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Anzinger, Siegfried

Siegfried Anzinger Helles Paar


*1953 Weyer/Upper Austria

„Helles Paar“ („Light Couple“)
"S. Anzinger 2004", verso signed, titled and dated
distemper on canvas
35½×45¼ in

The shadowy motif, the composition that connects with the pictorial background, the atmospheric color gradients, the gentle brushstroke – Siegfried Anzinger‘s ”Light Couple“ from 2004 is a painting that hints at much more than it substantiates, leaving much unanswered. It is precisely because of this that it can both challenge and captivate the viewer.

Two figures are rendered in a mysterious scene of great intimacy. The rear figure is shown in profile and looks like the shadow of the front lighter figure, which is more open and turns more towards the viewer. The motif is born from painting, from color. The purely painted surfaces are the equivalent of the figural elements. By dispensing with contours, with outlines, the transitions between the figure and the surrounding pictorial space are made fluid and undefined. An unfathomable no man‘s land that belongs to color alone.

Siegfried Anzinger is known for his unusual design tool – distemper. Unlike oil painting, the pigment grains are not embedded in a film into which light can penetrate deeply. Instead, the pigments are bound by glue and adhere directly to the canvas after drying. This rough, porous surface diffuses the light, making the colors appear matte and velvety. Distemper requires compositional mastery and certainty, because once applied it is almost impossible to correct, unlike oil paint.

Siegfried Anzinger, born in Weyer on River Enns (Upper Austria) in 1953, studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1971 to 1978 in the master class of Prof. Maximilian Melcher (together with Gunter Damisch and Hubert Schmalix). In the 1980s, he was part of the neoexpressionist “Neue Wilde” group of artists. As early as 1982, Anzinger moved to Cologne – a city that was just establishing itself as an art metropolis at the time. That same year he participated in “documenta 7” in Kassel. In 1988, Anzinger represented Austria at the Venice Biennale. This was followed by successful national (Albertina, Lentos Museum Linz,…) as well as international (Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands,…) exhibitions. Since 1997, Siegfried Anzinger has held a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne. Today, Anzinger is one of the most successful Austrian painters from the generation of the “Neue Wilde”.