The Artists from Gugging

Johann Hauser, August Walla, and Oswald Tschirtner are just three of the Artists from Gugging that have achieved international acclaim. Their works can be found in the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne and many museums of contemporary art, such as Austrian institutions like the mumok museum of modern art in Vienna or the Lentos Museum in Linz. Internationally, works from Gugging are collected and exhibited in renowned institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, or Setagaya Museum in Tokyo. Art by the Artists from Gugging has been designated as Art Brut since the 1970s.

The first generation of Artists from Gugging were patients at the Maria Gugging Psychiatric Hospital. In the 1950s, they were motivated to draw by their psychiatrist Leo Navratil. In the beginning, Navratil was interested in the diagnostic value of these works, but soon he came to recognize the exceptional talents of some of his patients and supported them by introducing their work to the art world. The 1960s represented a first peak phase of the Artists from Gugging. 1970 marked the first exhibition of their works in the Viennese Galerie Nächst St. Stephan. Countless artists and designers are fascinated by art from Gugging and continue to look for creative encounters with the works and their authors. Arnulf Rainer, Alfred Hrdlicka, Eduard Angeli, Peter Pongratz, Franz Ringel, Loys Egg, Friederike Mayröcker, André Heller, and others were among the earliest supporters. David Bowie visited Gugging in 1994; in 2016, fashion designer Christopher Kane found inspiration for one of his collections in Gugging.

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