Fritz Koller

1929 to 1994, Austria

He was born in Wolfpassing, Lower Austria. At an early age, he helped with his father’s agriculture business, worked in a nursery and on wild stream development.

At the age of sixteen, shortly before the end of the Second World War, he was drafted into the army. A year later, his resulting experiences and fears made him seek out psychiatric treatment for the first time. He was permanently hospitalised at the psychiatric clinic in Gugging as of 1950. Nevertheless, he was not encouraged to draw until 1970. Starting in 1981, he lived and worked at the House of Artists, where he felt sheltered – especially under the maternal care of the resident nurses. He was a friend of Franz Kernbeis. Fritz Koller created almost only pencil drawings, although he occasionally used ink and colourful opaque paints. He very quickly and confidently drew people and animals as well as a wide variety of abstract geometric forms, triangular faces or divided figures. Essentially, he dismembered a subject and reassembled it with a new structure. He never thought of himself as an artist. His works can be found in the collection of Rolf Röthlisberger, Switzerland, and in the collection of Dagmar and Manfred Chobot, Austria, among others.

 

Selected works