New York

SALZMANN "A Distant Perspective"


The artist's studio

The artist's studio

Gottfried Salzmann established himself as a premier watercolorist in the 1960s while studying in Vienna and Paris. He quickly gained an international reputation which culminated in a major retrospective at the prestigious Salzburg Museum in Austria in 2013.

In 2001, the most celebrated watercolor competition in Europe, which is underwritten and judged by members of the British Royal Watercolour Society, changed their rules. After more than 200 years of rigidly upholding the antiquated notions of “pure” watercolor painting, the committee voted that a piece could contain elements of collage - and that first year such a piece won a prize. These societies which govern the standards of watercolor painting are highly influential. When the European Federation of Watercolor Society was first formed in 1996, Gottfried Salzmann was one of a handful of artists that were immediately made honorary members.

Salzmann photographing New York from a helicopter.

Salzmann photographing New York from a helicopter.

What may go unnoticed in Salzmann’s work is his ability to abstract his land and cityscapes while still couching them in reality. In his most recent work, he uses paint to dissolve landscapes while rebuilding them by adding a layer of delineated structures. He specializes in recording visual phenomenological events that, although present everywhere, are actually perceived by few – often due to the unusual angle of observation. An explorer of spatial dimensions, he revels in unusual perspectives, specifically the distance and scale of a bird’s eye view. A landscape seen from a rooftop exhibits an intricate, woven, abstract pattern that can only be perceived at such a vantage point.

Critics, curators, and the public have championed Salzmann. Salzmann, who is now widely recognized as an influential contemporary artist, is situated ideally between the poles of tradition and innovation within this newest collection. The work in this exhibition highlights the range of imagination and quality of execution that the artist has diligently honed over the span of his prodigious career. In his work one can see how image, time, light, and space are juxtaposed on a single surface – the perfect alchemy of emotion, perception and form. His works are beautiful and timeless, their genesis both mechanical and handmade, their forms both representational and abstract.

(to read the complete essay, view our catalog below)