschekS.