|Ernst Fuchs and the Vienna School of
Fantastic Realism by Alan Senior
The Vienna School
of Fantastic Realism formed in 1946 and included Ernst Fuchs, Rudolph Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter and Fritz Janschka. Arik
Brauer and AntonLemden
joined later. The group saw itself as surrealist although they were
already moving away from the surrealist painting of the 1930s towards a
more visionary approach. Technically their work had the clarity and
detail of early Flemish Painting.
1971. Etching 19.5 x 38cm.
They were quite influential on the
continent, but little known or appreciated in Britain. In 1957 Hausner
fell out with surrealist orthodoxy after completing his first Adam picture and
split from Fuchs and the others to pursue his own vision. Fuchs had
already moved away from surrealism into visionary mannerism. He painted
a number of paintings with religious subjects culminating in his
triptych The Mysteries of the Holy Rosary for the Catholic church in
His paintings from the
late 50s to the present day have extraordinary visionary power
Babylonian Cherubs, visions of Christ and other mythological subjects
explore the roots of middle eastern religious experience. The power of
colour form and content set his work apart from modernism.
Ernst Fuchs The
In 1970, he began to work
on monumental sculptures. Later in 1973, he acquired the Otto Wagner Villa
in Vienna, which he subsequently renovated completely and which is now the
Fuchs Museum and contains a complete range of his work to date. He
then undertook stage designs for operas, especially Wagner.
In the 1980s, he had a
number of international exhibitions including a retrospective in Venice.
In 1993 he had a major retrospective in Russia — one of the first major
western artists to do so.