Oswald Oberhuber

Mixed media

Dom Museum Wien


Mixed media
Modern and Contemporary art

Reproduction request
Loan request

Photo: Leni Deinhardstein, Lisa Rastl, Dom Museum Wien
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From the “Teeth Picture Series“

The so-called “Teeth Picture Series“ is a distinctive part in the oeuvre of Oswald Oberhuber, whose dynamic concept of art was a major influence on 20th-century Austrian art.

Though the picture does not show a naturalist head, parts of a face can be made out: an eye at the top, connected with an ear to its right; a nose diagonally below it, and a mouth with eight teeth protruding from it underneath. In place of a chin there is an oversized upended eye with delicate lashes and a spiral-shaped pupil. The pupil of the other eye along the left margin has been left white. Since the head has no outlines it seems to float on the sheet. The face, parts of which have been rendered in garish colors, evokes Cubist or dreamlike Surrealist works. The work is signed twice at the bottom to the right, once in handwriting, once typewritten. It belongs to Oberhuber’s “Teeth Picture Series” from the 1960s. The works of this series show colored faces with large teeth in different grades of abstraction. Their ostentatious colorfulness links them with Pop art.

Oswald Oberhuber has made a name for himself with drawings, sculptures, and posters. He is regarded as one of the founders of Informel painting and sculpture with such pieces as his “Junk Sculptures.” Leaving this approach behind in the 1950s, he postulated “the permanent change in art” and dedicated himself to representational figurative painting from then on. Not developing a specific style was of utmost importance to him: he switched between various techniques and did not commit himself to a certain subject or medium. In 1972 he represented Austria at the Venice Biennale together with Hans Hollein. Oberhuber is one of the key figures in the field of Austrian postwar art and culture not only as an artist, but also as the director of the “Galerie nächst St. Stephan” after Otto Mauer’s death, as the director of Vienna’s College of Applied Arts, and as a curator.