Oswald Oberhuber was born in Merano, Italy in 1931. From 1945 to 1949 he attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Innsbruck, sculpture department. From 1950 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Fritz Wotruba and at the State Academy in Stuttgart with Willi Baumeister. In 1953 a scholarship enabled him to study in Paris and Cologne From 1964 to 1965 he worked as an editor of the architectural journal "Bau" together with Hans Hollein, Walter Pichler and Gustav Peichl. During these years he was artistic advisor to Otto Mauer for the Galerie nächst St. Stephan, which he took over in 1973 and directed until 1978. From 1973 to 1998 he was a professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In the years from 1979 to 1987 and from 1991 to 1995 he headed the University (then College) of Applied Arts in Vienna as Rector. The Stuttgart Academy named him an honorary member in 1982 and an honorary senator in 2004.
In the late 1960s, the artist participated in the Tokyo Biennale. In 1972, he represented Austria at the 38th Biennale di Venezia, Italy. In 1977 he participated in the 6th documenta and in 1982, in the 7th documenta in Kassel, Germany. In 2013, he designed the "Iron Curtain" at the Vienna State Opera. Exhibitions of his works showed, among others, the Vienna Albertina, the Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig Vienna (mumok), the Vienna Secession, the Belvedere and the 21er Haus (now Belvedere 21).
In 1978 he was awarded the City of Vienna Prize for Fine Arts, in 1990 the Tyrolean State Prize for Art and the Austrian State Prize for Foreign Culture, in 2004 he received the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art and in 2016 the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art I. Class. Oswald Oberhuber passed away in Vienna in 2020.
From 1954 to 1957 Oberhuber engaged in informal painting and sculpture. Already in the early 1950s, he created his first material paintings and junk sculptures. In 1958 he proclaimed in a manifesto the end of all styles and the permanence of change as the only style and remained true to this principle himself throughout his life.read more read less