Fritz Wotruba

Vienna 1907 - 1975 Vienna

The Austrian sculptor and graphic artist Fritz Wotruba was born in 1907 in Vienna.
From 1926 to 1928 he studied at the School for Applied Arts in Vienna under Anton Hanak. Wotruba became a member of the Vienna Secession in 1932. In the same year Wotruba was the Austrian representative at the Biennale in Venice. However, he felt forced by the political situation to emigrate to Switzerland in 1934 for the first time. He moved to Zurich but, nevertheless, took part once again at the Biennale in Venice. After a short stay in Germany, Wotruba emigrated once more to Switzerland in 1938 and lived in exile with his wife in Zug until 1945. After the end of the war and through the intervention of Herbert Boeckl, Wotruba was appointed professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (1945).
Fritz Wotruba is one of Austria’s most significant sculptors. The human being was the central theme of his œuvre, particularly the human body. The four basic human postures of standing, walking, sitting and lying were for him expressions of an absolute truth, without any need for movement. Wotruba broke down the basic structure of the human body into block-like forms and created from these elements a new unity and in doing so set new standards for the presentation of physical harmony.