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Jacob Gasteiger: “He does not want to dictate what ...

Jacob Gasteiger: “He does not want to dictate what …

Those who do not know them, the “combed” fluted portraits of Jacob Gasteiger, one of the most eye-catching painters of his generation. A visit to his exhibition in Albertina.

Jacob Gästiger’s atelier features a lovely top floor in Vienna’s 7th District, almost eerily arranged – a historic backyard, and former factory of drugstore items. One can hardly imagine the physical battles – “yes, they are,” as the painter says of his painting style – that have actually happened here in the past 20 years. Meanwhile, he works almost exclusively in his (still) much larger studio at Weinviertel. So he “created” blocks of acrylic paint with a comb-like tool that he cut from stiff cardboard specifically for each picture. Neon green, neon yellow, neon orange finally. Before that, when he started this method in the 1980s, by which everyone in the Austrian art world was half-way socialized, it was still heavy oil painting. It is better to say “oil painting” rather than “color,” in the English language there is a distinction, whereas in German painting it appears inseparable from the symbolic content of color: for a long time Gasteiger was only about the material, not the color.

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