Hans Bischoffshausen

Feld am See 1927 - 1987 Villach

Hans Bischoffshausen was born in Feld am See, Carinthia, in 1927. Initially, he studied architecture in Graz, but was led to painting by professor Kurt Weber.
The autodidact’s early work depicts his involvement with Paul Klee, but keeps a strong autonomy. In the late 1950s, two solo exhibitions took place: in the Galleria del Cavallino in Venice and in the Galerie nächst St. Stephan in Vienna. The first Joanneum’s Prize for contemporary painting allowed him to move to Paris. Together with his wife and children, he lived in poverty in an old warehouse.
Bischoffshausen was friends with the Italian painter Lucio Fontana. As a member of the group “ZERO”, he accessed a circle of artists, including Wolfgang Hollegha, Markus Prachensky, Arnulf Rainer and Max Weiler.
The artist conducted studies of the structure in white on white and developed structured reliefs with reduced language of form. He got to the limits of what can be depicted by painting to such an extent, that no one was able to take photographs of his art anymore. Later, he worked with gold and red, but also with the shape of the cross.
The final years of Hans Bischoffshausen were characterized by health problems and increasing isolation of the cultural establishment. He died in Villach in 1987.