Auction House

Auction: Evening Sale - Contemporary Art

27. November 2023, 7:00 pm

Object overview


Max Weiler*

(Absam bei Hall i. Tirol 1910 - 2001 Wien)

oil, egg tempera on canvas; framed
86.5 x 86 cm
signed and dated on the lower right: Weiler 55


private collection, Austria


Wilfried Skreiner, Almut Krapf, Max Weiler. Salzburg 1975, ill. p. 227;
Otto Breicha (ed.), Weiler. Die innere Figur, 171 Bildwerke seit 1933. Salzburg 1989, ill. p. 97.

The work is listed in the catalogue raisonné under cat.-no. 278.

Estimate: € 30.000 - 60.000
Result: € 39.600 (incl. fees)
Auction is closed.

With his eye for the spiritual in nature, the Tyrolean painter and graphic artist Max Weiler went on to become one of the most outstanding artists of the 20th century. Weiler’s lyrical landscape paintings approach nature in a spiritual, mystical way. His works are the result of a lifelong passion for nature and his surroundings, which he projects in an abstract manner in sometimes monumental designs. Weiler is not concerned with real observations, but with experienced sensations – which makes his pictorial cosmos into something absolutely unique. When Weiler painted his landscape composition in 1955, he was, on the one hand, confronted with hostility because of his murals at Innsbruck railway station, while on the other, he received widespread recognition for his work at the Friedenskirche and his participation in the exhibition at the Fifth Biennale in São Paulo.

This picture shows Weiler as a fine arranger of colour and form, who skilfully enables the viewer to experience nature as an abstract and spiritual entity. The landscape is shown as a colourful pictorial cosmos in which contiguous forms and structures unite to form an intricate synthesis. The empty background thereby intensifies the abstract quality, which almost makes nature appear to float. The noted Viennese art historian Otto Breicha called the composition “an arrangement of spring colours” (Otto Breicha (ed.), Weiler. Die innere Figur. 171 Bildwerke seit 1933 [“The inner figure. 171 pictures since 1933”], exhibition catalogue, Museum of the 20th Century, Vienna 30.11.1989-28.01.1990, Salzburg [et al.] 1989, p. 92). The work forms part of a new period which Weiler described as follows: “I introduced a new element – that of excitement. To achieve this, all the pictorial objects have moved to the fore. There is also no longer any approximation to a realistic landscape. It’s like polishing a stone. One can’t call these pictures abstract. Nor has anything been abstracted – rather, the pictorial objects have been made new. [...] These paintings contain oil paint, thick and shiny, and tempera paint, thin and luminous. That’s exciting in itself, but the real excitement – which filled me to bursting in the case of some of the paintings – came from positioning the pictorial objects. The pictures are imagined as being much larger, and only the edges of the objects in those gigantic imaginary pictures protrude into my real picture.” (Wilfried Skreiner/Almut Krapf (eds.), Max Weiler, Salzburg 1975, p. 35) The picture is listed in Almut Krapf’s catalogue raisonné of 1975 as number 278. (Wilfried Skreiner/Almut Krapf (eds.), Max Weiler, Salzburg 1975, p. 227, WV No. 278)

(Stefan Üner)