Sylvia Galos

Austria

Artist biography

Sylvia Galos is a creative artist, who was born and brought up in Austria, like other well-known artists such as Manuel Gorkiewicz, Martin Sturm, Gustav Klint, Florian Gerhard Pöllmann, and Renate Bertlmann.

Historical Context of Austria

At the turn of the twentieth century, Austria was among the most pioneering 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 fervently 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 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 noticeable exodus of creative talent who decided that their interests would be best served by moving to London or New York. In the twentieth 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.

Sylvia Galos

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