100 Years Josef Pillhofer: from 2 to 3 / Neue Galerie, Graz

Josef Pillhofer, „Verschiebung (Verschub)“, 1996/2006, Bronze, geschliffen und poliert, 31 x 15 x 11,5 cm, Privatbesitz, Foto: UMJ/N. Lackner, © Bildrecht Wien, 2021

02.07. – 24.10.2021.

World, how can I capture you?

This is the great question of art. Throughout the millennia, the work of artists has been concerned with how the complex world we perceive can be captured pictorially.

Michelango had the genius to see the David in the block of marble from Carrara. But it was his greatest struggle to carve it out of the stone. Paul Cezanne was also one who almost despaired in the transformation of the three-dimensional to the two-dimensional sheet.

Abstraction in sculpture took its steps much more slowly than in painting. And so it is remarkable to be able to present two Austrian representatives with Fritz Wotruba and his student Josef Pillhofer.

On the occasion of his 100th birthday, the Neue Galerie Graz is now dedicating the personal exhibition “from 2 to 3” to Josef Pillhofer, which presents his oeuvre not chronologically, but oriented on his works.
The central questions of two- and three-dimensionality in Pillhofer’s work, which are also central questions of artistic creation, structure the exhibition. How does a picture come into being? How does a spatial manifestation emerge from the two-dimensionality of the image?
Pillhofer approached these central questions with an eagerness to experiment. Wotruba’s influence is visible in the simple stone blocks. And yet Pillhofer starts from the human being, yet he is the first sculptor in Austria to create purely non-objective works. Layering and folding as the language of physicality in the spatial are his answers.

Pillhofer’s ouevre, which includes not only sculptures but also drawings, offers a wonderful insight into the art-making of a single artist, but also of the work of art of a century. In order to make this interplay between drawing and sculpture visible, around 130 works have been brought together, five of which are in the Neue Galerie’s collection, but the majority are loans from the artist’s estate that have rarely if ever been shown before.

100 Years Josef Pillhofer: from 2 to 3
02.07. 24.10.2021
Neue Galerie Graz
8010 Graz