A gallery in a Vierkanthof
A few kilometres south of Kremsmünster upon a hill there lies a mighty farm building in the typical regional form of a quadrangle, the Vierkanthof Zenndorf 19, municipality Ried im Traunkreis.
Where there used to be a cow shed, there are now paintings in watercolour and oil. In allusion to the address and far-eastern philosophy, Christa and Hannes Gstöttenmayr call their gallery NeunZenDorf. The festive openings of an exhibition, the vernissages, lure enthusiasts of art from near and far to come in great numbers and enjoy music and light meals on Saturday afternoons.
The kind of art seen here is not random. There is a prevailing style, attitude, and non-compliant independence opposing current fashion. What is at risk of being lost in the general art scene’s diversity of performances, installations, socio-critical demonstrations and search for traces is the reflection on and treatment of the visible reality - figurative painting – it is being fostered and nourished here. Insofar, this quiet, dedicated gallery is a fortune not only for the region but also for the art.
Hannes Gstöttenmayr is a painter, who ideally takes heed of the (nowhere specified) principles according to which he and his wife lead the gallery. He constructs his landscapes and still lifes with egg tempera on primed canvas thereby intensifying and abstracting, avoiding illusionist effects (of a Bob Ross), playing with form and colour, balancing and contrasting until a result has been reached that he approves of.
|By his side is Eric Ess, his former professor at The University of Art and Design Linz, who is curating the exhibitions with him and whose widely spread circle of former students creates a pool of artists whose development has been followed with great interest over the years by the loyal visitors of the gallery.
No pain, no gain – meaning that if it weren’t for the effort and conviction of various people, this enterprise would not have become the gallery that it is now and renowned for. To name but two of the initiators who both died in 2013 at a high age: Josef Gstöttenmayr (90), Hannes’s father, who bought the farmhouse in 1992 and restored it thereby having no idea what this is making possible, and Heimo Kuchling (95), who, as a theorist of “Morphology of fine arts”, conveyed important impulses and insights to a whole generation, such as Wotruba and Avramidis, Eric Ess and his students.
The Vierkanthof of Neunzendorf with a view of the Alps and of contemporary art is worth a visit. Those who find their way here, will come again.