Andreas Urteil

Gakovo, Kroatien 1933 - 1963 Wien

Andreas Urteil was born in the former Yugoslavia in 1933. In November of 1944 the German minority in the former Yugoslavia was deported to detention camps, among them the 11-year-old Andreas Urteil. In 1946 his family managed to escape via Hungary to Vienna where in 1947 Urteil began to train as a stone-mason. At the same time he studied at the Künstlerische Volkshochschule. After his apprentices’ final exam in 1951 he studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, from 1953 on under Fritz Wotruba. Urteil shared his workshop with two fellow students, Alfred Czerny and Alfred Hrdlicka, whose work – as well as that of Joannis Avramidis – strongly impressed him and afforded him important artistic impulses. In 1958 he achieved a breakthrough and found his own formal language in his “imaginary” gristle sculptures. In the following five years Urteil consistently advanced the dissolution of the constructive form. He gained access to the group around Galerie nächst St. Stephan and from 1958 onward he repeatedly exhibited in the gallery. In 1961 he was appointed to teach stone sculpture to the class of Wotruba. Andreas Urteil fell incurably ill and died in June 1963.