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Josef Floch - Buy or sell works

5 November 1894, Vienna (Austria) - 26 October 1977, New York (USA)

Josef Floch is still regarded as one of Austria’s most successful international artists, even to this day. In addition to landscapes, he painted primarily portraits and interiors.

Josef Floch studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Franz Rumpler, Rudolf Bacher and Hans Tich. He made numerous study trips to Israel and Egypt. In the Netherlands, he studied the works of Vermeer and Rembrandt. Influenced by Paul Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh, Josef Floch started out as an Expressionist. He was a member of the Hagenbund from 1922–1938 and took part in their exhibitions. In 1925 the painter, with his Jewish background, moved to Paris where he quickly became established, in part thanks to his friend Willy Eisenschitz. Both the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Tuileries exhibited his work.

Josef Floch enjoyed particular success in 1929, when Berthe Weill dedicated a solo exhibition to his works in her renowned Paris art gallery. It was in France that he first began painting his characteristically subdued figure portraits filled with loneliness and melancholy.

He married the artist Hermine Fränkl, with whom he had two daughters, in 1934. Josef Floch reached the zenith of his creative oeuvreArtist in the early 1930s, the period in which he also created what he called his 'terrace paintings'. They almost all feature anonymous figures positioned on wide terraces, their focus directed at the almost unlimited horizon. As abstractions of reality, Floch’s works all have a dreamlike, secretive aspect.

After Hitler’s occupation of Paris Josef Floch lost both his Parisian lifestyle and his Austrian home. In 1941 he finally managed to emigrate to New York. This fate would have a major impact on Josef Floch’s later work. Numerous exhibitions and honours document his success in his new home, and in 1951 the artist became an American citizen. Maximilian Gautier in Paris published his first monograph shortly afterward. The Österreichische Galerie held a major retrospective of his work in 1972.