Artists of GUGGING

Conceived of as an exhibition site for the art form Art Brut, museum gugging displays the works of the Gugging artists at their place of origin and at the same time functions as a forum for international Art Brut as well as contemporary art in general. French painter Jean Dubuffet, who coined the term Art Brut, meant by it “sopisticated, raw, original art“ of a highly personal and unadapted form of expression. Uninhibited by trends in established art, Art Brut is created by artists without any background in academics or art theory.

Laila Bachtiar was born in Vienna. From 1990, she visited the Gugging House of Artists once a week, since 2003 she has come daily to the atelier gugging. Laila Bachtiar spends a considerable time on her pencil- or coloured pencil drawings featuring mainly trees, animals or humans. Having swiftly drawn the basic structure in almost unbroken lines, she elaborates on them in detail, putting line next to parallel line. This produces – particularly in her pencil drawings – an almost three-dimensional effect from a distance. Her works can be found in numerous private collections.

Johann Garber’s most characteristic trait is his untamed curiosity: his highly communicative interest in people. His artistic works brim over with details, his drawings are filled to the margins. The main theme appears only in his basic outline; it gets virtually overrun by an overabundance of details and sometimes cannot even be recognized. Hundreds of figures inundate a landscape with houses and churches, followed by animals, grasses, bushes, clouds and stars. Alongside those works indulging in detail and executed in quill and Indian ink, the artist creates striking works using various objects as surfaces: from straight wooden sticks and liquor bottles to a deer’s antlers and a chamois’ horns. Garber bestows a new “substantiality” upon the object he works on: If, for instance, he paints on a revolver, its aggressive nature will disappear, turning the weapon into a kitsch-ironic toy. The artist also works extensively on the Art / Brut Center Gugging, designing the walls that surround the gallery’s areaway.

FRANZ KAMLANDER (1920 bis 1999)
The deaf-mute Franz Kamlander grew up on a farm. His origins are incorporated in his numerous pictures of cows. Yellow, red or blue cows sprang swiftly and fluidly from his pen. Having never been introduced to sign language, he developed his own simple version of signing and made himself understood. He copied typical movements or gestures from his vis-à-vis and used them to denote that person. He was particularly talented in portraying all kinds of animals. Drawing from memory, he didn’t create lifelike representations, as much as animalistic visions.

Heinrich Reisenbauer lived in psychiatric confinement for a long time. The freedom he has been enjoying at the House of Artists since 1986 seems unnecessary: he hardly ever makes use of it. Even in his drawings he is controlled, organised, and pedantic. His figures, objects or other simple motifs – they all stand in file. Exactly the same, yet not identical, that’s what makes his works so enticing. Reisenbauer had to overcome an insecurity when working on large canvasses; the absoluteness of uncorrectable black Edding contours on canvas seemed daunting to him at first. Today, the formerly reticent has become versed and proficient with large formats also.

In 1986 Arnold Schmidt came to the House of Artists a young, dynamic man. His energy can still be seen in his works today: his lines appear swift, almost impatient… Based on the shape he is most comfortable with, the circle, he comes up with his themes: mostly humans, birds or bicycles. In the course of his artistic work, Schmidt has moved away from details such as eyes, achieving a new complexity. With the use of crayons, pencil or acrylic paint, he creates a dense structure of lines with a great pull on the onlooker. He revises his larger works in several sessions.

Karl Vondal has lived at the House of Artists only since 2002. Yet he already has a completely distinct oeuvre to show for it. The former hobbyist used to glue matches together, thus compiling villas and gardens. He now glues paper to paper, one over the other, making shapes as large as he can carry: Once begun, he doesn’t leave a work until it is complete. His preference for depicting erotic women and sexuality is something he shares with Johann Korec, but his style is completely different. Delicate, soft pencil outlines his figures. Fairytale couples, lately shrouded in apposite texts, animate the artistically elevated heaven of pictorial togetherness.

  • Arnold Schmidt, "Zwei Figuren" 2009 Mischtechnik auf Leinwand 120 x 160 cm
  • Franz Kamlander, "Kuh" 0 Bleistift, Wachskreide 21 x 29,8 cm
  • Heinrich Reisenbauer, "Schlitten" 2009 Edding, Acryl auf Leinwand 100 x 120 cm