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Gunter Damisch (1958-2016)

Gunter Damisch

This influential proponent of the Neue Wilde style is one of Austria’s most significant contemporary artists. The Neue Wilde were Austrian and German artists of the 1980s whose work was marked by a free and spontaneous style; other proponents in Austria include Herbert Brandl, Hubert Scheibl and Hubert Schmalix.

Damisch studied painting and graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1978 –1983 where his teachers were Maximilian Melcher and Arnulf Rainer. He was also a member of the punk band Molto Brutto during this time. After completing his studies, he began exhibiting his work in Austria and Germany. From 1981 onwards, he worked on sculptures in wood and assemblages, from 1985 on ceramics, followed by his first bronzes in 1990. Damisch worked in a broad range of media in his studios in Vienna and the Mostviertel, with his oeuvre encompassing drawings, prints, serigraphy, sculptures and photography as well as large-scale paintings.

His art features strong colouring and is highly abstract, with sweeping brushstrokes and a furious and intense painting style on the mainly large-format works.

He was awarded many prizes, among which the Max Weiler Prize (1985), the Karl Rössing prize (1991), the Anton Faistauer prize awarded by the province of Salzburg (1996), and the Lower Austrian culture prize (2011).

Damisch was a visiting lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1992 before later becoming a regular professor. has the1991 Folkwang Essen catalogue available. The publication has an original lithograph used as cover which was printed by Atlas.

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