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    Leoš Wertheimer

    1956 to 2018, Czech Republic

    Leoš Wertheimer became interested in locomotives and trains as a child, and went to a school that specialised in engineering and transport. He went on to work for Czech railways for many years. Mental health problems forced him to give up this job. In 1997, prompted by his therapist, he took up drawing.

    As an artist he focused on locomotives, which also symbolise travel and freedom. His oeuvre consists of around 600 drawings of locomotives – all of which were actually in operation in the past. He ended the series when he could not find any more locomotives to draw. Above each locomotive he added its name and the line on which it ran, as a title for the picture. Sometimes he also included train stations or other surroundings. He used graphite and coloured pencils on packing paper. Leoš Wertheimer numbered his drawings, using the descriptor “Opus” with each number.

    His work was exhibited many times from 2005 onwards at the Cavin-Morris Gallery in New York, and in 2009 it was also shown at the Outsider Art Fair. In 2016 galerie gugging devoted an exhibition and catalogue to Leoš Wertheimer and Leopold Strobl, entitled “Lokomotiven unter grünem Himmel” (Locomotives beneath a green sky). This exhibition was a high point of his artistic career. In 2022/2023 several works by Wertheimer were included in Johann Feilacher’s final exhibition as artistic director of museum gugging, “brut favorites.! feilacher’s choice”. Six drawings were published in the museum’s catalogue with the same title.

    Works by Wertheimer can be found in collections such as that of Pavel Konečny in the Czech Republic, the Treger Saint Silvestre Collection in Portugal and in Johann Feilacher’s collection in Austria.


    Selected works



    © Hannah Rieger
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    All Photos (rooms and artworks): Maurizio Maier
    Concept & Layout: VISUAL°S