Austrian Contemporary Art

This category especially gives a special view on art & artists in Austria.

Ernst Fuchs – “Der Triumph der Sphinx”

Ernst Fuchs, one of the founders of the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism worked closely with the Galerie Sydow in Frankfurt. 1966, Ernst Fuchs made an exhibition, called “Sphinx” at the Gallery Sydow in Frankfurt, from which I want to show some correspondence between Fuchs & Sydow happening just before the exhibition . Fuchs especially mentions his works “der Triumph der Sphinx” and “Puttos Traum”. The correspondent pictures of the works are displayed as an extract from the exhibition catalogue, which was produced in a limited version of 3000. (all copyrights to the below pictures are to Ernst Fuchs)




Sphinx_2 Fuchs_Puttos Traum

Mario Dalpra – “Listen to your inside emotions”

Mario Dalpra is an Austrian contemporary artist. He learned with Arnulf Rainer. Mario makes different kind of artwork. For me, his oevre is plenty of fantasy and emotions. I like his sculptures which have varieties in all kind -forms, colors, shapes. They have all a kind of dynamics and just wait to explored either by your eyes or by your cognitive thinking. Just have a look…

Mario Dalpra dalpra1 Dalpra2 dalpra_g5Dalpra3 Dalpra4



Franz West – The Art of words

In the book “Franz West schrieb”, the editors Mrs. Ines Turian and Mr. Ernst Ulrich Obrist make the so called “Schriebe” of Franz West available to the public.

What are those “Schriebe”? As the editors describe, “Franz West has been writing texts, notes, remarks and aphorisms non-stop since 1975”. It is described, “that he attaches these texts to his sculptures, continuing the sculptural expression linguistically without illustrating or explaining. In places the titles, epithets and text scan raise awareness of the sculpture’s form, in others they can drive the viewer mad or fascinate like the cryptograms of a lingual alchemist. Texts accompany Franz West’s complete oeuvre.”

Allow me to make a link to the famous René Magritte. Magritte is one of the artists, who used words, notes etc. in his paintings as part of “communication” with the viewer and thus tried start a dialogue. The “(art)object” is talking to the “(art) subject” (–> which is the viewer). For me, Franz West further develops that kind of communication, going steps ahead and let the “art subjects” act with his artwork. He integrates “subject” and “object”, let the the “subject” and the “object” get into a symbiosis and thus transform the piece of art into “performance” or  how I want to call it “spiritual capital”.

So I am not wondering that “writing” or “describing” is something important for Franz West´s oevre. He puts it on a same level as his art work or his performances because they just belong together.

As long you are feeling, smelling, reading and seeing you are experiencing and understand what “spiritual capital” is all about.

I am very lucky to be able show one of the original notes (or “Schriebe”) from Franz West. Here Franz West is referring to Theodor W. Adorno (see “under Adornos ice-cold sun of the capitalism” which he writes on a notepad of the brasilian Copacabana Palace hotel.

May the power and the art & color of Franz West´s words inspire you as they inspire me!


Franz west looking at his watch

Arnulf Rainer – overpaintings

Recently I had the chance to dive into the world of Arnulf Rainer´s artistic history : I took a look into old exhibition catalogues which took place in different places of this world… in New York, Cologne (Germany), Venice (Italy), Sao Paolo (Brazil).

Rainer´s main artistic work is the so-called over paintings, which have its roots in surrealistic informal art: extreme reductions, paining with closed eyes etc. In the mid 50ies his works get darker and black. Rainer uses other and his own works of art to create those over paintings: Black coverings with very small rests of the original painting or canvas. Beginning 1966 Rainer made experiments with certain drugs which lead to those -today well known – face farces, which he partly overpainted to make additional accent to those farces. Those paintings were selected for the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1971.

Attached you see a scarce signed catalogue and a scarce signed photograph (signed twice) from Arnulf Rainer, which  I could take into my collection recently. (Please respect copyright of this image which belongs to Arnulf Rainer. No reproduction allowed!)


Rainer, Arnulf_Katalo_Sao Paolo 1971


Rainer, Arnulf

Alfred Hrdlicka – war & martyrism

It was quite early in my life when I was confronted with shocking images from war: it was a reproduced picture from Picasso´s Guernica on one of the walls of our school. A picture which stays in my head forever. In one of our religion lessons we were as well talking about Pater Maximilian Kolbe, and learned about martyrism in that context.

Guernica, Kolbe,… how comes the context now and why to Alfred Hrdlicka?

The first time I really got in touch with the artist Alfred Hrdlicka was at the time when  the controversial discussions about his “sculpture against war and fascism” on the Albertina square in Vienna took place . 1988 ( i was 18 at that time) the sculpture was finished.  As I remember, core of the discussion was the jewish man kneeing and washing the streets, which was reflecting the fact, that after “the Anschluss” (Austria was was affiliated by the german Nazi´s) jewish people had to do degrading work. The helplessness of the jewish man in Hrdlickas sculpture shaked me up as he is for me a ” symbol” for all the inhumanity taking place in today´s world.

In 1993 I was participating on one of the exhibition openings at the Gallery Hilger in Vienna, where Alfred Hrdlicka was present. I bought the book “Johann Gruber – Mauthausen” .  Why?

The book starts with with the description, that in a little chapel in Mauthausen,  there is a oil painting next to the altar done by the polish painter Jan Molga making visible 3 persons: Dr. Johann Gruber next to Sr. Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe. Why Dr. Johann Gruber ?, what was bringing him to this camp and what was the reason that he got next in line with Kolbe and Stein?  The book gives the answer.

Alfred Hrdlicka signed this book for me in a very personal way:

Hrdlicka, Alfred

Johann Julian Taube – Neuhauser Block & journeys of adventures by pencil

Maybe this artist might be new to you as it was to me until I got this book with a drawing  as a birthday present from my father. Johann Julian Taupe was born in Gritschach/ Kärnten/ Austria and started his carrer at the “Akademie der bildenenden Künste” in Vienna in 1976 with Prof. Max Weiler. Later he was working with Prof. Arnulf Rainer  from 1981-1983. Various exhibitions brings the art to many spectators allover Europe.

After making a drawing into the guest book of the sculptor Karl-Manfred Rennertz. Helmut Swoboda, a painter colleague of him, “mistreated” him to start making drawings . After the opening of the museum Neuhaus/Suha, Herbert Liaunig spoke with him to create a book with drawings, etchings etc. within the context the Museum . Between september 2008 and march 2009 the “Neuhauser Block” with more than 140 works of art were born.

Peter Weiermair describes in the book some insight, which I allow to cite partly on my blog .”The drawings of Johann Julian Taupe only entered late into the life of the painter… They reflect Taupe´s adventure with a new medium, which is based not on color, but on line. … The observer is the reader of this seismografic handwriting, the one who endeavors to decipher it and who tracks its intrinsic movement: its taking pause, its figuration, even if these characters do not appear before us  in full clarity (but rather as abbreviations and abstraction),  its hastening and persistence…

Have a look!

buch_ml_taupe_cover_1 drawing

Hermann Nitsch – Museum Opening

Dear friends,

It was a sunny afternoon in 2007, when I was visiting the Herman Nitsch museum in Mistelbach due to its opening. (see Quite a high number of art interested people were attending the event. I took the opportunity to meet the artist as well his works. I may not be my favorite style but I take it as a challenge to understand what stands behind. Hermann Nitsch wants his work to represent a school of life, perceiption and sentiments. I tried to see and feel.

After some speeches and talks, I saw Mr. Nitsch sitting on a bench, quite alone and thinking. I made this photo and some months after, I let it sign by him.

Franz Ringel : “M.J.M Ringel -change of signature in 1980”

You can see Franz Ringel´s works in private collections as well as in public collections as in the “Albertina” in Vienna, museum of modern art, “Secession” in Vienna ….

In 1980 he changed his signature in order to show his link of the 3 women which were so important for him: his wife Maria, his mother Juliane and his stepmother Margareta.

An example of a small piece of work is the little heart he put into the book “Die Reise nach Petuschki”.

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Nitsch – Rainer – Staudacher : ” 3 artists – 18 years”

As addition to my growing collection of contemporary austrian artists, I share the catalogue from Otto Breicha “Tempi Passati” (Galerie Klewan), which now is signed by all 3 artists.

The first”inscription” was given by Mr. Staudacher who also drew a small sketch of  a fish with a small note: ” do not fetch the fishing rod” – I love his humor !

It took me a longer time to get it autographed by Mr. Nitsch what finally happened in 2007 at an opening event at the Nitsch museum .

This year, I could attend an event in Baden (near Vienna) at the Arnulf Rainier museum, where Mr. Rainer signed the catalogue by ” an overwriting” of his printed name (he was not signing any photographs).

As to my knowledge – a minimum of 18 years hunting for the completion – that´s how it is if you are not full time taking care about autographing.

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Christian Ludwig Attersee: “Die gemalte Reise”

Already in the late 80-ies, I was about 18 -20 years old, I was more and more collecting artists´ books and catalogues. Sometimes I had the chance to meet the artist in person during the openings of new exhibitions, sometimes due to my father´s connections to certain galerists I could arrange other ways to get my books & catalogues signed.

This actual piece is a ballpoint sketch from Mr. Attersee ( in the book “Die gemalte Reise”.

Ballpoint sketch 1998