(Austrian, b. 1943)
Gottfried Salzmann’s pictures are an invitation to defy gravity, separating the viewer from normal feelings of space and time. His landscapes pull the gaze of the spectator away from the earth, offering glimpses of incalculable depths. Salzmann prefers to look at the world from on high, a modern Icarus floating above land and sea.
Salzmann has a radical concept of the image which has given us his unique views of landscapes and cities, portrayals that are freed from the rules that typically govern such compositions. This concept is rooted in the physical nature of watercolor, a medium he has favored since the early days of his career. He is drawn to its spontaneity and transparency, aspects which it enjoys over every other medium.
In his current work, Salzmann’s ambition is to liberate his watercolors from preconceived ideas causing him to continually seek out innovative methods and techniques, such as the adoption of unconventionally large formats. In order to cope with this leap in dimensions he ultimately found a new medium in painting over photographs. The act of “painting over” created a hybrid belonging to that long established trend whereby painters appropriate photography and vice versa. The work shares many points of contact with contemporary image technologies and often many of his watercolors seem more photographic than those that actually entail photographs. What he sees in the photograph is above all a reflected reality that invites a special challenge for painting and it is this that inspires his desire and creativity.
~Excerpted from Dreams this Side of Real by Nikolaus Schaffer
RECENT EXHIBITION CATALOG
Gottfried Salzmann's one-man exhibition at the Salzburg Museum entitled "Atmospheres" opened in 2013.