Josef Hofer

1945 · Austria

Artist biography

Josef Hofer is seen as an established contemporary artist, who was born in Austria, like other prominent artists such as Pichler, Monika, Richard Zeiss, Markus Schinwald, Lies Maculan, and Gunter Damisch (1958-2016). Josef Hofer was born in 1945.

Exhibitions

Josef Hofer's work are currently exhibiting at christian berst art brut in Paris with the exhibition in abstracto #2 (04 March 2020 - 17 April 2020). Josef Hofer's only other exhibition is Solo Exhibition, which took place at Galeria Estação in São Paulo, Brazil (08 September 2019 - 08 October 2019).

Historical Context of Austria

At the turn of the 20th 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 commencement 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, central 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 Josef Hofer

Born in 1945, Josef Hofer was largely inspired by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Illustrative of a time stirring both faith and anger, the 1960s triggered an explosion of new ideologies and movements, truly exciting and spectacular. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact worldwide, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing assumptions on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The incredible escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, engendering new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to represent the real world. Born of a desire to eradicate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Minimalism became significant through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was an essential by-product of the latter, simultaneously critiquing and glorifying popular culture. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism deeply influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to portray the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the haunting anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.

Josef Hofer

  • Exhibitions 2

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