Auction House

Auction: Evening Sale - Contemporary Art

27. November 2023, 7:00 pm

Object overview


Alfred Hrdlicka

(Wien 1928 - 2009 Wien)

„Drunken Silenus“
80 x 88 x 25 cm


Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna;
since then collection Sanziany & Palais Rasumofsky, Vienna


Klaus Klemp and Peter Weiermair (ed.), Alfred Hrdlicka. Skulpturen Zeichnungen Druckgraphik 1945-1997, p. 44.

Estimate: € 70.000 - 140.000
Result: € 131.500 (incl. fees)
Auction is closed.

The Viennese sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka was one of the last great artistic personalities of the 20th century. He left behind an extensive and complex oeuvre that alternated between sculpture, painting and graphics. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hrdlicka did not pursue abstraction, but rather a classical language of form in an expressive figurativeness. Among Hrdlicka’s major works is the monumental Mahnmal Gegen Krieg und Fascismus (“Memorial Against War and Fascism”, 1988) at Vienna’s Albertinaplatz. The sculpture Trunkener Silen (“Drunken Silenus”) was created only a few years later and is part of Hrdlicka’s cross-genre cycle Hommage à Géricault. The work reflects not only his admiration for the artist Théodore Géricault, but also his penchant for mythological themes. The sculpture is characterised by a figurative language of form in an expressive style. Hrdlicka once wrote about his work: “Sculpture demonstrates a feeling for the body, is a display of one’s own physique and inclinations close to a striptease, in which the technique of partial uncovering, divestment, exposure of the ‘taille directe’, the direct work of cutting the stone, the gradual emergence of the figure from the block, is essentially related. Thus, most of my sculptures, even the ‘complete’ ones, are fragments of an event, torn-out snapshots, belonging to a cycle or rhythm of movement” (Michael Lewin: Alfred Hrdlicka. Das Gesamtwerk. Schriften [“The Complete Works. Writings”], Vienna [i. a.] 1987, p. 106). The sculpture Trunkener Silen comes from the prestigious Sanziany & Palais Rasumofsky Collection in Vienna. A bronze edition of 9 pieces still exists of the object. Due to its quality of material and effect, the marble sculpture occupies an exclusive place in Hrdlicka’s oeuvre.

(Stefan Üner)