Kurt Hüpfner - Out of the Unknown

Paintings Sculptures Assemblages
and Drawings. 1960 - 2017

March 28 - May 26, 2018

Artist talk: Saturday, April 7, 12:00 p.m.

Kurt Hüpfner’s multifaceted oeuvre comprises sculptures, assemblages, collages, paintings, wall hangings, caricatures, printed works, dossiers and text images as well as numerous drawings and graphic novels. Various art genres merge, as the artist combines drawings, paintings and objects to create new installations and groups of works.

The central theme of his art is a world of premonition and prophecy that he calls “Omen.” Particular things and people the artist encounters are magically charged in his perception, and demonstrate the prevalence of an invisible power. Hüpfner’s works often depict mythological or fabulous creatures, but he is also interested in literary, historical and political figures. In addition, the artist repeatedly processes memories of war and terror or current political events.

The world reveals itself in a slyly lurking manner; as coldness, holding a knife to our throats, or as a slowly flowing river, diverted by bad intentions. I never get too close to the water. –
Kurt Hüpfner, 1998

Born in Vienna in 1930, Kurt Hüpfner has regarded himself as an outsider and silent observer since his youth, pursuing his interest in literature and the fine arts. After his training as a commercial artist at the Höhere Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (“Education and Research Institute for Graphics”) in Vienna’s 7th district, he didn’t work as a graphic designer due to his dislike of graphic characters. In the 1960s he began to develop his own artistic style, which is closely connected to his intense occupation with modern and contemporary art movements.

For a long time Hüpfner’s creative work remained unknown, but in 2006 he participated in a group exhibition for the first time. Ten years later, in November 2016, the Belvedere 21 presented his first museum exhibition, Kurt Hüpfner: Out of the Unknown.

We adopted this title for our exhibition and will show a variety of works that illustrate his artistic practice.