Kurt
Hüpfner

* 1930

KURT HÜPFNER - OUT OF THE UNKNOWN
Assemblages, Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings, 1960-2017
March 28 - May 19, 2018

Kurt Hüpfner's oeuvre consists of 3100 pieces: sculptures, assemblages, collages, paintings, wall hangings, caricatures, screen prints, an installation, convolutes, various drawings and graphic novels. The different genres often blend into each other. He is producing thousands of seemingly post-surrealistic drawings which serve as blueprints for later sculptures, assemblages and paintings. A central motive of his sculptures and paintings is prophecy and foretelling (“Omen”). War and terror are reoccurring topics as well. Many of his small terracotta sculptures depict mythical creatures. Historical and political figures as well as literature characters form the rest of his motives.

Kurt Hüpfner is growing up as the son of the model maker Hermann Hüpfner and the embroiderer Hermine Hüpfner in post-WWII Vienna. His childhood memories of the national-socialist regime and the constant threat during wartime leave a lasting impression on him and his art. Since his youth Hüpfner considers himself an outcast, a silent observer, who follows his interest in art and literature. In 1947 he starts his training as a graphic designer at the Höhere Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt, a former Viennese academy for graphic design. After his graduation in 1950 Hüpfner doesn’t start working in his profession due to his disdain for written characters. To make his living, he is working as a chauffeur and caricaturist.

His own artistic development is influenced by his intense engagement with modern and contemporary art forms. The exhibition „Pop etc.“ opening in 1964 in the “20er Haus” in Vienna has a lasting impression on the artist. In 1972 he marries his long-time partner Fritzi (Friederike) Gradl. After a failed attempt to display his art in a gallery in 1970 his work remains unknown for a long time. In 2006 he participates in a group exhibition. Ten years later, in November 2016 his first exhibition in a museum, in Belvedere 21 (formerly 21er Haus) „Kurt Hüpfner. Aus dem Verborgenen“ is opening. In Belvedere since July 2016 an online catalogue raisonné of Hüpfner’s work is being created and constantly updated. The artist is working and living in Vienna.

Literature: Peter Stasny: Kurt Hüpfner – Drawings, Sculptures, Paintings, Salzburg 2012


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