Jörg Schlick

1951 (Graz) - 2005 (Graz)

Amongst other things, the artist collaborated on Forum Stadtpark and the “steirischer herbst” festival, both in Graz. From 1996 till 2001 he taught as a guest professor at Graz University of Technology and, in 2003, he accepted a lectureship at Joanneum University of Applied Sciences. Schlick formulated his artistic ideas in any form available to him: music, film, ballet, theatre, multiple, woodcut, installation, text, collage, history and stories. The result of his work was more important to him than the choice of medium. 

Schlick used social and political patterns of power structure as a basis and then, building on his knowledge about image propaganda, he set carefully-planned structural networks of politics, church and state in conflict whilst refusing to treat any as impeccable, using a pre-defined vocabulary for his works and even appearing in the guise of Richelieu or the Pope.

The Styrian concept artist worked in co-operations including those with Albert Oehlen, Wolfgang Bauer and Martin Kippenberger, with whom he founded “Lord Jim Loge”. Each member was obliged to use either the symbol “Sonne Busen Hammer” (sun breasts hammer) or the slogan “no-one helps anyone” in their works of art – this, along with the declared objective to make this brand better known than that of Coca-Cola. Jörg Schlick was publisher of “Sonne Busen Hammer” magazine, functioning as the central organ of the artists’ league. The artist’s works were “branded” by the distinctive and ambiguous logo of “Lord Jim Loge” and helped the artist to become well known. This “secret society” to which, amongst others, people like Arnulf Rainer and Niki Lauda also belonged, fostered Jörg Schlick’s reputation as an agitator whilst, at the same time, obstructing the view of his works. Schlick’s positioning of the originally secret logo and motto in each of his works led to his revealing the secret of the society’s members (artists and adventurers), thus unmasking political, religious and friendly amalgamations as locations for creating yet more power. Yet he retained the masks and charged them up anew in order to put into question not only institutions but also prevailing ideas of value and concepts of art.

In 2005 the rights to “Lord Jim Loge” were sold for a symbolic price at the Bleich-Rossi gallery. In 2006 “monochrom” purchased the brand and copyrights for the Viennese group. As a photographic artist, Jörg Schlick showed serial motifs – flowers and everyday architectural objects which, through combination in groups of four, gained new effects. Manic yet unable to finish despite immense commitment to work, he did not strive for new constructions but rather steered our gaze towards things we are used to seeing and, at the same time, towards infinity. Despite a targeted focus on motifs of human construction and plant-like forms, the meaning of individual works is subordinated to the creation of patterns, rhythms or stringent dynamics.

In 1997 the artist received a prize of honour from the city of Graz and, in 2004, the prize of the Province of Styria. The internationally successful artist exhibited in renowned museums all over Europe, including in 1993 at Centre Pompidou, in 1996 at Museum Ludwig in Cologne and, in 2000, at Musée d`Art Modern et Contemporain in Geneva.