Thomas Stimm

1948 · Austria

Artist biography

Thomas Stimm is a contemporary artist considered well established, who originates from Austria, like other famous artists such as Bretterbauer Gilbert, Lois Renner, Martin Gostner, Paul Horn, and Michael Kienzer. Thomas Stimm was born in 1948.

Thomas Stimm's Gallery representation

Thomas Stimm's work is available for viewing at Galerie Ulrike Hrobsky located in Vienna, Austria.

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 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 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 determined that their interests would be best served by relocating to London or New York. In the 20th century, important 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 Thomas Stimm

Born in 1948, Thomas Stimm was predominantly influenced by the 1960s growing up. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Evocative of a time inspiring both hope and anger, the 1960s prompted an explosion of new philosophies and movements, truly exciting and spectacular. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact internationally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly 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 exist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the physical world. Born of a desire to obliterate 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 actors. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while getting rid of the expressive and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply relating to Minimalism. 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 areas or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies adopted by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the ideologies of Existentialism strongly 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 angst of the meaninglessness of life.

Thomas Stimm

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