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Wolfgang Hollegha

1929 Klagenfurt

Wolfgang Hollegha, born in Klagenfurt in 1929, studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under Josef Dobrowksy from 1947-54. There he met his fellow artist and companion Josef Mikl in 1948. In his early work, the artist focussed on machine-like structures, but these were soon replaced by the first nature-related abstractions. In 1950, Hollegha was a co-founder of the so-called "Hundsgruppe" (with Josef Mikl, Maria Lassnig, Arnulf Rainer, Ernst Fuchs, Anton Lehmden and Arik Brauer, among others) and joined the Art Club in 1952, where his first solo exhibition took place in the same year. After completing his studies, Hollegha met the great promoter of abstract contemporary art Monsignor Otto Mauer and became a co-founder of the "Gruppe St. Stephan" in 1956. The other group members were Josef Mikl, Arnulf Rainer and Markus Prachensky, with whom Hollegha also shared a studio in Vienna’s Liechtensteinstraße. Numerous national and international exhibitions and distinctions followed, e.g. the Guggenheim International Award for Painting in 1958 and the Carnegie Prize in 1961. From the 1960s onwards, Hollegha's colour-focussed abstractions derived from nature became the characteristic feature of his work. He taught a master class in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1972-97. Wolfgang Hollegha lives and works at Rechberg in Styria and in northern Spain.

Literature

Wolfgang Hollegha. Neue Bilder 1984-1987, Graz 1988; W. Schmied (Hrsg.), Geschichte der bildenden Kunst in Österreich. 20. Jahrhundert, Bd. 6, 2002