HUGO DACHINGER: Retrospective

23 Oct - 17 Nov 2007

The exhibition is the first comprehensive retrospective of the Austrian artist Hugo "Puck" Dachinger. Living in exile in England since 1938, he died in London in 1995. The painter, graphic artist and designer is an internationally renowned protagonist of Austrian exile art in England. Born into a middle-class Jewish family in Gmunden, he studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Leipzig from 1929 to 1931/32. The invasion of the National Socialists in 1938 ended his successful work as an international advertising designer and destroyed his livelihood in Vienna. He emigrated to London. His artistic work of these years is lost. From June 1940 until the end of January 1941 he was interned as an "enemy alien" in the Huyton camp near Liverpool and the Mooragh camp near Ramsey, Isle of Man. An exhibition of the works in the internment camp entitled "Art behind barbed wire" led to his release and recognition as an artist. They are now partly in the collection of The Walker, National Museums Liverpool. At that time, Dachinger's commitment to the Austrian exile organisation FAM (Free Austrian Movement) and its sub-organisation "Young Austria Centre" began, both under the honorary presidency of Sigmund Freud. Exhibitions followed in renowned London galleries, where his work was shown alongside that of Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Andre Masson and Pablo Picasso, among others. The idea of an international artistic language of modernism was vehemently advocated by him and other exiled artists around Jack Bilbo's Modern Art Gallery. The drawn cycles of coffee house scenes from the London artists' quarter Hampstead and Austrian cafés that dominate the late work transposed the spiritual atmosphere of the 1920s into the present. Although he never renounced his Austrian citizenship, he died in his country of exile, like Siegfried Charoux, Sebastian Isepp, Georg Mayer-Marton, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky , Frieda Salvendy and others, without returning permanently to Austria.
A monograph in German and English will accompany the exhibition.
A video interview - filmed in 1994 on the Isle of Man against the backdrop of the former internment camp, in which Hugo Dachinger talks about his life - will be shown during the exhibition.



Seilerstätte 3, 1010 Vienna



Dr. Elisabeth Nowak-Thaller, Lentos Artmuseum Linz