Paul Albert Leitner

1957 · Austria

Artist biography

Paul Albert Leitner is an established contemporary artist, who was born in Austria - other established artists such as Liddy Scheffknecht, Haberpointner Alfred, Christian Rothwangl, Peter Kapeller, and Peter Jellitsch were also born in Austria. Paul Albert Leitner was born in 1957.

Paul Albert Leitner's Gallery representation

Paul Albert Leitner is represented by Galerie Steinek in Vienna, Austria.

Historical Context of Austria

At the start of the twentieth century, Austria was among the most pioneering 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 an important 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 international artists, 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 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 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, 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 Paul Albert Leitner

Paul Albert Leitner was born in 1957 and was largely influenced by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was epitomized by a desire to grow and reinforce itself, as a reaction to the many conflicts of the previous decade. One of the most central movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative journey of Process art emerged by combining essential elements of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its prominence, especially in Germany through the works of world renowned figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York persisted as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with global artists wandering through the downtown scene, frequenting bars and art galleries, consolidating the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and refined cultural capital. Reaching the end of the 1970s, street art, developing from graffiti, was starting to truly fascinate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, demonstrating that their artworks could exist at the same time in art galleries and on city walls. Following, the international extent of street art would become extremely influential, representing an extraordinary form of artistic expression.

Paul Albert Leitner

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