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Ernst Fuchs





 

Ernst Fuchs

Ernst Fuchs (born February 13, 1930) is an Austrian visionary painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, architect, stage designer, composer, poet, singer and one of the founders of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.

He studied sculpture with Emmy Steinbock (1943), attended the St. Anna Painting School where he studied under Professor Frohlich (1944), and entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (1945) where he began his studies under Professor Robin C. Anderson, later moving to the class of Albert Paris von Gutersloh.

At the Academy he met Arik Brauer, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter, and Anton Lehmden, together with whom he later founded what has become known as the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. He was also a founding member of the Art-Club (1946), as well as the Hundsgruppe, set up in opposition to it in 1951, together with Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Arnulf Rainer.

His work of this period was influenced by the art of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele and then by Max Pechstein, Heinrich Campendonck, Edvard Munch, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso. During this time, seeking to achieve the vivid lighting effects achieved by such Old Masters as Albrecht Altdorfer, Albrecht Durer, Matthias Grunewald and Martin Schongauer, he revived and adopted the mischtechnik (mixed technique) of painting. In the mischtechnik, egg tempera is used to build up volume, and is then glazed with oil paints mixed with resin, producing a jewel-like effect.

Between 1950 and 1961, Fuchs lived mostly in Paris, and made a number of journeys to the United States and Israel. His favourite reading material at the time was the sermons of Meister Eckehart. He also studied the symbolism of the alchemists and read Jung's Psychology of Alchemy. His favourite examples at the time were the mannerists, especially Jacques Callot, and he was also very much influenced by Jan Van Eyck and Jean Fouquet. In 1958 he founded the Galerie Fuchs-Fischoff in Vienna to promote and support the younger painters of the Fantastic Realism school. Together with Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Arnulf Rainer, he founded the Pintorarium.

In 1956 he converted to Roman Catholicism (his mother had had him baptized during the war in order to save him from being sent to a concentration camp). In 1957 he entered the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion where he began work on his monumental Last Supper and devoted himself to producing small sized paintings on religious themes such as Moses and the Burning Bush, culminating in a commission to paint three altar paintings on parchment, the cycle of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary (1958-61), for the Rosenkranzkirche in Hetzendorf, Vienna. He also deals with contemporary issues in his masterpiece of this period, Psalm 69 (1949-60). (Fuchs, 1978, p. 53).

He returned to Vienna in 1961 and had a vision of what he called the verschollener Stil (The Hidden Prime of Styles), the theory of which he set forth in his inspired and grandiose book Architectura Caelestis: Die Bilder des verschollenen Stils (Salzburg, 1966). He also produced several important cycles of prints, such as Unicorn (1950-52), Samson (1960-64), Esther (1964-7) and Sphinx (1966-7; all illustrated in Weis). In 1972 he acquired the derelict Otto Wagner Villa in Hutteldorf, which he restored and transformed. The villa was inaugurated as the Ernst Fuchs Museum in 1988. From 1970 on, he embarked on numerous sculptural projects such as Queen Esther (h. 2.63 m, 1972), located at the entrance to the museum, and also mounted on the radiator cap of the Cadillac at the entrance to the Dalí Museum in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.

From 1974 he became involved in designing stage sets and costumes for the operas of Mozart and Richard Wagner including Die Zauberflöte, Parsifal, and Lohengrin.

In 1993 Fuchs was given a retrospective exhibition at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, one of the first Western artists so honored.

Ernst Fuchs continues to inspire, and has many exponents and disciples including H.R. Giger, Victor Safonkin, Mati Klarwein, Mark Ryden, Robert Venosa, De Es Schwertberger, and his son Michael Fuchs. A new generation of students includes Andrew Gonzalez, Amanda Sage and Antonio Roybal.

From the Foreword to the publication " Metamorphosis":

"....Even when Fantastic art was strictly forbidden, such as during the period when Russia was ruled by Brezhnev, knowledge of this style of art continued to spread. One of my first students in 1952 in Paris was a very remarkable, talented person, a dancer, painter and tattoo fetishist, Vali Myers from Melbourne. We stayed in contact until her death in 2005. She and Mati Klarwein were my first followers in Paris, so it gives me great pleasure that another Australian admirer of my work should publish this book. Some of the names included here are very familiar to me, or have studied under my guidance and become excellent teachers themselves – artists such as Brigid Marlin and Philip Rubinov Jacobson. This book will carry a fundamental message to art lovers: Fantastic art has survived despite all official attempts to quench its spirit." Ernst Fuchs 2006



 


SELF-PORTRAIT AS ALI MIRZA
1984



 


THE ROSE KING



 


DAVID AND BATHSHEBA (II)
1984



 


THE WHORE BABYLON



 


THE DIVINE JERUSALEM



 


SATAN'S HEAVEN
1954



 


THE SPIRIT OF MERCURY
1954




 


CHRIST BEFORE PILATE
1957




 


A WOMAN'S REFLECTION IN A ROW OF HOUSES (from the cycle "The City")
1946



 


THE ANTI-LAOCOON (LAOCOON VICTOR)
1965



 


Untitled




 


JOB AND THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS
1965




 


SODOM
1996



 


Two etchings




 


ETCHINGS




 

MAY PICTURE



 


PASSIO




 


THE LOST ORDEAL




 


THE PROCREATION OF THE UNICORN



 

THE TEMPTATION OF THE UNICORN
1952



 


THE TRIUMPH OF THE UNICORN



 

EZEKIEL
1952



 


AWAITING RESURRECTION




 


JOB




 


THE GATES OF GAZA




 

AHASVERUS REPUDIATES VASTHI




 


Jacob and Joseph




 

IN THE SHEETS OF THE NIGHT



 

DAPHNE 1
1968



 

ADAM'S DREAM



 

ADAMS'S DESTRUCTION AND PROMISE
1969



 


Ex Libris Helo Weis
1965

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