Aurel Iselstöger

1925 to 2008, Croatia/Austria

Born in Zagreb, Aurel Iselstöger grew up as the son of a diplomat in Vienna. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1939. During the Nazi period, his psychiatrist helped him live with a family in the country and thus escape euthanasia.

He was admitted to the psychiatric clinic in Gugging in 1945, where Leo Navratil discovered his work. With his superior drawing talent, he aspired to become a painter or sculptor even at a young age. Aurel Iselstöger lived in Gugging until 1979. His drawings show three recurring subjects: self-portraits, heads of Christ, and depictions of a young girl that hint at the desire for love. His works were also shown as part of the first exhibition of Gugging artists in 1970 at Galerie nächst St. Stephan in Vienna. He died at a retirement home in Klosterneuburg. The entire estate of Aurel Iselstöger is at Galerie Delmes & Zander in Cologne. His works can be found in the collection of Gerhard and Karin Dammann, Switzerland, the Treger-Saint Silvestre collection, Portugal, and the collection of Arnulf Rainer, Austria, among others.

 

Selected works