(«Die Suche nach dem Fortino» in German)
is a trailer for a later documentary film (see below)
on is life and art.
Josef Maria Auchentaller
THE GRAVITY OF LOVELINESS
A film by Andreas Maleta
Of a versatile and artistically highly skilled painter and designer, a maverick, a pioneer - not acknowledged.
At around of the turn of the 20th century Josef Maria Auchentaller (1865 – 1949) was on the cutting edge of the Viennese Secessionist movement. With his wife Emma and daughter Maria Josepha in tow he settled early on in Munich, studied on the academy there (he was already educated on the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna), won a prize and became cover artist for the pioneering publication «Jugend» (from which the name «Jugenstil» derives). Still in Munich, he started to design his famous silver jewelry for the G.A. Scheid firm in Vienna.
Next to Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hofmann, Ferdinand Andri and other famous artists he took part in exhibitions, edited and contributed to «Ver Sacrum», the publication of the Secession, created a «Beethoven Fries» and a «Music-room» like Klimt, but just as his fame grew, his income bottomed out.
Emma, his beloved but resolute wife, wanted to change all that. By 1903 she had gathered enough finances to built the attractive, Jugendstil-styled «Pension Fortino» in Grado (north of Venice, today Italy), then a sleeping fishing village on the Mediterranean coast of the then Austrian Empire. Until 1914 it was such a big success that it hindered the artist to expand his career as he moved with his family for six month annually to Grado, loosing his foothold in the Viennese art scene.
He didn’t stop painting however, but the long absence from the centre in Vienna and finally the collapse of the Empire, together with the demise of the whole cultural set-up he was used to for fifty years as well as the death of prominent colleges like Otto Wagner, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser within one year (1918) led to a creative «phase-shift» within him as well as in many others of his generation.
From 1920 onwards his work concentrates on lovely landscapes from around the Grundlsee within the Austrian Alps (where his paternal family had a home) and scenes of Grado and nearby Italian towns. Nevertheless, Auchentaller as a painter became gradually irrelevant and forgotten.
Andreas Maleta, who works on a film about the life of the painter has since two years not only found some of the «lost» or «unknown» paintings but also many amazing details which were not known before.
Lifted from the obscurity of the his past, Auchentaller appears in the film as a person of today, walks through animated realities of his life, as intertwined images blur the separation of a commonly accepted timeline as we understand it and is rescued (as we are) from total confusion by his irresistible sense of humor and the longing of his creativity never to stop in front of the unknown.
His posthumous experiment - to show up as an alive person of the 21st century - visiting most of the bifurcations of his life in the 1900'drds is a testimony to the strife of art in Vienna at that time in interpreting life ( and art) more as a holistic event (called then: «Gesamtkunstwerk» = all encompassing art) and not as a singular one way road. In this sense it correlates to our own situation of today, were a disembodied, seemingly multi fractionated and internet dominated world longs for a combining pattern, basically the holistic outlook to life in our future.
Grado, im Sommer 2009: Josef Maria Auchentallers Welt ist verschwunden und doch findet sich der Maler im sommerlichen Badeort langsam zurecht. Unveränderte Ansichten und alte Gebäude weisen den Weg. So lernt der Hauptdarsteller wie auch der Zuseher das Gestern nicht nur im Heute, sonder im «Jetzt» zu erleben, Auchentallers Bilder aus Grado weisen den Weg und werden lebendig und authentisch.
Josef Maria Auchentaller ist Aufgetaucht!