The Artwork of Klaus Pinter
Born in 1940 at Schärding, a major port city on the Inn River, Klaus Pinter is an Austrian sculptor. After graduation from Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, he began his art career with a solo exhibition in the early 1960s at Vienna’s Ernest Fuchs Gallery which focused on work from the school of Fantastic Realism.
In 1967, Klaus Pinter, along with architects Laurids Ortner and Günter Zamp Kelp, founded the Haus-Rucker-Co group. These artists were joined by Laurids Ortner’s brother, architect and designer Manfred Ortner, in 1971. The Haus-Rucker group’s proposals alternated between architecture and performance art which was distinguished by its use of experimental materials and technologies. In 1970, studios were established in New York City and Düsseldorf; the two studios created projects independently starting in 1972 until Haus-Rucker-Co disbanded in 1992.
Pinter played a role in Austria’s 1970s radical scene which criticized progress and industrialization for their effects on the environment. Combining his knowledge of historical architecture and engineering with aesthetic ideas, he created futuristic art installations that posed questions about the accepted ideas of space, symbols, and tradition. Architecture was extended beyond the actual building; it became a technological and utopian experience that modified the senses of its inhabitant.
Klaus Pinter’s large pneumatic structures, composed of lightweight and translucent materials, were placed in urban spaces, both stationary and seemingly adrift. These sculptures altered the rigidity and stillness of the surrounding architectural spaces and placed the spectator as a fundamental piece of the art. Pinter’s 1969 “Balloon for Zwei” in Vienna and the 1972 “Oase Nr. 7” in Kassel were two pneumatic capsules, floating in the air, that questioned the uses given to public spaces.
Pinter created “Rebounds” for his 2002 installation exhibition at Rome’s Pantheon, an extravagant Ancient Roman building whose rectangular vestibule leads to the rotunda with its coffered forty-two meter in diameter concrete dome. One pneumatic sphere of the installation was placed on the ground; another sphere was mounted so that it appeared to float in the church’s choir. The round reflective surface of the spheres made the building’s architectural elements appear distorted. Pinter’s choice of placing “Rebounds” at the Pantheon was a reference to Plato who also asked questions about humanity’s relationship to the physical world.
In 2018, Klaus Pinter installed “En Plein Midi”, a large bamboo sphere covered with gold stars, at the Stables Canopy of Château de Chaumont-sur Loire, France. The installed sphere is now situated as part of the château’s historic gardens. From May to October in 2021, Klaus Pinter presented an exhibition of work at the historic Clerjotte Hotel and Ernest Cognacq Museum at Saomt-Martin-De-Ré. His “Take-Off” was situated in the hotel’s courtyard; an exhibition of thirty graphic works as well as a sample of his production method was presented in the upper rooms of the hotel.
After residing and working in New York, Belgrade, Paris and Bonn, Pinter now resides in Vienna and Île d’Oléron off the west coast of France. He continues to post experimental ideas every year for the Saltaire Arts Trail, a community arts event held annually in May in Saltaire, England.
Note: A short video on Klaus Pinter’s “En Plein Midi” can be found at the Château Chaumont website located at: https://domaine-chaumont.fr/en/centre-arts-and-nature/archives/2018-art-season/klaus-pinter
The Saltaire Arts Trail website can be located at: https://saltaireinspired.org.uk
Second Insert Image: Klaus Pinter, Haus-Rucker-Co Project, Palmtree Island (Oasis) Project, New York, New York Perspective, 1971
Bottom Insert Image: Klaus Pinter, “En Plein Midi”, 2018, Bamboo and Gold Stars, Installation, 6.2 Meters, Stable Canopy, Château Chaumont sur Loire, France