1927 Pfaffenberg – 2015 Vienna
Franz Grabmayr was predominantly inspired by nature when creating his thickly applied, impasto paintings. The elements of water, fire, air and earth repeatedly appear in the wildly applied masses of colour. Striking scenes of dancers, campfires and smoke, which Grabmayr staged in his courtyard in Lower Austria, were also captured in his works. With layers of paint weighing several kilos, he allowed the dynamic, creative process (some of the paintings were made on a tractor circling around a fire) to become tangible. Grabmayr first exhibited in 1952 in the exhibition “Junge Kärntner Begabungen” (Young, Corinthian Talent) at the Künstlerhaus Klagenfurt. Beginning in 1954, he studied for ten years at the Akademie der bildenden Künste Vienna under Robin Christian Anderson and Herbert Boeckl. The legendary “Sandgrube” paintings were created in the mid-1960s, followed later by the “Tanzblätter” series. He became a role model with his expressive, powerful work for younger painters, such as Herbert Brandl and Gunter Damisch. His last museum exhibition was at the Belvedere on the occasion of his 75th birthday.