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Höfinger, Oskar


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*1935 Golling/Lower Austria

“Splitternackt” (“Stark Naked”)
design 1999
signed and dated “Oskar Höfinger 1999 1/7”
14 ½ in

The bronze sculpture “Stark Naked” by Oskar Höfinger stands out due to its exquisite beauty and harmonious balance. The motif of the reclined female figure is an important theme in Höfingers oeuvre, e.g. “Liegende” (Reclined Figure) from 1989, or “Liegende mit über schlagenem Bein” (Reclined Figure with Crossed Leg) from 1990. This copy is signed and identified with the number 1, making it the first and thus clearest casting of the original mould. Oskar Höfinger visited the master class of Fritz Wotruba, took up his ideas and allowed them to influence his own language of form.

The human figure is at the centre of Höfinger’s body of work. In “Stark Naked”, the forms are pared down to the essential, yet despite the scaling back of all naturalistic elements, the human shape remains recognisable. In all its abstraction, the figural element is still maintained. The composition of the interplay between and amongst the surfaces, angles and edges is carefully conceived, while the sculpture fills the space around it. As with all of Höfinger’s pieces, there is no mandatory installation set-up for “Stark Naked”; instead, the sculpture is meant to be discovered by observing it from all sides, since each new view alters the onlooker’s perception of the artwork. All of this comes together to create a piece of art with a highly complex and sensual posture, displaying a positive awareness of the body. This may be interpreted as an expression of the positive attitude to life held by the artist himself.

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