Ernst Fuchs is an Austrian painter, printmaker, draftsman, sculptor and architect who was one of the founders of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, and remains its most prominently known member.
Like the other members of that school, Fuchs took much of his inspiration from the painting techniques and detailed realism of the early Flemish masters, in particular Jan van Eyck and Jean Fouquet, and Mannerists like Jaques Callot, whose influence you can see in Fuchs’ intense graphics.
He also studied masters like Albrecht Altdorfer, Albrecht Durer and Matthias Grünewald, adopting and reviving their practice of “mischtechnik” (mixed technique), in which the foundation image is painted in egg tempera, over which are laid glazes of oil paint mixed with resin. The effect is one of jewel-like transparency and intense color.
Fuchs applies these techniques to his fantastic interpretations of religious subjects and visionary scenes, filled with lush textures, intricate detail and imaginative sculptural forms (in which I also see the legacy of the Surrealists, in particular Max Ernst).
Fuchs’ work has had a dramatic impact on a subsequent generation of fantastic realists and visionary painters like H.R. Giger, Robert Venosa, Martina Hoffmann, Mati Klarwein, Alex Grey, A. Andrew Gonzalez, Kris Kuksi and others.
In 1972 Fuchs acquired a derelict villa in Hütteldorf which he renovated and transformed into an unique architectural space, and which now serves as the Ernst Fuchs Museum. He also decorated the interiors of other spaces, including the WInter Church of the Parish Church of St. Egyd, Klagenfurt (images above, bottom)
The official Ernst Fuchs site contains a gallery of his paintings, divided into time periods (note that use of the arrows at bottom gives you access to at least one additional page of thumbnails), as well as etchings, sculpture and more.
3 Replies to “Ernst Fuchs”
I remember seeing one of his paintings in an exhibit titled “Magical Realism” at the old SFMOMA when it was on Van Ness. That picture haunted me for years but it wasn’t until now – and the magic of the Internet – that I can find out more.
FUCHS: NAME MEANING – pronounced fooks
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Middle High German vuhs, German Fuchs ‘fox’, nickname for a sly or cunning person, or for someone with red hair. This name is widespread throughout central Europe. As a Jewish name, it is mainly an ‘ornamental’ name.
His Mother, Leopoldine Fuchs, was catholic, a fact that saved her son’s life from extermination.
I wish there was a big fat book of Fuchs’ work.
I enjoy your blog!
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