Artists / Gallery

Prachensky Markus

Innsbruck *1932 - †2011 Vienna

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Prachensky is considered one of the most important representatives of the Austrian avant-garde and Informel. His work is reduced to the essential, the expression of the line and the colour.

Markus Prachensky was born in 1932 in Innsbruck, the son of the architect and painter Wilhelm Nicolaus Prachensky. In 1952 Prachensky moved to Vienna and began studying architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts. From 1953 he studied painting with Albert Paris Gütersloh. Together with Wolfgang Hollegha, Josef Mikl and Arnulf Rainer he was a founding member of the group of artists around Monsignor Otto Mauer's Galerie nächst St. Stephan.

After figural beginnings, Prachensky turned to abstract painting in the 1950s and remained a consistent representative of informal Tachism until his death. From 1957 Prachensky lived alternately in Paris and Vienna, from 1963 repeatedly in Berlin and from 1967 in Los Angeles. Fascinated by the desert and the rugged cliffs, he returned several times to the American West Coast, where he created various picture cycles, such as "California miles" and "California revisited". From 1983 to 2000 he led a master class for painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Peter Baum defined Prachensky's work in 1997 as follows: "The active, determining, non-reproductive character of painting with its orientation towards clear, generous tectonic-gestural forms, stands for consciousness and change, a goal that became the maxim of a generation in the 1950s and immensely fertilized the dialogue within art and society."

Prachensky, whose pictures hang in important museums and collections, was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.