After 1945, even if the second republic was unable to reconcile itself with the most famous artists who emigrated abroad, such as O. Kokoschka, R. Neutra or F. Kiesler, there is nevertheless a marked continuity in Austrian art. While the debate on realism in its various variants agitates the Austrian artistic circles, the constructive tradition, the concept, the minimalization (A. Loos) are not followed at all, and with a few notable exceptions, pure abstractionism is also missing. Many artists, even after 1945, had to leave the country, because they were pursued by justice: in Berlin a sort of artistic government in exile was formed, which included O. Wiener, H. Nitsch, G. Brus, G. Rühm, the writer HC Artmann and others. It was only after 1955 (the year of the signing of the State Treaty which ended the occupation regime following the commitment of the Austria to maintain neutrality) that art in the country could finally explode and an artistic avant-garde could be formed. Before that, artists such as H. Boeckl (1894-1966), a long-time active expressionist, and AP Gütersloh (1887-1973), alongside the great sculptor F. Wotruba (1907-1975), followed as masters. he returned from Swiss exile to the Vienna Academy.
In sculpture, Wotruba created cubic signs with a figurative imprint; his ideas were further developed by numerous pupils, such as eg. J. Avramides (b.1922), R. Hoflehner (b.1916) and Austria Urteil (1913-1963). It was still either an abstraction of the human figure or an interest aimed at a new realism, as in the case, for example, of Austria Hrdlicka (b.1928), O. Bottoli (b.1921) and others, in where abstraction remains only an intention and the realization of the work is still linked to reality.
In painting, the first to impose themselves are the members of the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism (Wiener Schule des phantastischen Realismus), who, however, impose themselves by ” playing around ” with surrealism. What is sought is in reality a continuous transformation of the iconographic models of tradition and not a break with it. The paintings of R. Hausner (b.1914), E. Brauer (b.1929), E. Fuchs (b.1930), W. Hutter (b.1928) and of F. Hundertwasser himself are works pervaded by the fantastic, visualizations of Freudian ideas.
In 1964, with the “action” Blutorgerl was born “Viennese actionism” (Wiener Aktionismus) which – like fantastic realism – did not intend to consider itself a school. Painting is transformed into ” action ”: instead of the stillness of the painting, temporality, the event, is sought. O. Mühl (b.1925), Austria Frohner (b.1934), H. Nitsch (b.1938), G. Brus (b.1938), O. Schilling and, later, R. Schwarzkogler (1940- 1969) who died prematurely, represent the counterpart of the Zero group in Germany and the Fluxus movementin the United States, while retaining a marked individualism. Many of them either gave up their artistic activity very early or committed suicide. Brus resumed drawing, while Nitsch persistently pursued the idea of his Mysterien-Orgien-Theater. For Austria 2004, please check topb2bwebsites.com.
It was between these two poles that the greats of Austrian painting and architecture moved, attracted now by one now by the other, but, ultimately, each following their own path. The most important figure is that of Austria Rainer (b. 1929) who tenaciously carried out a vast activity of ” superimposition ” of signs. He initially worked in the Galerie Nächst St. Stephan, together with abstractionists, but still related to the object, such as J. Mikl (b. 1928), M. Prachensky (b. 1932), M. Weiler and W. Hollegha (b. 1929). Alongside Rainer, M. Lassnig, the great lady of Austrian painting, has produced deeply felt “figures of bodies” (Körperbilder): works of great expressiveness and notable vehemence.
A decisive push in the direction of a clearer avant-garde then came from the ” Tyrolean ” painters, among which we should mention above all O. Oberhuber (b.1931), an artist in constant change who has oscillated between various styles, from realism to informal art and again to realism. Although he was a teacher at the Hochschule für angewandte Kunst, he became the main inspirer of the younger generation, especially Ch. L. Attersee (b.1940), Kappa (K. Kocherscheidt, b.1943), S. Anzinger (b. 1953) and H. Schmalix. Oberhuber is the transformer, the positive man of the avant-garde, among other things, in short, the main disturbing factor in the Austrian art scene.
A scene that, especially in the last ten years, has proved particularly fertile. Rockenschaub, Werkner, M. Wakolbinger (b. 1952), Brandl and Jürgensen emphasized new possibilities in the direction of the trans-avant-garde. Austrian art works having as its ideal matrix the postmodern of the imperial-royal monarchy. The works of R. Adrian X., Canadian by birth but Viennese by adoption, have given it a more markedly conceptual note, as have those of G. Bechtold, E. Caramelle, V. Export (b.1940), H. Gappmair, C. Kolig, M. Peitner, P. Weibel and L. Kriesche (b. 1940) who broaden the media context of the figurative arts with new means.
Sculptors, such as eg. B. Gironcoli (b.1936), W. Pichler (b.1936) and K. Prantl (b.1923), are looking for new possibilities of expansion for sculpture: environments that ultimately reflect constructions imagined and realized from Austrian architecture.
It should also be added that Austrian art is unthinkable without photography: the narrative photography of H. Cibulka and the more conceptual one developed around the Fotoforum in Graz should be mentioned.
Considered as a whole, Austrian art of the second half of the 20th century retains, more than ever, traditional elements, both in terms of form and iconography. Link with the tradition that is constantly recognizable, especially with that of Catholic art and in which the expressive and Baroque element of Jesuit derivation dominates. See table ft