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Markus Prachensky

1932 Innsbruck - 2011 Wien

Markus Prachensky was born in Innsbruck as the son of the painter and architect Wolfgang Nicolaus Prachenksy in 1932. Aged 20, he moved to Vienna to study architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts, following his father's wishes. Just one year later he began to study painting at the Academy and subsequently became part of Albert Paris Gütersloh's master class. His time at the Academy also marked the beginning of his friendship with the artists Wolfgang Hollegha, Josef Mikl and Arnulf Rainer. In 1955, Prachensky presented his works for the first time in a group exhibition at the Galerie St. Stephan, which had been founded only a year earlier by Monsignor Otto Mauer. When he moved into a studio in Vienna’s Liechtensteinstraße together with Hollegha in 1956, the foundation of the “Gruppe St. Stephan”, which was to have a decisive influence not only on the gallery's programme, but also on the development of contemporary Austrian art in the following years, took on concrete form. After a large number of solo and group exhibitions in Vienna, Germany and France, Prachensky exhibited at the Austrian pavilion at the Universal and International Exhibition Montreal in 1967. In the same year, the artist moved to Los Angeles and in the following years and decades he undertook several journeys around the globe. In 1971, he returned to Europe. From 1983 to 2000, Prachensky also held a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and in 1992, he was awarded the Great Medal of Honour of the City of Vienna. In 2002, the Belvedere Museum presented an extensive retrospective on the occasion of the artist's 70th birthday. In 2012, and thus one year after Prachensky's death, the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in Bratislava showed a tribute to the artist on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Literature

Markus Prachensky. Eine Retrospektive, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Wien 2002 (mit umfangreicher ausgewählter Bibliographie)