First published: Spring 2015

“Bin ein mäßiger Göttlicher, mäßiger mit zwei Umlaut A u. zwei scharfen Es, bin ein Heimeigener. im Haus der Künstler, ist das zu Hause, ist meine Heimat, weil ich nirgens nicht ankommen nicht konnte. Ich bin ein Tag u. Nacht gemachter. 16. Juni 1967, bin ein mäßiger geblieben; mit einem Umlaut A u. einem scharfen Eß.”

(I’m a mediocre divine man, mediocre with two E’s and two D’s, I belong to a home. To the Haus der Künstler, that is my house, my home, because I never could arrive anywhere. I’m made by day and night. June 16, 1967, I’ve remained mediocre; with one E and one D.)

 


Life is the Art of Life, 2000, pencil and coloured pencil, 5.8 x 4.1 ins., 14.7 x 10.4 cm,
© Privatstiftung, Künstler aus Gugging


Those are the words of Johann Fischer: a man who never managed to arrive, a man “made by day and night”, a man without a home, a “mediocre” man.
Fischer was born shortly after World War I and lived through the depression that followed and World War II. His works are complex compositions of interwoven drawn and written elements. His oeuvre is “mediocre” in the sense that it strikes the viewer as not exhilarating, but rather controlled and somewhat distanced. Nevertheless, his pieces have great density and intensity. Author Gerhard Roth has called Fischer the “most underestimated Gugging artist”.

Fischer’s second life began on June 16, 1967. This is what the haggard, neatly dressed and combed gentleman with sunken cheekbones explained to his guests over coffee and cake on his 83rd birthday at the Haus der Künstler in Maria Gugging, Lower Austria.

 

This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #85.

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