Rudi Molacek

1948 · Austria

Artist biography

Rudi Molacek is an established contemporary artist, who was born and brought up in Austria, like other prominent artists such as Ingmar Alge, Rainer Hosch, Johanna Kandl, Wiebke Kapitzky, and Peter Krawagna. Rudi Molacek was born in 1948.

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 an important 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 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 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 significant exodus of creative talent who decided that their interests would be best served by moving 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 Rudi Molacek

Born in 1948, Rudi Molacek's creative work was predominantly inspired by the 1960s. In the art sphere, a multitude of significant changes were also taking place. Pop Art, adopting the culture of mass media through the artworks of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, was gradually breaking down the bases on which the creation and reception of art were built. Getting inspired from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists refuted the authority of highbrow art and created a revolutionary movement, while Minimalism, simultaneously appearing, was rejecting any form of emotional manifestation and focused on art’s theoretical features – aspiring to pure visual responses. Simplicity and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly composed of polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. Exploring further into some of the ideas inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists like Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – decidedly relating to Minimalism, with a fundamentally ruled-based approach, devoid of any expressive features. Several schools of philosophy deeply influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally persuaded by the ideologies of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often associated with the human condition. worldwide, a significant number of art movements resounded with the radical changes of the 1960s, often prone to their own regional distinctions. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni created Spatialism, while in Germany, the Zero group espoused similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.

Rudi Molacek

  • Exhibitions 1

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