Pfaffenberg *1927 - †2015 Vienna
Franz Grabmayr was born in 1927 in Carinthia (Pfaffenberg im Mölltal, Hohe Tauern). 1954 he began his studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. One of his teachers was Prof. Boeckl. With the „Sandgrube bei Schloss Rosenau“/Sandpit at Castle Rosenau, in red and ocre, he began his phase of wild and pastose painting: he connected the concept of a clear mind with a versatile and harmonious colour palette.
Grabmayrs paintings appear like landscape reliefs made from colour - impulsive, dynamic and spontaneous. This effect was achieved by Grabmayr’s use of thick layers of painting applied directly with a spatula.
An important role in the work of Grabmayr is the experience of colour in nature. His “wild” paintings make him an important role model for the “Junge Wilde”/The Young Wild Ones. This artist group rediscovered the concrete painting in the 1980s.
1973 Grabmayr moved into a farm in Oberstrahlbach, his summer atelier in Waldviertel (Lower Austria). In 1983 a campfire there became the initiation for his “Feuerbilder”/Fire paintings. 1984 Grabmayr was given a honorary professorship and 1985 his work was exhibited at the Bawag Foundation. 2002 there was an exhibition at the Österreichische Galerie Oberes Belvedere (Museum Bevedere) on the occasion of Grabmayr’s 75th birthday. 2007 he turned 80 and was honoured with the “Würdigungspreis”/Appreciation Award of the country of Lower Austria and with the “Große Goldene Ehrenzeichen”/Great Golden Medal of the country of Carinthia.