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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Max Weiler

The Nature of Painting

Max Weiler (1910–2001) would have been 100 years old in 2010. This is a fitting occasion for the Essl Museum to present the Max Weiler exhibition, “The Nature of Painting.” The accompanying catalogue shows about 70 paintings from his abstract period, which was decisive for his later years.

In Max Weiler’s œuvre, spanning 70 years, the period from 1962 to 1967 assumes a special position. Recent findings confirm that during this time, the artist undertook radical, decisive steps towards abstraction. Inspired by scratch papers, on which he mixed paints and wiped his brushes, he developed picture creations that were based on the analysis of fundamental, purely motoric processes of painting and the flow of colours and binders. After the quasi natural (because it was unconscious) process of the emergence of painting, the artist selected details from these scratch papers and transferred them to large picture-formats. The cycle “Like a Landscape” (the title dates from later) not only reveals a new perspective on the entire œuvre, but also requires a re-evaluation of the artist’s art-historical positioning.

All his life, Max Weiler cultivated a passionate interest in Chinese thought and Chinese art. In the course of preparing the exhibition, a significant parallelism to the Chinese art form of the »scholar’s rocks« was revealed. By means of juxtaposition, this aspect is taken into account in the catalogue, with interesting results.

200 pages | 120 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11 3/4

Art: European Art

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Table of Contents

Combined German/English Edition

     Karlheinz Essl
The Nature of Painting
     Edelbert Köb
Discovered by Me, and Nature Still—Max Weiler’s "Wipe-off Papers"
     Margret Boehm
Scholar’s Rocks in China
     Adele Schlombs
Max Weiler—Colour and Picture Space
     Roland Wäspe


Max Weiler Biography
List of works
Copyright and Photo Credits

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