Valentin Oman

1935 · Austria

Artist biography

Valentin Oman is an established artist, who was born and brought up in Austria. Valentin Oman was born in 1935. Some of the artist's contemporarie that are from the same generation and country include Hans Schwarz, Inge Morath and Kiki Kogelnik.

Valentin Oman's exhibition

Valentin Oman's work has most recently been exhibited at Galerie Gans in Vienna (11 September 2019 until 24 October 2019) with the exhibition Solo Exhibition.

Historical Context of Austria

At the start of the twentieth 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 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 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 noticeable exodus of creative talent who determined that their interests would be best served by moving 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 Valentin Oman

Born in 1935, Valentin Oman was predominantly influenced by the 1950s growing up. It can be said that the 1950s were dominated by Abstract Expressionism, a form of painting that prioritised expressive brushstrokes and explored ideas about organic nature, spirituality and the sublime. Much of the focus was on the formal properties of painting, and ideas of action painting were unified with the political freedom of the United States society as opposed to the strictures nature of the Soviet bloc. Influential artists of the Abstract Expressionist Generation included Jackson Pollock (who innovated his famed drip, splatter and pour painting techniques), Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Kline, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Adolph Gottlieb. It was a male dominated environment, though necessary reassessment of this period has highlighted the contributions of female artists such as Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others.

Valentin Oman