Austrian artist Clemens Wolf is known for his fascination for ruins and building sites, in particular for the frontier or fence. Wolf creates an optical distance between the viewer and the subject or the object. His art reveals that the former sites of industrial work and progress have become silent and uncanny symbols of shut-down and closure, destruction and deterioration.
Wolf was born in 1981 in Vienna in Austria. His educational path started in 2002 when he enlisted in the University of Art and Design in Linz where he studied Fine Arts until 2007 when he graduated. In 2006 he was conducting residency in Hildesheim, the same year he received a Diesel New Art award. Three years later he received another formal recognition as he was a winner of the 2009 Strabag Art award.Clemens Wolf’s works gather different contemporary influences, from Frank Stella to Richard Serra for sculpture, but also references from the past for his paintings, including notably Francisco de Goya or Rembrandt and the chiaroscuro of the “Night Watch”.
Despite being contemporary, his work evokes a feeling of depth and old world intensity that is difficult both industrial and modern. His artworks become physical through paintings, installations or sculptures, and always with a strong idea of monumentality doubled by an intense reflection on perspective. Besides his predominant work as a painter, the artist favors the challenging materials of construction, such as concrete or steel, especially for his public space installations.
The rough beauty and pictorial qualities of the irregular, accidental and ambiguous forms of abandoned places, produced by the long temporal processes of sedimentation, erosion and decay, remind of the Romanticist notion of the “Picturesque”, where disorder and contingency are understood as major aesthetic principles. The formal principle of the grid is also related to Wolf’s working technique of using paper stencils and cut-outs, which are applied several times or pasted directly on the canvas surfaces covered with finely graduated shades and consistencies of colour in black, white, grey, dirty brown or dark blue.
Clemens Wolf’s art have been awarded several times in Austria and exhibited widely, including Germany, China, Israel or USA. His artworks part numerous Austrian public collections, such as the prestigious Essl Museum (Vienna).
Clemens currently lives and works in Vienna, Austria.