ANTON KITZMÜLLER

 

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After his studies at the University of Artistic Design in Linz and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Anton Kitzmüller developed into an independent artistic personality. In formal terms, Kitzmüller can be seen as a bridge builder between the times. In the last three years he has further developed his painting: While clear forms dominated until 2018, the most recent works are characterised by dynamic - structured textures. That Anton Kitzmüller is a true master of light is impressively demonstrated by the works presented at Fair for Art Vienna.  From Fair for Art Vienna, Szaal Gallery 2022

The quest for new aesthetic visions is one of the most important features of Anton Kitzmüller's oeuvre. This continues the tradition of painting by exploring new possibilities and formulating syntheses based on the past. Kitzmüller's work thus moves in the field of tension between old-masterly technique and contemporary subject matter, while also repeatedly referring to Classical Modernism. It illuminates alternative perspectives on the world changing in the current of time and our cultural identity. Anton Kitzmüller's work encompasses three major thematic complexes: Interior, Landscape and Figuration. These are also evident in the new works, but they aim to be neither literary nor fantastic, but poetic according to an individual concept. In the landscapes, the motif of the "path" as a symbol for our successively unfolding life takes a central place, whereby the artist usually takes neutral locations for his pictorial creations. An exception here is the "Avenue at Schönbrunn" and his cityscapes, in which concrete streets such as Bäckerstrasse or Kleeblattgasse become the starting point. Kitzmüller's style is, on the one hand, matter-of-fact, calm and classical and, on the other, very lively. In addition, his most recent paintings inspire with the play of light as well as increased brightness and a withdrawal of colourfulness, because the artist is increasingly committed to prima painting with oil paint. At the same time, the figures take up less space in the picture, which gives the viewer a feeling of relaxed expansiveness. From Anton Kitzmüller, Szaal Gallery 2022

IThe painter Anton Kitzmüller cannot be clearly assigned to any of the established styles, but nevertheless expresses the mindset of our time with seismographic precision. Soon after his beginnings, based on the techniques of the old masters and the revolutions of classical modernism, he sought to concretise his own desire for form and expression. In contradiction to the prevailing abstraction of the time, he devoted himself to the study of the human image on models, schooled in the verism of the new objectivity and in the profound probing of being by expressionism. The following return to nature and urban landscapes prompted Kitzmüller to try out Impressionist means and a formal, strict pictorial structure with the aim of a poetic, realistic rendering. Behind the artistic aesthetic presentation of these landscape paintings in a cyclical sequence of works preferred by Kitzmüller, however, there is also a consistent spiritual desire to make a statement: Nature becomes a metaphor for the path of all life, from germination to blossoming and maturing to dying and rising again. With an emphasis on the meaning of content, the painter opposes the senseless arbitrariness of the present. In the next cycle of works, Café-Bar-Interieur, Kitzmüller uses new formal means that are almost diametrically opposed to the previous works. Parts of the interior now take the place of the exterior. The human being is gradually eliminated. Furniture replaces him as allegories for emptiness and lack of communication. For Anton Kitzmüller, the New Objectivity offered itself stylistically as a means of expressing contemporary sensitivities, but in contrast to this, equipped with strong effects of light and shadow, as well as with a transcendence immanent in the work of this artist. The newly acquired meaning, evoked by the mythical aura of the rooms and objects, combined with striking, almost photo-realistic signals, directs the viewer's gaze behind the smoothed surface and thus conveys depth-psychologically comprehensible contents. n his series of paintings “Café-Bar-Interieur” interiors begin to take place of human beings. They are replaced by furniture as an allegory for mental emptiness and problems in communication. As a linguistic term for the expression of contemporary mood Anton Kitzmüller now uses the style of  “New Objectivity”. But in contrast to this style he uses strong light- and shadow effects as well to create a feeling of transcendence, which is inherent his work. The new meaning provoked by the mythic aura of rooms and objects, juxtaposes with striking, near photorealistic effects, allowing us to look under the smooth surface and imparts meaning, comprehensible in terms of depthpsychology.
In the latest cycles of paintings the interior is still the subject, but is extended by the integration of symbolic details. Among plants and still life objects, as well as the re-integration of human beings, so called “Homages” in the form of picture-in-picture quotations, they gain in textual importance. As we now see, contemporary art has reached the point of developing: “The Quotation in Postmodernism”, a status of development that Anton Kitzmüller had also reached long before it was fashionable, but always with his own form of expression.The reintegration of human beings in Anton Kitzmüllers paintings seems to be an admission to the current “New Figuration”. But it isn’t. The superficiality and garrulity of this new trend is opposed by Kitzmüller with unity of forms, content and expression, and now also the human being can be seen as an intermediary of sensibility and spirituality.
In this newest cycles of paintings for the first time Anton Kitzmüller hasn´t reproduced real rooms, but has instead configurated situations in imagined spaces. Through its spiritualization transmitting to the viewer they became “Rooms of the Soul”, like building up ones own world of images, as was always the prescribed aim of Anton Kitzmüller´s art from the beginning. Now it becomes a way of expressing for humanistic and philosophical imaginations. In some of these paintings, it offers a view out of the window combining interiors and natural landscapes; the chance of a possible reversal counteracts the feeling of emptiness and loneliness induced by the interiors. This is art within psychoanalysis.
Taking this into account, we can say that Anton Kitzmüller,  in respect of theory and practise, style and content as well as in his analytic expression,  is a builder of bridges between the past and the future, a keeper of forgotten or displaced experiences of the “Old Masters”, and demonstrates in our times, how this experience can be used creatively and absolutely today and in the future.
From Dr. Maria Buchsbaum, Bandoneón, 2005

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