Ernst Steiner

Ernst Steiner – “Lebensbaum (Tree of Life)”, 1982, Oil on Canvas 

Born in Switzerland in 1935 Ernst Steiner moved to Austria in his twenties, studying at the Academies of Fine Arts and Applied Arts in Vienna. Influenced by the works of printmaker and illustrator Alfred Kubin and painter Marc Chagall, he rejected the abstract modernist trends and embraced post-war Vienna’s Fantastic Realism movement. This movement, influenced by artists such as Hieronymus Bosch and Matthias Grunewald, combined realistic motifs in enigmatic and non-rational ways. Their works employed conscious manipulation of detail to express esoteric meanings.

An ambidextrous artist, Steiner produced paintings, prints, theater stage sets, and designs for Austrian postage stamps. He also produced a series of “dream-tales” illustrative books. In his later years, Steiner’s study of music theory led to the creation of repetitive, geometric, mathematically precise designs, expressing what he believed to be the harmonies supporting the universe. 

“The Artist is Pontiff connecting the present with the beyond. . .a midwife for what wants to be revealed to the world.” -Ernst Steiner

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