Robert Zeppel-Sperl

1944 Leoben - 2005 Vienna

Robert Zeppel-Sperl, a member of the Vienna Secession and co-founder of the artist group "Wirklichkeiten" (Realities), decided in 1961 to devote himself to painting. From 1962 to 1968, he attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and studied under Maximilian Melcher and Max Weiler. In May 1968, he celebrated his first great success at the legendary Secession exhibition "Wirklichkeiten". On the initiative of Otto Breicha, Zeppel-Sperl, Wolfgang Herzig, Martha Jungwirth, Kurt Kocherscheidt, Peter Pongratz and Franz Ringel had come together and - stylistically quite heterogeneous - sent a strong signal for an artistic upheaval in Austria. Before that, the local art scene had been dominated by Fantastic Realism and the “Gruppe St. Stephan” ( - Actionism would only premier shortly after the "Wirklichkeiten" with the famous action "Kunst und Revolution" at the University of Vienna). In contrast to the prevailing abstraction, Zeppel-Sperl turned to a new representationalism and took up impulses from Old Masters (e.g. Hieronymus Bosch) as well as from international contemporary art and comics. In terms of content, his imagery was characterised by the joie de vivre of the 1960s and early 70s, but also by sociocritical themes. In 1969, he moved to Venice, where from 1995 he created several glass sculptures for the glass manufacturer Berengo in Murano. From 1977, he lived partly in the USA before setting up his studio in Bali from 1991. After that, he commuted regularly between Bali, Vienna and Venice.


Robert Zeppel-Sperl, Bilder aus der Sammlung Großhaus und Glasskulpturen aus der Sammlung Berengo, Palazzo delle Prigioni Nouve, Venedig, Hrsg. v. Hamburger Förderkreis Kunstausstellungsprojekte e. V., 2001