Elfie Semotan

1941 · Austria

Artist biography

Elfie Semotan is seen as an established artist, who originates from Austria, like other well-known artists such as Angelika Loderer, Gerda Ritzmann, Egon Schiele, Schlegel Eva, and Kathi Hofer. Elfie Semotan was born in 1941.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Elfie Semotan is represented and exhibited by two galleries. These are Gabriele Senn Galerie in Vienna, Austria and Galerie Gisela Capitain in Cologne, Germany. Elfie Semotan is currently exhibiting at Gabriele Senn Galerie in Vienna with the exhibition Photographer (06 March 2020 - 11 April 2020).

Historical Context of Austria

At the turn of the 20th century, Austria was among the most innovative and culturally progressive countries. It fostered key developments in the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau, called Jugendstil in German, from around 1895 to 1910, forming a key bridge between the nineteenth century and the onset of modernism. This kind of progressive, avant-garde thinking led directly into the Viennese Secession movement, one of the key art and design movements of the early twentieth century. It was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian painters, graphic artists, sculptors and architects, including Josef Hoffman Koloman Moser, Otto Wagner, and Gustave Klimt, when artists resigned, en masse, from the Association of Austrian Artists in protest against its support for more traditional artistic styles. and an exchange of ideas with artists outside Austria, disputing artistic nationalism, renewing the decorative arts and, most crucially, creating a "total art (Gesamtkunstwerk)" that unified painting, architecture, and the decorative arts. The group was fervently opposed to the domination of the official Vienna Academy of the Arts (the Vienna Künstlerhaus), and official art salons, with their traditional orientation toward Historicism. Ultimately the group broke apart, the decorative artists choosing instead to focus on a new guild called the Wiener Werkstatte. In the late 1930s, Austria was annexed by the growing force of Hitler's Nazi Germany, an act known as the Anschluss, and which organised Austria into a province of a greater German Reich. During this period, like in Germany, the Avant-garde was labelled 'Entartete Kunst', translating to 'degenerate art', and was oppressed with only 'official' social realist art being approved, or even allowed by the state. Consequently, there was a noticeable exodus of creative talent who determined that their interests would be best served by relocating to London or New York. In the 20th century, key Austrian artists included Josef Hoffman, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Herbert Bayer (the typography and graphic design pioneer of the Bauhaus), architect and designer Josef Frank, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Maria Lassnig, Hermann Nitsch, Arnulf Rainer, Franz West and Erwin Wurm.

Further Biographical Context for Elfie Semotan

Elfie Semotan was born in 1941 and was primarily inspired creatively by the 1960s. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, bearing witness to great increase of modernist ideas and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the beginning of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the 20th century, and was characterised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place around the world. Psychedelia, an enormous increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further defined the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, based solely on line, colour and geometric form as key components of both painting and sculpture. The significant figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Pop Art was an influential offshoot of minimalism, a discipline that became renowned through the work of artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Around the world many artistic movements echoed the creative concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional fortes and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni developed Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker adopted similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of creativity for creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti becoming known worldwide for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.

Elfie Semotan

  • Exhibitions 3

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