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Josef Pausch 1948 -2010  

The unknown Austrian mixed media artist and photographer. Appreciated abroad, hardly known in Austria.

In America and Japan, art lovers would have an answer. Josef Pausch - that's the exceptional artist who learned and assisted with the greats and then became great himself. 

He was curator and co-founder of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, N.Y.)

An Upper Austrian from Micheldorf, born in 1948, died prematurely in Linz in 2010. He lived in Mexico and America, among other places, and his works hang in, among others, the Museo de Arte Moderne in Mexico City, the Museum of Art in Santa Fe, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, im Metropolitan Museum in Tokyo. 

He was assistant to John Coplans, founder of Artforum magazine. He worked with Horst P. Horst, one of the most important fashion photographers of the 20th century, who was celebrated for his portraits for the fashion magazine Vogue. He worked with Robert Avedon, one of the first American photographers who did not photograph haute couture in the studio but rather staged it in everyday situations. His own talent and the inspiration from his great role models gave Pausch a magnificent eye that always functioned like a lens. He saw everyday life as a collection of images, collages, productions. What might have seemed like mania was an absorption in art. 

However, his work was hardly noticed in this country. It was too extensive, too far-reaching, too untimely and too varied. It is often difficult for genius to be received because there is no language for something that points to the future. Pausch's eye looked into the future and created styles and worlds in the 80s that are now slowly becoming part of the zeitgeist. 

As part of his first solo exhibition in Salzburg in 1983, he was certified as having “optical intelligence”; his pictures/photographs “show both landscape and architectural components to the same extent and also a clear affinity for avant-garde art forms such as land, concept and and Minimal Art. It is a quiet poetry of matter-of-factness that we encounter here. He was an excellent photographer, painter, draftsman, graphic artist and reductionist, seeing and expressing dots and lines everywhere. Dots and lines, primary elements of every design. In everything he had not only the ability to see and relate to the created image, but also the ability to select, to omit. “Distinct preferences for details and things on the periphery, for the inconspicuous and quiet, promoted the selection process at Pausch, as Peter Baum noted. Pausch himself called it “the interest in seemingly trivial things and the elevation of the banal to the rank of images worthy of exhibition.” Because ultimately he addressed “the obvious, namely what surrounds me every day,” he said, “I prefer the trivial. This allows me to show a quality that is usually overlooked.”​

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