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THE BEGINNING. Art in Austria, 1945-1980. #2 Fantastic Realism and Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Category: Exhibition 3. June 2020

At the beginning of art in Austria after the Nazi tyranny and the war there was the „Vienna School of Fantastic Realism“, at first known under the term „Vienna Surrealism“. It included artists like Arik Brauer, Ernst Fuchs, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter and Anton Lehmden as the core members of the group. It will probably be surprising for some who know him, but Arnulf Rainer also produced some works that count as part of that movement.

By their art, the artists of this group were looking for a new orientation after the heroic posturing and the fake idyll of Nazi art, to opening up to international movements, especially Surrealism. However, they can not be regarded as successors of French Surrealism because their approach was much more analytic, and marked by a profound reflection on the contingency of existence in the world and of their own situation.

Friedensreich Hunderwasser can be considered as the one Austrian post-war artist who gained international recognition and success early on. He created a very unique oeuvre that contains elements of a world view and positions – like holistic nature and environmental awareness – that are still relevant today and that were ahead of their time in his era. 

In the CastYourArt video, curators Berthold Ecker and Elisabeth Dutz present Fantastic Realism and the art of Hundertwasser, each of them have their own section dedicated to them in the exhibition at the ALBERTINAmodern „The Beginning. Art in Austria 1945 to 1980“. (Written by Wolfgang Haas)

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