Erich Zittra

1915-1980

Erich Zittra was born in Lower Austria. He did not complete primary school and did not learn to read or write. He lived with his mother, who had a small farming business.

He came to Gugging for psychiatric care in 1966, as a result of a court order. Some time later Leo Navratil encouraged him to start drawing. His subjects were principally animals, especially hares, although these were often covered, partially or completely, by closely packed, intense lines in coloured pencil. The result was dense, almost abstract images. His churches and houses were similarly concealed behind a layer of coloured pencil strokes. In 1972 his work was shown as part of the second exhibition of Gugging artists at Galerie nächst St. Stephan in Vienna, titled “Pareidolien 2”. Zittra’s artwork can be seen in the Niederösterreiches Landesmuseum (Lower Austria Museum) and in the collection of Helmut Zambo, Germany/Austria.

 

Selected works