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November 5, 2016

Peter Dressler @ Kunst Haus Wien

Peter Dressler. Vienna Gold
Kunst Haus Wien
16 November 2016 – 5 March 2017

With the first retrospective in Vienna, KUNST HAUS WIEN is paying tribute to the work of PETER DRESSLER, an oeuvre in which the city of Vienna itself plays a central role. As a photographer and film-maker, academy teacher, collector and critical participant in the art scene, Peter Dressler (1942 – 2013) influenced Austrian photography since the 1970s like few other figures. His artistic interest in the photography medium always went hand in hand with a fascination with the history of the medium.


Peter Dressler
Peter Dressler
Zwischenspiel, 1970er
© Fotohof Archiv


Peter Dressler
Peter Dressler
Mit großem Interesse, 1980er
© Fotohof Archiv

Peter Dressler found the material for his early documentary series and visual narratives in Vienna, where, as he observed, “substance, quality, quite simply the magic of everyday life still exists in large measure”. Later, his “seventies’ realism”, as he called it, was replaced by tableaux and image series and a poetic, filmic approach. The particular charm of Zwischenspiel, a major artist’s book he publishes in 1989, lies in the manifold references and allusions that connect the individual pictures.


Peter Dressler
Peter Dressler
Eher seltene Rezepte, 1987
© Fotohof Archiv


Peter Dressler
Peter Dressler
In unmittelbarer Nähe, 2003
© Fotohof Archiv

Toward the end of the 1980s, his photographic idiom changes again: The artist emerges as the actor and main character in his work, appearing in melancholic, even grotesque narratives that have him preparing „Rather Rare Recipies“ or playing solo tennis in the empty Semper Depot building.

With vibrant wit, he inserts himself into found and invented scenarios to bring them to life, teasing out art-historical as well as social implications and highlighting the peculiarities of human behavior. His work is often sublimely funny, but his humor is always energized by a sober awareness of the tragicomic sides of human existence and the subtle possibilities of the photographic medium.

Curators: Christine Frisinghelli, Rainer Iglar and Michael Mauracher

Peter Dressler was born in 1941 in the Romanian town of Brașov/Kronstadt. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where he subsequently worked as assistant professor for painting (1972 –2008) in the master class of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The exhibition at KUNST HAUS WIEN is the first retrospective on Peter Dressler since the artist’s death in September 2013.

In 2013 Peter Dressler was awarded the Austrian state prize for photography. Dressler died in September 2013, his estate is administered by Fotohof Salzburg.

KUNST HAUS WIEN
Untere Weißgerberstraße 13, 1030 Wien
www.kunsthauswien.com

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