Manfred Erjautz

1966 (Graz), lives and works in Vienna.

From 1980 - 1985, he studied at HTL Ortweinschule, Graz, and from 1985 - 1990, at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, with Bruno Gironcoli. Erjautz has been working in the fields of sculpture, installation, graphic art and photography and has also focussed on public space. The artist's primary goal is to make a sculptural statement. For him, body and space are decisive means for representing dematerialization of bodies, the connection with language elements or their conceptual integration in the work of art. Manfred Erjautz's sculptures distinguish themselves above all by their formal clarity. He works with different materials which are of utmost importance for the respective work, and which are mixed with objects of everyday life now and then. 

Some of his important works are also based on language elements working as coded sign systems (works made together with Michael Kienzer, i.a.). Manfred Erjautz's works deal with language, with its strategies and traps, and thus also defy language.

Language as a pictorial figure and the work of art, understood as a text, are key elements of the art history of the 20th century and form a multi-layered mesh of relationships, to which Manfred Erjautz adds a contemporary interpretation. Erjautz's reference to language as chosen in many of his works uses the regular mechanisms of coding and decoding in the form of disguising and transfiguration of language into "pictures". The range of produced "language pictures", however, reaches from the camouflage of language, i.e. its deletion as a direct means of communication by the binary bar code system to the accentuation of its signal-like, medial and design picturization in the form of commercially circulating logos and stickers. Those sculptures that can often also be entered like rooms, can be experienced by the beholder primarily in aesthetic terms and cannot be solved rationally.

In 1994, the artist was awarded the Promotional Prize of the City of Graz, and in 1999, the Monsignore Otto Mauer Prize. In 1989, Manfred Erjautz's works were exhibited in the framework of "steirischer herbst", in 1992, at the Biennial of Graphic Art in Istanbul, in 1994, at the Biennial of Graphic Art in Zagreb, and in 1996 and 2002, at the Viennese Secession. In 1993 and 2002, he was Austria's representative artist at the Biennale of Venice.