Franz Graf

1945 · Austria

Artist biography

Franz Graf is a contemporary artist considered well established, who was born in Austria - other established artists such as Lois Renner, Rainer Ganahl, Erwin Wurm, Valentin Ruhry, and Florian Pumhösl were also born in Austria. Franz Graf was born in 1945.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Franz Graf is represented and exhibited by Georg Kargl Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. Franz Graf most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Krinzinger Projekte in Vienna (08 April 2019 until 24 May 2019) with the exhibition AIR 2018. Franz Graf's only other recorded exhibition on Artland is vienna waits for you - take care!, which took place at Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman | Vienna in Austria (14 September 2018 - 13 October 2018).

Historical Context of Austria

At the turn of the twentieth 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 19th 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 developing 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 significant exodus of creative talent who decided 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 Franz Graf

Born in 1945, Franz Graf grew up during the 1960s and was inspired by the artistic atmosphere of the time. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, bearing witness to proliferation of modernist ideas and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the start of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the twentieth 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 vast increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further defined the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, focused solely on line, colour and geometric form as key elements of both painting and sculpture. The main figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further developed some of the expressive notions of Abstract Expressionism, but removed much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that related this practice to Minimalism. Around the world a number of artistic movements echoed the artistic concerns of the previously mentioned movements, often with regional specialties and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni established Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker espoused similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of inspiration for creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinguishing approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.

Franz Graf

  • Exhibitions 2

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