The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, August 31, 2014


Controversial Austrian Artist Alfred Hrdlicka Dead at 81
Austrian artist Alfred Hrdlicka smiles during a reception on the occasion of his 80th birthday, at a gallery in Vienna. AP Photo/Lilli Strauss.

By: George Jahn, Associated Press Writer

VIENNA (AP).- Austrian artist Alfred Hrdlicka, whose controversial works in metal, paint and pencil alienated as much as attracted the public died Saturday, Austrian media reported. He was 81.

The Austria Press Agency cited gallery owner Ernst Hilger as announcing Hrdlicka's death in the daily Die Presse. Telephone calls late Saturday to Hilger's private number as well to his downtown Vienna gallery, which frequently exhibited Hrdlicka's works, were not returned.

Hrdlicka's sculptures, drawings and paintings are known as much for their artistic subtlety as their controversial themes. His religious works, in particular, drew protest from believers who considered them blasphemous.

Among his better-known works are his cast iron sculpture of a prostrate figure covered by barbed wire in downtown Vienna. The starkly disturbing "Memorial Against War and Fascism" has been occasionally defaced since it was unveiled in 1991.

Known to have been deeply influenced by his studies of the mentally ill during the late 1960s, Hrdlicka turned to a figurative expressive style meant to provoke his audience to confront the world's anguish, pain and misery. For him, art was agitprop and he understood his life as an artist as a mission to educate the public to oppose war and violence.

An atheist who espoused communist beliefs, he married religious themes with topics considered taboo among believers. One of his last exhibitions "Religion, Flesh and Power" was exhibited last year in the museum of Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral. A central work based on the Last Supper was removed on orders of Vienna's Cardinal Cristoph Schoenborn after protests that it depicted Jesus and his apostles as homosexuals at an orgy.

Born in Vienna Feb. 27, 1928, Hrdlicka first was apprenticed as a dental technician before starting studies at the Academy of Fine Arts under Josef Dobrowsky and Albert Paris Guetersloh. Later he participated in Fritz Wotruba's sculpture class until 1957.

Just seven years later, after a series of exhibitions in Austria, he was chosen to represent Austria in the Biennale in Venice. He taught at fine art academies in Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin, before returning to the Austrian capital and a professorship at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna.

His oft-cited dictum, "all art comes from flesh" is reflected in his later works. For Hrdlicka, art that avoided the human condition was nothing more than decoration and not to be taken seriously.

Hrdlicka was also sought after as a set designer on opera and theater stages across Europe.



Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.


Alfred Hrdlicka | Ernst Hilger | Biennale in Venice |


Today's News

December 7, 2009

Loyola University Chicago Receives Historic Gift: $50M from John and Herta Cuneo

MCA Presents Ann Lewis Gift Spanning Five Decades of Contemporary Art

The Speed Art Museum Announces $10 Million Given for Expansion

Dallas Museum of Art Celebrates the Work of Jacob Lawrence

Small Oils on Panel 1969-1973 by Philip Guston on View at McKee Gallery

Prehistoric Mammoth Site in Waco, Texas Opens to Public

"Carles Congost: Adult Contemporary" at Galeria Joan Prats

Controversial Austrian Artist Alfred Hrdlicka Dead at 81

Yoshitoshi's "Aspects of Daily Life" on View at the San Antonio Museum of Art

ICP Announces Exhibition of the Work by Reclusive Czech Artist Miroslav Tichy

Steven Holl Architects Opens Exhibition in Newly Finished Vanke Offices

Okay Mountain Announced as Recipient of Miami 2009 PULSE Prize

Exhibition of Works by George Grosz Announced at Akademie der Kunste

Exhibition in Berlin Documents the Varied and Wideranging Career of Romy Schneider

BP Portrait Award Exhibition to Open at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh

Fleming Collection Announces it will Show all its Scottish Colorist Paintings Together

Selected Works from the IMMA Collection at Friars Gate Theatre, Co Limerick

Major Exhibition of the Work of Renowned Sculptor Ron Mueck Announced

Hammer to Present First Drawings Retrospective of British Artist Rachel Whiteread

Exhibition to Feature Etchings and Lithographs Created During James McNeill Whistler's Travels Through Europe

Recent Works by Sculptor Zadok Ben David on View at Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Neanderthals and humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years

2.- First major exhibition to explore the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy opens at LACMA

3.- Carlo Mollino's idealized vision of the female form in new book published by Damiani/Crump

4.- Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud

5.- In grave robber territory, locals abuzz over Alexander-era tomb; Largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece

6.- Lambert Collection opens an ambitious project housed at the Sainte-Anne Prison

7.- Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore announces the first 18 artists in the CCA Residencies progamme

8.- Historic Kings Theatre is transformed into major New York Performing Arts venue

9.- Thirteen's American Masters Series co-produces new documentary about photographer Dorothea Lange

10.- Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site