KOLLERISM: A Solo Exhibition by Helmut Koller
K O L L E R I S M - A solo exhibition
February 22 – March 17, 2019
Helmut Koller Artist Page
After being celebrated around the world for 15 years, the work of internationally renowned painter Helmut Koller is being fêted again in Palm Beach this winter at the prestigious Wendy Fritz Gallery from February 22nd to March 17th.
The year 2018 marked the Artist's triumphal return to his Russian collectors through four successful exhibitions that garnered great attention. Now 2019 will seal his return to major American and Asian cities including New York and Hong Kong.
Koller is best known for his vibrant large-scale canvases depicting various species of the animal kingdom, which are rendered in a “New Pop” style that employs fantastical colors and graphic detail. “These paintings are iconic portraits of sentient beings,” says the artist, “supreme beauties without a reference of time and space, esoteric manipulations of nature.”
Born in 1954 in Hartberg in the Austrian province of Styria, Helmut Koller, the son of a member of Parliament, took up photography at a young age, landing a job as the official photographer of the Vienna State Opera. His work depicting legendary figures such as Rudolf Nureyev and Herbert von Karajan, as well as fashion photography, was frequently featured in glossy magazines such as Bunte, TV Guide, Fortune and Men’s Style. “But in the back of my mind,” he recalls, “I believed that painters are greater artists and I was ‘just’ a photographer.” An Egon Schiele exhibition proved revelatory, leading Koller to create “Homage to Egon Schiele,” a series of nude photographs, in 1981. The following year he created mixed media works on paper that combined photography and painting. By 1988, Koller had abandoned photography completely and devoted himself to the medium of acrylic paint, first with varied thematic material, then to portraits of American Indians, which, he says, was “where I seriously learned how to paint.”
Returning briefly to nudes, Koller further refined what became a signature rigorous three-color discipline. “I was fascinated to discover that the more you limit yourself to a pictorial language and style with very close parameters, the more exciting the creative process becomes,” says Koller, who splits his time between Vienna and Palm Beach.
Since beginning this series of animal portraits in 1997, the self-taught artist has become a darling of a jet-setting clientele that frequents glamour capitals of the world, from Palm Beach, Monaco and Gstaad to New York, Paris, and Singapore. His works hang in chic residences around the globe, including Kensington Palace, the top of The Peak in Hong Kong and stately prewar buildings of Park Avenue.
The opening reception will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2019, from 6-10pm. The Fritz Gallery is located at 211 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, FL. The gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm, and Sunday and Monday by appointment only. For more information, or to RSVP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (561) 906-5337.