Anton Dobay

1906 to 1986, Germany/Austria

Anton Dobay was born in Frankenberg, Germany, was an Austrian citizen, lived alone and was considered a “recluse”. He stated that he worked as a castle gardener in Styria and in the wine district near Mistelbach from about 1960 on.

In 1971, he had a stroke, which left him with aphasia and paralysed on one side. He was admitted to Leo Navratil’s department at the Lower Austrian State Hospital for Psychiatry and Neurology Klosterneuburg (Niederösterreichisches Landeskrankenhaus für Psychiatrie und Neurologie Klosterneuburg). Before that time, Anton Dobay had presumably never created art. From age 65 to 75, he was drawing regularly and systematically under the guidance of Leo Navratil. He used pencils and coloured pencils as well as crayons. His subjects were frequently abstract, often mixed forms of animals and people. He tended to frame his images, heavily contour his figures and fill in surfaces with colours. Because he could no longer express himself with language, his artistic work became his most important communication tool. His works are kept, for example, in the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation (Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig), Vienna, the collection of Rolf Röthlisberger, Switzerland, the collection of Dagmar and Manfred Chobot, Austria, and the collection of Helmut Zambo, Germany/Austria.

 

Selected works