Trained architect Max Peintner (1937) became well known in the early 1970s with his sarcastic drawings critical of modern life. In their bitter acerbic wit, his visions of technology, ski lifts, or highways are still today considered icons of the Austrian environmentalist movement. In the mid-1970s, an eye illness drove the artist to engage with the process of vision itself. Peitner drew things that everyone is familiar with, but usually does not find worthy of mention, for example, afterimages that remain after we accidentally look into a bright light. “For him, drawn self-perception is an appropriate means of expression for representing the perceived environment as it emerges in our minds. His work is about trying to show analytically the feeling and sensations of the ego in the form of a depictive function of that ego” (Peter Weibel).
Max Peintner showed his first perception images in 1977 at Documenta 6, and represented Austria at the Venice Biennale in 1986. In 2000, Neue Galerie Graz dedicated a comprehensive retrospective to his work, and this was also the artist’s last solo exhibition.