KIEN peinture pure
Hommage to a South Tyrolean European
Josef Kienlechner (Bolzano 1903 - Rome/Bruneck 1985), or rather Josef Kien, as he abbreviated his name with self-evident freedom, is internationally oriented like few other painters of his generation with Tyrolean roots. Just a glance at his eventful biography with its main stations in Berlin, Paris, Rome, Murnau and Bracciano makes it clear with what curiosity he participates in artistic and cultural developments, always striving to make new experiences fruitful for himself and his work.
Initially committed to figurative and late cubist approaches, he gradually moved towards abstraction from the late 1950s onwards. At the beginning there were informal picture systems with sometimes charmingly agitated individual forms, which then increasingly gave way to a geometric consolidation of form and led to memorable concrete compositions.
With his late "Contemplation Pictures" Kien draws a final consequence in his development. In a far-reaching reduction of pictorial means, lines and forms now merge into rhythmic geometric orders which, in their balance, become reflections of a serene spirituality. These are the striking conclusions of a "peinture pure", which has been Kien's concern from the very beginning: not content, but a counter-world to the rigours of reality, the wonderful interplay of form and colour in the sense of a "harmony parallel to nature", in which the material appears to be suspended, as it were.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Eva Gratl, Hans Haider, Sabina Kienlechner, Carl Kraus, Peter Langer, Michael Seeber and Joseph Zoderer.