13.03. - 08.04.2023

Hans Staudacher

1923 St. Urban am Ossiacher See - 2021 Vienna


Spuren 1959

oil and mixed media on mesonite
130 x 85 cm
signed and dated lower right: HStaudacher (19)59
signed and dated on the reverse: HStaudacher 1959


Collection Helmut M. Zoidl (H.M.Z. Private Foundation)


Helmut A. Gansterer (Hg.), Helmut M. Zoidl. Mein Weg zur Kunst. Die Sammlung der h.M.Z. Privatstiftung, Wien 2010, S. 269, ill S. 210
Vgl.: Andrea Madesta (Hg.), Hans Staudacher. Eine Retrospektive, exhibition catalogue, Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten, Klagenfurt 2007/2008, S. 73 f.

"Painting and poetry no longer tell stories, they act. This was the artist's central credo early on, and like no other of his generation he developed an unmistakable, spontaneous "handwriting" that shaped his gestural, sign-like oeuvre in the decades to come. Like so many artists of his generation, he absorbed the decisive impulses in Paris, where his acquaintance with the "superstar" of Informel, George Mathieu, the confrontation with the Surrealist "ecriture automatique" and the study of the varieties of Abstract Expressionism were of central importance to him. In 1959, when Hans Staudacher was exhibiting successfully in Essen, Paris, the Vienna Secession and the Boston Museum, he created this early masterpiece, Spuren. On the large-format, light-coloured painting ground, a loose fabric of black, blue and red lines vibrates dynamically at the edges, a staccato of cross-hatched areas and illegible characters, which, in a wild furioso of colour and form, condenses into a colourful collage towards the power centre of the picture. The combination of gestural-expressive brushstrokes and scriptural elements is close to graffito and reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's contemporary drip paintings or Cy Twombly's tissue-like scribbles. Here, Hans Staudacher "...spontaneously captures moments of time, flings them about, sometimes binds them in the collages to small scraps of material and with the rhythmically imprinted letters they become unmistakable, even inaudible". The artist is concerned here with a provocative breaking through traditionally taught ways of seeing and composing, with nothing less than a radically new aesthetic of painting whose driving forces are not the deliberately structuring human ratiocination, but emotions and impulses from the barely conscious depths of the soul that are as unfiltered as possible. For Hans Staudacher, painting always means action, dynamics, movement with total physical commitment. He has often been apostrophised as a "foil fencer with the brush" and his works do indeed resemble energy turned into art.

"Spuren", with its eruptive brush staccato, the splashes of colour and the frenzy of the pulsating lines, is an important and rare early example of informal painting in Austria's departure into modernity and shows once again that Hans Staudacher need not fear comparison with the world-famous protagonists of the contemporary international avant-garde.

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