Before Stefan Wimmreuter turned to free art, he worked as a character- and concept-artist for the designing of video games. Through intensive technical exercises over many years, he had taught himself how to use analogue and digital media to develop characters and depict landscapes. Studios in Munich, Amsterdam and Vienna became aware of his capabilities and hired him to develop and elaborate figurative elements.
These activities were important, instructive and self-evident, inasmuch as from an early age he had felt himself at home in the realm of the “fantastical.” But this creative direction was always only the second-best pathway for him. Stefan Wimmreuter was born in 1984 in Altenmarkt im Pongau in Austria; he also grew up in this tiny, rural, unhurried community. At a far remove from more up-to-date centers for art and culture, he nevertheless discovered early on his affinity for art, especially for the bizarre world of the Surrealists—whereupon he began to draw.
While working as a graphic artist, however, Wimmreuter never lost sight of his wish to dedicate himself completely to the non-applied areas of art. An illness provided him with the final impulse to switch professions. In 2014, he applied to Atelier 10 and immediately became part of the artistic community.
The works created since then with fineliner, pencil and acrylics are based on both his technical capabilities and his dramaturgical insights. During the past years, Wimmreuter not only experimented in great detail with techniques, formats and motifs but also oscillated between two disciplines: the subtle, more cryptic forms of contemporary art and a type of narrational composition with fantastical, symbolically charged, pop-surrealistic aspects. The latter is a juxtaposition. This indicates a wide-ranging artistic field into which can be integrated, for example, a few murals and graffiti, parts of Visionary Art, Lowbrow, Fantastical Realism, Steampunk and the graphic works of someone like HR Giger.
Wimmreuter’s artistic autonomy lies in the aforementioned dramaturgy. His charismatic figures seem to be frozen in a ghostly, shocked rigidity—whereupon they begin to move. Without the artist’s sugarcoating them with facial expressivity, the beings in his portraits transmit a wide range of information and emotional particles. They appear absurd, tragic, comical, injured or sublime. Wimmreuter’s technically accomplished deformation, the architecture of the muscle fibers alternates between real and unreal proliferations. It bursts forth in eccentrically constructed bodily words that seem to combine within themselves numerous sequences of motion, sites and thoughts.
Then in other cases it is the tender gestures that create unease in the viewer: the grotesque element in the classical portraiture, the calm or coldness of the eyes, the engrossed or rapt expression of the figure.
In a series of entirely non-figurative works in acrylics, Wimmreuter experiments with the limits of abstraction. He conducts the interplay, so succinct in his case, between compositional laissez-faire and formal severity onto what is for him a new level: he counterpoints spontaneous painterly-gestural surfaces with meticulous pixelation, once again engendering a deceptive aura of control and security.
Text: Florian Reese || Lektorship: Michaela Alex-Eibensteiner || Translation: George Frederick Takis
"The density of works and names in Atelier 10 issues a challenge and repeatedly harbors something new and surprising. During one of my visits, my attention was drawn to the works of Stefan Wimmreuter.
Two drawings in particular captured my gaze. Small quadratic sheets of paper, pencil drawings with an extremely delicate stroke, grotesque, fantastical, complex, oscillating between horror and comedy. Right then and there, I fell in love with these works."
Stefan Zeisler, creative director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien Museumsverband
Permanently exhibited at Atelier 10
Since 2005 autodidactic development of 3D video games, graphic and pictorial execution.
Development of video games together with several studios in Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany.