Erwin Wurm

1954 · Austria

Artist biography

Erwin Wurm is seen as an established artist, who originates from Austria, like other famous artists such as Herbert Bayer, Brigitte Kowanz, Julie Monaco, Elke Schönberger, and Constanze Schweiger. Erwin Wurm was born in 1954.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Erwin Wurm is represented by 10 galleries around the world, including countries such as Austria, Denmark, and Portugal. Galleries include Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac | London in the United Kingdom, as well as Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman | Vienna and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac | Salzburg Halle in Austria. Erwin Wurm most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac | Salzburg Villa Kast in Austria with the exhibition Charity. The exhibition was open from 25 November 2019 until 20 December 2019. Erwin Wurm's other most recent exhibitions recorded on Artland include the exhibitions; Home Sweet Home (04 October 2019 - 17 January 2020) at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac | Salzburg Villa Kast in Austria and Houses (06 September 2018 - 21 December 2018) at Galerie Michel Rein in Belgium. Erwin Wurm's first listed exhibition in Artland's database was called Houses and took place at Galerie Michel Rein in Brussels, Belgium from the 06 September 2018 to 21 December 2018.

Historical Context of Austria

At the start of the twentieth century, Austria was among the most innovative and culturally progressive countries. It fostered important 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 vehemently opposed to the dominance 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 rising 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 named '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 great exodus of creative talent who decided that their interests would be best served by relocating to London or New York. In the twentieth century, important 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 Erwin Wurm

Born in 1954, Erwin Wurm was predominantly influenced by the 1970s growing up. Conceptualism is often perceived as a reaction to Minimalism, and the dominant art movement of the 1970s, challenging the boundaries of art with its revolutionary features. The movements that succeeded were all characteristic of a strong desire to progress and consolidate the art world, in response to the tensions of the previous 1960s. Process art branched out from Conceptualism, featuring some of its most essential aspects, but going further in creating mysterious and experimental artistic journeys, while Land Art brought creation to the outdoors, initiating early philosophies of environmentalism. In Germany, Expressive figure painting was given a second chance for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism almost twenty years ago, the genre reclaimed its distinction through the brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The majority of the critically acclaimed artists from the 1960s, who had gained success and fame, kept their status in the 1970s. Andy Warhol was a key figure of those two decades, and in the 1970s started to experiment with film and magazine publishing, thus engaging in a cross-cultural activity that no other visual artist OF his standard had previously undertaken. By doing so, he secured his status as a celebrity. The Arte Povera movement, which emerged in Italy, received global distinction in the 1970s, and leading figures such as Jannis Kounnelis, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto were praised.

Erwin Wurm

  • Exhibitions 11

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