Karl Plattner

Opere su carta / Werke auf Papier

11.23 –

The exhibition “Works on Paper” is a homage to the artist on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of his death. A selection of drawings are on display, prominent amongst which are preparatory studies for some of his master pieces, along with other works which, though less well-known, are equally enlightening about his way of working as an artist. For all those who wish to get an even deeper insight into his work, especially the younger generations, this is a unique, culturally significant opportunity which pays due tribute to Karl Plattner as a person and an artist.

Karl Plattner (1919–1986) is without doubt the most outstanding personality in the art scene of South Tyrol in the second half of the twentieth century. He first became interested in art as a child and decided at an early age to make painting his life’s mission. After coming to terms with the difficulties and horrors of war he started to travel from the second half of the 1940s, interspersing work and study periods in Florence, Paris and Milan with short stays in his homeland where he created his first frescos as commissions. In 1952 he went to live in Brazil for the first time. There followed a second stay between 1956 and 1958. This phase was of decisive import for his artistic career. Amongst the highlights were his participation at the Venice Biennale (1954) and also at the São Paulo Art Biennial (1953, 1955 and 1957). After Plattner’s final return to Europe in 1958, significant official commissions resulted in, amongst others, a mural for the new Festspielhaus (Festival Hall) in Salzburg (1960) and the frescos for the chapel on the Europa Bridge (1964). He mounted numerous solo exhibitions in Italy and France, living alternately in these two countries for the rest of his life. Of particular significance was the retrospective exhibition in the newly restored galleries in Maretsch Castle, Bozen-Bolzano, in 1977.
If one disregards the experiments of the early 1950s, when the artist was trying his hand at different avant-garde styles – in particular experimenting with the perspectives of cubism – Plattner’s paintings represent a very homogenous collection in terms of issues and orientation, with few temporal or stylistic changes. There is no particular hierarchy in Plattner’s work between painting on canvas or on paper, nor between the patient production of an oil painting, where it can take weeks, months, sometimes even years, to build up form and figure, and the spontaneous execution with pastels or pencil, where the same passion for searching results in a lightness of line or softness of colour.

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