Magic and Abysses of Reality


RUDOLF WACKER, Selbstbildnis mit Rasierschaum, 1924 © Museum Ortner, Wien (Courtesy Kunsthandel Giese & Schweiger, Wien) | Foto: Alexander Mitterer/Print Alliance

From late October, the Leopold Museum is dedicating a comprehensive exhibition to Rudolf Wacker (1893-1939), one of the most eminent exponents of New Objectivity in Austria. Wacker studied in Vienna and Weimar under Albin Egger-Lienz. During World War I, he was captured as a prisoner of war in 1915. Upon his release in 1920, he tried to forge a career in Berlin and Vienna, before he returned to his hometown of Bregenz with his wife Ilse Moebius in 1924. His oeuvre focused on landscapes and backyards, self-portraits and female nudes, but also on random items found by the artist which he incorporated into his works in ever new compositions. In light of the era’s increasingly volatile political situation and frequent breaches with social taboos, his works can be read as encrypted messages. Featuring numerous loans from institutions and private collections, the presentation affords a comprehensive overview of Wacker’s multi-faceted painterly and graphic oeuvre, complemented by reference works by artists such as Otto Dix, George Grosz and Max Beckmann.


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