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Helmut Federle

born 1944 in Solothurn, Switzerland
lives and works in Vienna, Austria and Camaiore, Italy
Quote Opening
To my mind, the notion that abstract art in all of its manifestations is a universally readable code is wrong. Rather, the interpretation of its manifestations reflects intentions that have sprung up regionally. I reject the notion of a unipolar value.
read inGerman
1999–2007 Professor at the Academy of fine Arts, Düsseldorf, Germany.
 
Helmut Federle studied at the School of Applied Arts in Basel 1964–1969. This was followed by stays abroad in Tunisia and the United States. Since then, he has continued to travel, visiting Japan, North Africa, and the US, among other places.
 
Since the 1970s, Helmut Federle has built up an oeuvre characterized by a geometric and painterly style that is inherently spiritual, emblematic, intellectual, and close to nature. His works combine constructive arrangements with painterly, otherworldly pictorial spaces that are not only associated with subjective perceptions, but also strive toward universality. His painterly compositions are expressions of a strong system of meaning and thus evade purely formal interpretation.
 
”Helmut Federle’s personal vision of geometric abstraction, which grows out of extensive familiarity with its history and programmatic objectives, can be experienced not only in the distinctive palette of his art; it is also reflected by the prominence of the artist’s grappling in his work with questions of creation and death. The bounds of human and animal life, the nascence, evolution and downfall of entire cultures, the self-endangerment of individuals and civilization alike, and life as fate are themes that recur throughout his oeuvre; they can be glimpsed in his drawings and overheard in the titles he chooses for his works.” (Roman Kurzmeyer)
 
He represented Switzerland at the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997.
 
Selected solo exhibitions: Kunstmuseum Basel/Neubau (2019); Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2017); M–Arco, Marseille (2016); Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne (2012/2013); Fundación Bancaja, Valencia (2012); Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (2002); Kunsthaus Bregenz (1999); IVAM Centre Julio González, Valencia (1998); Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau  (1998); Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe (1998); Kunstmuseum Bonn (1995); Galerie national du Jeu de Paume, Paris (1995); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich (1992); Moderna Museet Stockholm (1992); Friedericianum, Kassel (1992); Secession, Vienna (1991).
 
Selected museum and private collections: Tate Modern, London; Kunstmuseum Basel; Musée National d’art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne; Sammlung Goetz, Munich; Musée d’Art moderne de Paris; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Jorge M. and Darlene Pérez Collection, Miami; Sammlung Ludwig, Achen; Sammlung Gaby und Wilhelm Schürmann, Herzogenrath; Kunsthalle Nürnberg; Reina Sofia, Madrid; ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe; Fonds M–Arco, Marseille; Albertina, Vienna; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk.
 
Helmut Federle was awarded the Ricola Prize (2016) and the Prix Aurelie Nemours (2008).

Selected Works

Helmut Federle, Blume und Baum, 2022 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Blume und Baum, 2022
acrylic on canvas
70 x 90 cm (27 1/2 x 35 1/2 in.)
2 Zoom Views
Helmut Federle, Corrected Seaside in April, 2022 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Corrected Seaside in April, 2022
acrylic on canvas
70 x 100 cm (27 1/2 x 39 3/8 in.)
Zoom View
Helmut Federle, Informal Multitudes (Dark Sky at the Coast of Shikoku), 2020 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Informal Multitudes (Dark Sky at the Coast of Shikoku), 2020
acrylic, vegetable oil on canvas
70 x 50 cm (27 1/2 x 19 5/8 in.)
Zoom View
Helmut Federle, Für die Vögel Q, 2000 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Für die Vögel Q, 2000
synthetic resin, acrylic on canvas
60 x 50 cm (23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.)
Zoom View
Helmut Federle, Basics on Composition  J (Dedication: Ezra Pound) (Der Tod der Amsel), 2019 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Basics on Composition J (Dedication: Ezra Pound) (Der Tod der Amsel), 2019
oil on canvas
40 x 50 cm (15 3/4 x 19 5/8 in.)
Zoom View
Helmut Federle, Lima Vororten (Die gelbe Schleife), 2009 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Lima Vororten (Die gelbe Schleife), 2009
acrylic on canvas
50 x 40 cm (19 5/8 x 15 3/4 in.)
Zoom View
Helmut Federle, 3 Stühle  & 1 Grab, N.Y.C., Dec. 82, 1982 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
3 Stühle & 1 Grab, N.Y.C., Dec. 82, 1982
acrylic on paper
26,5 x 40,8 cm (10 1/2 x 16 in.), framed 44,5 x 58 cm (17 3/8 x 23 in.)
Zoom View
Helmut Federle, Roter Vogel (Schleier) über blauer Form, 1984 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Roter Vogel (Schleier) über blauer Form, 1984
ballpoint pen, colored pencil, pencil on paper
28,7 x 21 cm (11 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.), framed 51,2 x 41,2 cm (20 x 16 1/8 in.)
Zoom View
Helmut Federle, Solothurn, 1978 — Galerie nächst St. Stephan
Helmut Federle
Solothurn, 1978
pencil, ballpoint pen on paper
20,9 x 29,6 cm
Zoom View

Public Exhibitions

Gallery Exhibitions

Group Exhibition
22 Nov 2001 – 2 Feb 2002

EARLY 80s AND NOWStephen Bambury
Helmut Federle
Imi Knoebel
Gerhard Merz
Günter Umberg

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Group Exhibition
8 Apr – 24 May 1997

Color and Paper Josef Albers, Paul Klee, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Helmut Federle, Roni Horn, Ellworth Kelly, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Joseph Marioni, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Adrian Schiess, Niele Toroni, Günter Tuzina, Günter Umberg

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Exhibition
22 Oct – 27 Nov 1993

Helmut Federle

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Exhibition
8 May – 8 Jun 1991

Helmut FederleVier frühe Arbeiten

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Group Exhibition
31 Mar – 26 May 1990

Kulturen – Verwandtschaften in Geist und Form

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Exhibition
3 Dec 1988 – 30 Jan 1989

Helmut Federle

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Group Exhibition
28 Apr – 6 Jun 1987

WerkgruppenArbeiten auf PapierRichard Artschwager, Helmut Federle, Günter Förg, Franz Graf, Donald Judd, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Robert Mangold, Franz Erhard Walther

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Group Exhibition
31 Oct – 23 Dec 1986

Abstrakte Malerei am Beispiel von drei europäischen und drei amerikanischen MalernHelmut Federle, Imi Knoebel, Gerhard Richter, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Robert Ryman

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Group Exhibition
26 Jul – 31 Jul 1986

John Armleder
Helmut Federle
Franz Graf
Imi Knoebel
Gerhard Merz
Gerwald Rockenschaub

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Exhibition
19 Jan – 8 Mar 1986

Helmut Federle

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Group Exhibition
12 Sept – 13 Oct 1984

Zeichen, Fluten, Signale — neukonstruktiv und parallelJohn Armleder, Helmut Federle, Brigitte Kowanz/Franz Graf, Imi Knoebel, Peter Kogler, Matt Mullican, Heinrich Pichler, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Romana Scheffknecht, Dieter Teusch, Heimo Zobernig

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna
Group Exhibition
11 Sept – 3 Oct 1981

30 Künstler aus der SchweizJohn Armleder, Agnes Barmettler, Anton Bruhin, Luciano Castelli, Martin Disler, Peter Emch, Helmut Federle, Peter Fischli, Pier Geering, Werner Hartmann, Rolf Hauenstein, Martin Hess, Leiko Ikemura, Heiner Kielholz, Herbert Lienhard, Thomas Lüchinger, Urs Lüthi, Chasper Otto Melcher, Markus Raetz, Peter Roesch, Dieter Roth, Claude Sandoz, Hugo Suter, Hans Schörer, Klaudia Schifferle, Jörg Schwerzmann, André Thomkins, Aldo Walker, David Weiss, Rolf WinnewisserFilm: Peter Fischli und David Weiss Der geringste Widerstand. Veröffentlichung: Katalog

Grünangergasse 1
1010 Vienna

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