Hans Bischoffshausen (1927 - 1987)

Hans Bischoffshausen, known above all for his monochrome structures, is one of Austria’s most important avant-garde artists. Following his architectural studies, he "plunged" into painting in the mid-1950s, initially taking his cue from role models of classical modernism, such as Paul Klee or Hans Arp. The Joanneum award for contemporary painting, which he received in Graz in 1959, enabled him to move to Paris. The following twelve years in Paris are considered as his most important creative period. He researched into monochrome structures in white on white, seeing monochromy as a manifestation of light forming a unity with energy and matter. At the same time, with his "papiers sculptés", he gradually approached the limits of what is visible.

Through his friendship with Lucio Fontana, Bischoffshausen gained access to an international circle of artists which may be regarded as the role model for the German ZERO movement. In the 1960s, Bischoffshausen participated in several exhibitions that took the ZERO ideas to other countries (e.g. in Venice or The Hague).

Parallel to painting, the artistic and cultural "nonconformist" published the magazine Bischoffshausen und die Kultur, in which he wrote texts dealing critically with the structure of the cultural scene. The subject of silence as a spatial quality kept him occupied during his final working years. From 1972 onwards, the gradual deterioration of an optic nerve affected his artistic work.

1927 Born in Feld am See, Carinthia, Austria


1947 Architectural studies at the TH Graz


Mid 50ies "Plunge" into painting


1959 1st Joanneum award for contemporary painting, Graz


1959 - 1971 Resident in Paris


1960 Award from the Gesellschaft der Freunde zeitgenössischer Kunst (friends of contemporay art), (Secession, Vienna)


1961 Peak of monochrome structural reliefs


1962 Beginning of Apparition Series


1964 First edition of the magazine Bischoffshausen und die Kultur


1969 Final edition of the magazine Bischoffshausen und die Kultur


1972 Beginning of a gradual destruction of an optic nerve


1973 Serial material pictures


from 1977 Blind – late works with and on paper


1977 - 1987 Project "Stille (silence)" together with Gerhard Lojen, Gruppe 77


1987 Died in Villach, Carinthia, Austria


1957 Hans Bischoffshausen, Galleria del Cavallino, Venice

           Art d’aujourd‘hui en Autriche, Galerie Arnaud, Paris


1958 Gruppe, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna


1960 Summer exhibition, Galerie Iris Clert, Paris


1965 Participation in the exhibition by the ZERO avant-garde in Venice and Milan


1966 Participation in the exhibition by the ZERO avant-garde in Den Haag and Rotterdam


           Austrian Abstracts, East Side Gallery, New York


           Weiss auf Weiss, Kunsthalle Bern


1977 Retrospective at the Kärntner Landesgalerie, Klagenfurt


1987 Hans Bischoffshausen 1927–1987, Stadtmuseum Graz

1994 Museum für Moderne und Zeitgenössische Kunst, Bolzano, Italy


2004 Eremiten Kosmopoliten. Moderne Malerei in Kärnten 1900–1955, Carinthian Museum of Modern Art, Klagenfurt


2012 Retrospective at Schloss Wolfsberg, Kärnten


2013 "Hans Bischoffshausen. Paris und Zero (Werke der 1950er und 1960er Jahre), Galerie Dierking, Cologne


2015 Group show “ZERO – The International Art Movement of the 50ies and 60ies“, Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin

           Group show “ZERO – Let Us Explore the Stars“, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam


2015 - 2016 More than ZERO. Hans Bischoffshausen, Museum Schloss Belvedere, Orangerie, Vienna


2016 Group show „Cut, Folded, Pressed & Other Actions“, David Zwirner, New York


2016 Art after 1945 - 1968, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe