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Robert Hammerstiel - Buy or sell works

18 February 1933, Werschetz (Yugoslavia)

Robert Hammerstiel is an Austrian painter, graphic artist and wood engraver.

Born in Yugoslavia in 1933 into a Banat-German family, Hammerstiel learned the harshness of life at a young age. Along with his mother and brother, he was interned for three years in various prison camps. In 1947, he was able to flee to Austria, where Hammerstiel worked in the steelworks in Ternitz. Affected by adverse working conditions, at the end of the 1970s he moved to the town’s archive office. Just like his father, who alongside his profession as a baker had also worked as an icon painter, Hammerstiel drew and painted on a self-taught basis and primarily to work through his traumatic experiences. He was able to develop his artistic skills and learn new techniques through various art seminars given by the trade union confederation over a period of around ten years. His teachers at that time included Gerda Matejka-Felden, Gerhard and August Swoboda, and Robert Schmidt, who introduced Hammerstiel to the art of woodcutting.

At the beginning of the 1970s, he applied his newly acquired skills to Biblical themes. Since 1972, Hammerstiel has been exhibiting his works in numerous exhibitions, both at home and abroad. In 1985, he was awarded the title of professor by the then Austrian Federal President.

The year 1988 marked a significant turning point in the artist’s life. He took early retirement and turned to the Pop Art painting style after a sojourn in New York. This was accompanied by the new use of vibrant colours and a drastic reduction to the essentials. The completely anonymous persons represented in the pictures, in particular, were formative for this new creative period. Study trips took him from this point to all corners of the globe. In 2006, the Ringturm in Vienna was completely wrapped in four murals by Hammerstiel. Three years later, an exhibition focusing on the artist’s graphic works was held in the Leopold Museum. As a highlight, the exhibition displayed Hammerstiel’s cycle of works entitled Winterreise (Eng. “Winter Journey”) from the 1990s, which was created in reference to the song cycle of the same name by Franz Schubert. Today, works by Robert Hammerstiel can be found in countless renowned museums and collections all over the world.