Life and work

*1959, July 19


Arnold Schmidt draws and paints in a very dynamic form. His fi gures are applied to the paper or canvas with countless strokes of colored pencil, coal, and crayon or with brush and acrylic paint. His depictions of people remain doll-like and often consist of homogeneous forms made up of circular lines added next to or on top of each other and created through innumerable energetic motions. The lines and colors are packed so densely together and also on top of one another that numerous layers are created and merge together. Schmidt is the master of these mixed colors, which are often applied so intensely that his drawing utensils break through the paper during the creative process. He occasionally also carries out large-format works on canvas, which feature drips of paint left behind by the overfi lled brush.

Schmidt’s works can be designated as the pictures of an autodidact uninfl uenced by cultural art. The effect of his art is not the same as that of Art Brut; instead, the American term “selftaught art” is very appropriate for his style.


Arnold Schmidt was born in Wiener Neustadt on July 19, 1959. He grew up in southern Lower Austria and attended elementary school there; he was already placed in various homes during his early adolescence before returning back to his mother at the age of 15. Schmidt began an apprenticeship as a bricklayer at 15: he stayed with it for 1 1/2 years and then switched to house painter and decorator, but gave up after several months. After several odd jobs, he drew attention by carrying on conversations with himself out loud; he entered the psychiatric institution at Gugging in 1983.

That is where the author noticed Schmidt’s creative abilities and brought him into the House of Artists: He moved there in 1986 and still lives there today. Schmidt felt comfortable there and his communicative nature soon won him many friends. He did not have to wait long for success and he had soon made the leap into a career as a professional artist. He creates most of his work in the atelier gugging, where he works on weekdays.

My Visit

0 Entries Entry

Suggested visit time:

Send List