Author: Akkoyunlu Ersoz, Begum
Publisher: Pera Museum
Publication Date & Place: 2007 / İstanbul
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113 pp, color figures, pb, in Turkish-English bilingual.
Otto Mauer was a Catholic priest. He was also a passionate, foresighted collector who, apart from his position as a clergyman, was enthusiastic about all domains of contemporary art and regardless of their beliefs or origins, approached all “avant-garde” artists with the same openness.
As one of the most outstanding collections of Modern Austrian art, the names of the artists represented within the collection is almost a “who is who” of post-1945 Austrian art. By encompassing a wide spectrum from “classical” modern to postmodern, Mauer tried to create a “reference collection,” analogous to an atlas of art history. By World War II, he had already begun collecting with great resolution, the lithographs of the leading representatives of Parisian modern art, as well as the original works of German and Austrian artists. Gallery St Stephan, which he founded in 1954, evolved into the leading avant-garde gallery of Vienna under his management in the 1950s and 60s; it also acquired a considerable and well-deserved fame on the international art scene.
Otto Mauer’s relationship with art was always defined by his personal and amicable connections with the artists. His collection, which he was able to expand uninterruptedly until 1973, by purchases and artists’ gifts, must be perceived not only as an indication of his progressive interest in art, but also as a very subjective interpretation of modern Austrian painting.