JOSEF KARL RÄDLER
1844-1917 (AUSTRIA)

In Rädler I felt I had glimpsed another world, another mind,
an intensity of purpose and imagination of which I am not capable.

Brian Sewell, Evening Standard 

Biography
Josef Karl Rädler was a turn-of-the-century autodidact whose compelling canon of double-sided watercolours document life at the pioneering Mauer-Öhling open-air hospital. It was there that this once-successful entrepreneur transformed himself into The Court Painter of Austria, Siam and Italy, an astounding portraitist whose depictions of fellow inmates startle with serenity and silence.

Rädler’s oeuvre celebrates these forgotten many, harrowed by the bloodiest of wars. He studies them as the seasons shift, seeking comfort in the daily routine and the camaraderie of an evening card-game. Dazzling passages of text, poetry and dogma decorate every edge, showing off the au-thor’s extensive knowledge of literature and his growing fascination with Freudian trends.

Strange to think that Rädler remained outside art history until a body of his material was uncov-ered in the mid-1960s. Since then, his reputation has evolved and he is today considered one of the great finds of early 20th century European art. The frontal figuration of this self-appointed phi-losopher-poet-pacifist is clearly a contemporary aesthetic whose star is destined to shine.

Recent shows include Madness and Modernity at the Wellcome Collection, London (2009) and Sleepless at the Belvedere Palace, Vienna (2014). The Gallery of Everything will present a rare se-ries of portraits and landscapes, accompanied by performances of the artist’s acrobatic songs.

Literature

CATALOGUE OF EVERYTHING #6, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING 2016

ACCIDENTAL GENIUS, LISA STONE (MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM) 2012

EVERYTHING #1, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING
(ELECTA) 2010

MADNESS AND MODERNITY: JOSEF KARL RÄDLER, LUKE HEIGHTON (LUND HUMPHRIES) 2009

JOSEF KARL RÄDLER (1844-1917), LEO NAVRATIL (NIEDERÖSTERREICHISCHES LANDESMUSEUM WIEN im HERBST) 1994


 

Exhibitions

SLEEPLESS, BELVEDERE PALACE (VIENNA) 2015

ACCIDENTAL GENIUS, MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM, 2012

EXHIBITION #1.1, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING, CHALET SOCIETY (PARIS) 2012

EXHIBITION #1, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING (LONDON + TURIN) 2009/10

MADNESS AND MODERNITY, WELLCOME COLLECTION (LONDON) + WEIN MUSEUM (VIENNA) 2009

JOSEF KARL RÄDLER, LANDESMUSEUM NIEDEROSTERREICH (ST. POLTEN) 1994