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 Robert Zeppel-Sperl  (1944 - 2005)

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Lived/Active: Indonesia/Italy/Austria      Known for: animal and figure anthropomorphic painting and sculpture, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Robert Zeppel-Sperl was born in Leoben, Austria in 1944.  He was a co-founder of the Wirklichkeiten Group and received a degree in 1966 from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.After his studies, he went to study in Venice and the United States.  Yet, the experience that most influenced Zeppel-Sperl was his encounter with the island of Bali and its extraordinarily rich culture – an important experience that led to the creation of his strongest and most significant works. He lived in Vienna and Bali in Indonesia where in 2005 he died prematurely. 

Robert Zeppel-Sperl’s animals and figures have much in common with the surrealist movement.  Either representative or figurative, his art does not copy any other living creature that is referable to any real category; it proceeds by surprising and unusual combinations.  His figures give life to a monstrous, anthropomorphic family; each sculpture and painted image associates various elements that clash with each other, bringing ambiguous beings to life – without any sentimental or psychological connotations.  

The artist’s works reveal a corrosive and cruel humor.  In fact, his works are more upsetting and disturbing than they seem.  His simple and ironic art betrays a tortured spirit: his works could be interpreted as miniature self-portraits that make the hidden and unconscious associations emerge from the artist’s mind.

Source:
Berengo Fine Arts, www.berengo.com

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