Georg Eisler


In recognition of a recent generous donation of works from the Georg und Alice Eisler-Stiftungsfonds, which supports visual artists and composers, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg dedicates a solo exhibition at the Rupertinum to the painter Georg Eisler (1928–1998 Vienna, AT). The new accessions complement the museum’s existing ensemble of works by the artist, allowing for this unprecedented presentation of a comprehensive survey of his oeuvre.

The son of the composer Hanns Eisler and the singer Charlotte Eisler, Georg Eisler grew up in exile in Moscow and Prague and eventually in Great Britain. It was there that his creative talent was molded at various art schools; a crucial influence was Oskar Kokoschka, with whom he took private lessons in London. After the end of World War II, Eisler was one of the few Austrian artists who returned from exile, settling in his native Vienna.

The human being stands at the center of Eisler’s art. Portraits vividly render the personalities of relatives, friends, and associates; in other pictures, the individual is lost in the anonymity of the big city, blending in with the faceless mass. Eisler paints and draws the human being as a harried pedestrian or shopper at an outdoor market, as a mirthless subway driver, coffee shop patron, or anonymous voyeur in bars and nightclubs. He is especially fascinated with public demonstrations; the resulting works convey his sympathies for the protesters and unflinchingly capture the overbearing power and despotism of the authorities. Not content with merely depicting what he saw, Eisler sought to create works of realism that subjected the world around him to critical scrutiny, drawing the beholder’s attention to its implicit contradictions. Bucking the trend toward abstraction in the second half of the twentieth century, Eisler hewed to figurative art, taking inspiration from Austrian modernism as well as the School of London. His political work, in particular, is newly topical today.

Curator: Barbara Herzog, Curatorial Assistant; with Christina Penetsdorfer, Assistant Curator, and Tina Teufel, Curator, Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Initiating Curator: Beatrice von Bormann, Curator, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Tuesday - Sunday: 
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 8.00 pm
Monday: closed