The Leopold Museum presents a comprehensive retrospective of eminent Austrian sculptor, Josef Pillhofer’s works.
Pillhofer’s work spans over half a century, beginning with his study at the Graz School of Fine Arts, where he spent his artistic formative years alongside artists such as Fritz Wotruba and Herbert Boeckl, who explored geometrical and stereometrical design principles. He then moved to Paris on a scholarship where he spent time at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, exploring Cubist sculpture whilst making acquaintance with other important sculptors of the French metropolis.
In 1994 Pillhofer recalled the importance of his Paris period: “To me, the human relatedness with its natural appearance in the medium of sculpture doesn’t, and never did, contradict a convincing, contemporary objective.” On his return to Vienna, Pillhofer hones his affinity for nature, basing figural depictions on realistic features, which stands in contrast to non-representational objects, striving towards abstraction and made up of vaguely geometric forms. The exploration of spatiality, tectonics, rhythm and proportions play a major part in both groups of works. In his sculptural oeuvre, the artist always strove for a clarity that would allow for simple structures to be conveyed from complex phenomena with the utmost sensitivity.