The artist

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Gottfried Bechtold (born 1947 in Bregenz) is one of the leading figures of the Austrian art
world. He has been artistically engaged with Porsche for 37 years. Through his work he is
continually searching, determined to expand the concept of art especially through sculpture.
“I am coming down to land with my car work”, says Bechtold. The Porsche 444 series
will probably be his final sculpture on the Porsche theme. By covering the car he has now
‘put it to bed’ so to speak. However, in the mind of the observer Bechtold’s Porsche drives
on – with ease.
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The idea rests on hegemony as opposed to formal aesthetic execution. Opposites are depicted:
visible and invisible, positive and negative, movable and immovable, concave and convex.
His works are rare examples of the exploratory and experimental character of art in Austria.
Bechtold knows no barriers. His imaginary sculptures and the large sculptures realised in recent
years are based on the latest laser and computer-operated technology.
His works of the 1970s and early 1980s speak for themselves, such as “Pictures of a Journey”
(1971), the documenta project and the “Sozialgrundstück” project (1972, 1973),
the “Metamorphosis of a Gallery” (1974), “Rail Baggage” (1978), and “Intercontinental
Sculpture” (1985). The significance of these projects has become even more apparent today.
A key work in his extensive oeuvre is his “Concrete Porsche”, the cast of a Porsche 911,
which was created in 1971 as part of the theme group “Myths of Everyday Life”. Bechtold
aims to expose the mythical conventions of objects by mystifying them at a different level.
Thus a new artistic myth is generated, like the “Hercules Project” (1980), which confronts
the baroque version of the Hercules myth by Andrea Pozzo in the Palais Liechtenstein,
Vienna, with a Hercules transport plane.

 

Bechtold’s work to date demonstrates a strong, conceptual character, recognises
no constraints, remains true to contradictions and questions identity – his personal identity
as well as that of other people, places and countries. In 1999 he received the International
Art Prize of the State of Vorarlberg, Austria. “An important facet of all my projects is the
attempt to reconfigure materials and information in the form of a novel composition.”

» Atelier Bechtold