Erwin Thorn


untitled, 1960
dispersion on cardboard on woodboard
102 x 171 x 5 cm


Von der Wiege ins Boot, 1970/1971
Acrylic and dispersion on canvas
260 x 180 x 220 cm


Wednesday morning at 5 o'clock, 1968/1969
Acrylic and dispersion on canvas
190 x 178 x 41 cm


untitled, 1967
Acrylic on canvas
184 x 142 x 24 cm


Random Tune, 1964
Crayon on paper
76 x 54 cm


untitled, 1964
Acrylic on fiberglass and polyester
86 x 86 cm


Brennzeichnung, 1962
Fire drawing on paper
76,5 x 64 cm

Erwin Thorn

In large installations, biomorphic sculptural images, or pictorial sculptures, collages, and paper works, Erwin Thorn (1930 – 2012, Vienna) explores the relations between language and visual communication, especially their concepts in the mediation of events, rhythm, and waves, which are also reminiscent of sound waves and clarify the acoustic element of language, are an important moment in Thorn’s conceptual work. Thorn’s work oscillates between classical visual formats and objects that take on the character of architecture. Structures are explored as well as the perspective of perception and the impact of light on the resulting texture. The engagement with the complex issue of framing leads Thorn to complex manipulations on stretching canvas to its limits. Erwin Thorn’s work can be read in the context of a conceptual avant-garde of the 1960s. Occasional relations with the visual strategies of a Hans Bischofshausen and parallels to the work of the artists of the Düsseldorf ZERO group around Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, and Günter Uecker can be made out.

His works were shown in solo exhibitions at Georg Kargl Permanent, Vienna (2010), Georg Kargl BOX, Vienna (2008), Modern Art Galerie, Vienna (1979), Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna (1972), Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna (1971, 1969), Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (1970), Galerie Wulfengasse 14, Klagenfurt (1964). Recently shown in several group shows worldwide: Museum Liaunig, Neuhaus, Gesellschaft für Projektive Ästhetik, Vienna (2018), MAK, Vienna (2017), CIFO – Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami (2014), Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna (2014), Künstlerhaus Palais Thun und Taxis, Bregenz (2010).