“The observer of his works becomes the discoverer of many stories, and of one’s own memories.”
I can remember my first meeting with the artist Erich Gruber in his studio in Salzburg on a snowy afternoon in January this year. Despite the frosty temperatures outside, the hours in his artistic refuge were imbued with light and energy.
Drawings, collages, panel paintings, pictorial objects and display cases immediately revealed how much the artist is concerned with a symbiosis of classic media and how many varied aspects there are to his work. There are so many nuances in his compositions, especially in the panel paintings, with varying degrees of background and foreground, and refinements in layers and traces demonstrating how multifarious his work is.
The observer of his works becomes the discoverer of many stories, and of one’s own memories. Memories of the first time one took communion, memories of my own grandfather, who used to sit at the corner of the table under the crucifix, playing the accordion, and of his sister who collected pictures of saints and figures of angels in her house, and whom I only ever saw with her hair combed back severely and wearing a high-necked white blouse… Countless reminiscences well up, and Gruber’s motifs, which he carefully positions at the centre of attention, become bearers of recollection. Gruber’s pictures are an invitation for more than merely a fleeting glance, thank goodness, which brings us to one of his central themes.
Carolin Walker, 2008