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Mairwöger, Gottfried

Gottfried Mairwöger o T aus der Winter in Lucca Werkphase


1951 Tragwein/Upper Austria – 2003 Vienna

untitled (from the “Winter in Lucca”-period)
oil on molino fabric
44 ½×60 ¾ in

In the winter of 1975/76, Gottfried Mairwöger retreated for several months to an old farmhouse in the village of Vecoli, north of Lucca. This mountainous and wooded part of Tuscany, permeated by the haze of the cool morning, inspired the artist to create a series of paintings with a light background on which island-like fields of color seem to be floating. The unique geometry of the cultural landscape created over thousands of years is reflected in these impressive works.

Mairwöger himself emphasized the great importance of landscape studies for his abstract work. His path to abstraction led him through natural motifs, with the help of which he developed the “vocabulary” for his later works and ultimately left figurative art behind.

Mairwöger’s paintings from the Lucca phase clearly show the influence of his famous teacher Wolfgang Hollegha. In direct comparison, however, one recognizes in Mairwöger’s work a reduction of the sweeping, gestural brushstrokes in favor of homogeneous, balanced fields of color and a resulting almost meditative pictorial effect.

Today, Gottfried Mairwöger is considered one of the most important representatives of color field painting in Austria. The work of the artist, who died in 2003 at the age of just 52, has been honored with numerous exhibitions in Austria and abroad (for example in New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Bern, etc.). His works can be found in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Estée Lauder Collection in New York, the Mumok, the Leopold Museum, the Albertina and many more.