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Real Wild Child

12 May to 5 September 2021

“I’ve never done it before so I’m quite sure I’ll be able to cope”, Pippi Langstrumpf declares. This is the kind of self-assured attitude we would like our children to develop. Do we also give them sufficient opportunity to live their curiosity? Today’s overprotection of children by their “helicopter” or "lawnmower” parents and the rapid progress of digitalisation, which puts a brake on children’s innate urge to explore things by themselves, make this doubtful. Children survive the most absurd pedagogical concepts and they even endure war, social deprivation, neglect and abuse, but at what price?

This exhibition shows works by 170 international artists from 1900 to the present day. Strong on critical acumen and empathy and on irony and humour, they document children’s happiness as well as their frustrations. They remind us that it's up to us to allow children a childhood that is worthy of being remembered.


Uli Aigner, Aigner/Kosakowski, Özlem Altin, Beni Altmüller, Iris Andraschek, Siegfried Anzinger, Christy Astuy, Iris Christine Aue, Stephan Balkenhol, Tina Barney, Werner Berg, Sibylle Bergemann, Thomas Billhardt, Julie Blackmon, Hans Böhler, Christian Boltanski, Eugenie Breithut-Munk, Klemens Brosch, Vanja Bucan, Wilhelm Busch, Maria Bussmann, Sevda Chkoutova, Clément Cogitore, Philipp Connard,  Lovis Corinth, Maciej Dakowicz, Nienke Deutz, Gerhild Diesner, Oliver Dorfer, Isabelle Dutoit, Franz Dutzler, Albin Egger-Lienz, Titanilla Eisenhart, Georg Eisler, VALIE EXPORT, László Fehér, Fabian Fink, Judith P. Fischer, Martina Fleck, Maia Flore, Judy Fox, Padhi Frieberger, Fritz Fröhlich, Friedrich Frotzel, Jorge Fuembuena, Katsura Funakoshi, Helene Funke, Theo Garvé, Franz Gertsch, Glaser/Kunz, Bernhard Gobiet, Sofia Goscinski, Nilbar Güreş, Maria Hahnenkamp, Wolfgang Hanghofer, Heidi Harsieber, Bertram Hasenauer, Carry Hauser, Gottfried Helnwein, Frans Hofmeester, Karen Holländer, Irene Hölzer-Weinek, Martin Honert, Bernadette Huber, Lisa Huber, Ursula Hübner, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Frederick Jaeger, Allen Jones, Leander Kaiser, Eginhartz Kanter, Mary Kelly, Gerhard Knogler, Oskar Kokoschka, Anton Kolig, Silvia Koller, Broncia Koller-Pinell, Michal Kosakowski, Auguste Kronheim, Maximilian Kurzweil, Alain Laboile, Katharina Lackner, Marie Jo Lafontaine, Erwin Lang, Lotte Laserstein, Maria Lassnig, Marie Luise Lebschik, Rudolf Leitner-Gründberg, Doris Lenz, Ulrike Lienbacher, Rosmarie Lukasser, Anna Mahler, Sabine Maier, Sally Mann, Gerhard Marcks, Pedro Marzorati, Frans Masereel, Henri Matisse, Matthias May, Ferdinand Melichar, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Inge Morath, Alois Mosbacher, Koloman Moser, Otto Muehl, Otto Mueller, Muntean/Rosenblum, Ernst Nepo, Walter Niedermayr, Rita Nowak, Monika Oechsler, Eamon O’Kane, Ruth Orkin, Burgis Paier, Margit Palme, Josef Pausch, Vanessa Jane Phaff, Monika Pichler, Andrzej Pietrzyk, Elisabeth Plank, Lois Pregartbauer, Bernhard Prinz, Erwin Rachbauer, Beate Rathmayr, Carl Anton Reichel, Frenzi Rigling, Alexander M. Rodtschenko, Emy Roeder, Anton Romako, Elisabeth von Samsonow, Roman Scheidl, Egon Schiele, Markus Schinwald, Christoph Schmidberger, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Anne Schneider, Ramona Schnekenburger, Martin Schnur, Claudia Schumann, Ludwig Schwarzer, Sean Scully, Deborah Sengl, Marielis Seyler, Clara Siewert, Fritz Simak, Max Slevogt, Kiki Smith, Ernst Stöhr, Hans Strohofer, Jock Sturges, Monika Supé, Wilhelm Thöny, Viktor Tischler, Elfriede Trautner, Kerry Tribe, Gabi Trinkaus, Barbara Camilla Tucholski, Massimo Vitali, Maja Vukoje, Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Nurith Wagner-Strauss, Jeff Wall, Bruno Walpoth, Marijke van Warmerdam, Gillian Wearing, Nives Widauer, Franz Wiegele, Reimo S. Wukounig, Luo Yang, Andre Zelck, Laurent Ziegler, Yantong Zhu

Mobile children art book library

A small, fine selection of books that makes you curious about art and stories. Find your favorite place in the exhibition to browse and dream.
By Klaus Scheuringer, Director Lentos Library


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Verlag für moderne Kunst in German with text contributions by Sabine Fellner, Beate Hofstadler, Elisabeth Nowak-Thaller, Robert Pfaller, Karin Schneider, Manfred Spitzer and Mariam Irene Tazi-Preve as well as a foreword by Hemma Schmutz; 216 pages, € 32.

With friendly support from

Sit-and-Go Guided Tours

Introduction to the exhibition on assigned seats with sufficient distance.
Followed by an individual tour of the exhibition.
Afterwards meeting point for questions and dialogue.
Duration 60 minutes, max. 15 persons, € 3 (plus admission).
No registration required ("first-come-first-served")
Participation is only possible with valid "3G proof" (tested, vaccinated, recovered).

German only

Our detailed guidelines for the museum visit can be found here



Soft Opening
Tue 11.5.21, 1-6pm

On the first day of the exhibition, the show can be visited from 13.00 to 18.00 with free admission, in compliance with the general safety precautions (2m minimum distance, FFP2 mask).
from 13.00 to 18.00 with free admission.

Late Opening
Tue 10.6.21, 6pm

Official opening of the exhibition with a welcome by Hemma Schmutz, Director Lentos, an introduction by the curators Sabine Fellner and Elisabeth Nowak-Thaller, and the opening of the show by Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, City Councillor for Culture of the City of Linz.

Lecture and Guided Tour

"Das Kind ein erotisches Spielzeug" ("The child an erotic toy", Quote: Sigmund Freud, 1910)
Lecture and Guided Tour
Sun 30.5. 11am-1.30pm

After her lecture accompanied by film clips, the psychoanalyst Beate Hofstadler will lead a guided tour of the exhibition with the curators. At the same time, a creative workshop will take place, which can be attended free of charge by children of the participants (from 5 years).
Cost: lecture and guided tour € 7 plus admission
German only
Registration required

Real Wild Child in Film

The theme of childhood is omnipresent in film. Both classics of film history and current works deal with growing up in a variety of ways, as the supporting program to the exhibition shows.

Film screening and discussion
Meine keine Familie (My No Family)
(Director: Paul Julien Robert, AT 2012)
Thu 27.5., 5-7pm.

Documentary film about the commune Friedrichshof of the Viennese actionist Otto Muehl in Burgenland. Discussion with Paul Julien Robert, Sonja Farkas and Sabine Fellner moderated by Karin Schneider. The screening will take place in the Lentos Auditorium.
Film screening 4 € plus admission
Limited number of participants

Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz
1.6. to 6.6.

Acasă, My Home
(Director: Radu Ciorniciuc, RO/FI/DE 2020)
(Director: Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh, FR 2020)
La Última Primavera
(Director: Isabel Lamberti, NL/ES 2020)
Robber Hands
(Director: Ilker Çatak, DE 2020)
Details on tickets and times:

Moviemento Cinema
Bicycle Thieves, Wed 19.5.21 > SCREENING FOLLOWS AT CITY CINEMAS
(Director: Vittorio de Sica, IT 1948)
Tomboy, Wed 9.6.21
(Director: Céline Sciamma, FR 2011)
Details on tickets and times:


Child and Family

Lentos Atelier Pop-Up Gallery
The exhibition of the "SelberkünstlerInnen" at the Lentos Donauatelier
Tue 11.5- Sun 11.7.

In the context of the exhibition Wild Childhood we invite all children and young people to show their artworks to us and interested visitors. From May to July our Donauatelier will be an exhibition space for the works of the young artists.
More information here

Participatory installation
Fri 21.5.21
Fri 18.6.21
Fri 2.7.21
each 15.00-18.00

Artist Katharina Lackner invites the young museum audience to experiment artistically and create freely without instruction.
In the Lentos Freiraum, we will build fantastic objects and spaces with simple materials (sticks, rubber bands, tape, plastic balls, etc.). The resulting works will then be
The resulting works will then be assembled into a large installation and supplemented with drawings by the artist.
The installation is thus always in motion, changes, grows and can be admired afterwards in the Lentos studio.
More information here

I see something...
A voyage of discovery for the whole family
Sat 26.6. 10.30-11.30am

With Karin Schneider and Korinna Kohout
Young and old meet (seated, at a distance) in the Lentos Freiraum to share experiences of their "journey" into the worlds of the exhibition. For this, children and adults each discover different works of art and share their musings. Max. 10 persons
Costs: Museum admission, participation in the journey of discovery included

Summer workshop
Widi, Widi, as we like it!
A "Pop-up Children's Republic
Tue 13-Fri 16.7. each 10am-2pm

With the artists Cécile Belmont and Klaus Scheuringer
In the square in front of the museum, children are wild and free, at least in their imagination. Out of all kinds of things - boxes, blankets, boards, stones - we build caves, ships, universes. We develop a "state system", invent its rules and think about how we want to live together as children and adults. 
For children from 7-12 years
Cost: € 75 for all days. Please bring waterproof clothes that can get dirty!
In cooperation with the Kinderkulturzentrum Kuddelmuddel


background image:

Foto: © maschekS.