Artists

Sculpture after 1945

A cen­tral focus in the gallery pro­gram is Aus­tri­an sculp­ture after 1945 with works by Fritz Wotru­ba (1907–1975) and sculp­tors of the first and sec­ond gen­er­a­tion after Wotruba.

After 1945 Austria’s sculp­tur­al work achieved inter­na­tion­al sta­tus. The Aus­tri­an sculp­tor Fritz Wotru­ba was appoint­ed by Her­bert Boeckl, the rec­tor of the Acad­e­my of Fine Arts in Vien­na, from exile in Switzer­land to head a mas­ter class in Vien­na.
Vien­na becomes the cen­ter of sculp­ture in Europe, shaped by Fritz Wotru­ba, whose influ­ence extend­ed far beyond his artis­tic work.

When he returned to Vien­na, Wotru­ba react­ed to the so-called “moder­ni­ty”; he took up the results of clas­si­cal Cubism. Instead of recre­at­ing anatom­i­cal shapes, he looks for basic struc­tures by break­ing them down into indi­vid­ual ele­ments in order to build a new whole. He sees the human body as an archi­tec­tur­al ele­ment.
Wotru­ba devel­oped into a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of clas­si­cal mod­ernism and an inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized sculp­tor and impor­tant Aus­tri­an sculp­tor of the 20th century.

He influ­enced his suc­ces­sor gen­er­a­tion espe­cial­ly with regard to the exam­i­na­tion of his big top­ic, the human fig­ure. He is con­cerned with the search for an ori­gin from which his sta­t­ic, heavy, silent, self-con­tained sculp­tures arise.
From 1946 Fritz Wotru­ba trained a num­ber of artis­tic per­son­al­i­ties in his mas­ter school for sculp­ture at the Acad­e­my of Fine Arts in Vien­na, who con­tin­ued Wotruba’s high lev­el in their own works, includ­ing Her­bert Albrecht, Joan­nis Avramidis, Otto Eder, Alfred Hrdlic­ka, Heinz Lein­fell­ner, Josef Pill­hofer, Erwin Reit­er, Andreas Judgment, …

Albrecht Herbert