Josef Pillhofer

from 2 to 3 - 100 years of josef pillhofer


Opening: 01.07.2021
Curated by: Günther Holler-Schuster

About the exhibition

The sculptor Josef Pillhofer would have turned 100 this year. His work is extremely varied and is concerned from the outset with three-dimensionality as a central question of sculpture. How does a spatial manifestation arise from the two-dimensionality of the picture? Questions from the study of images intrude at that moment. How does a picture come into being? The visible world becomes an image (landscape drawings), the block-like object is reduced to a surface (collage), the surface folds up again to form a body (folds).

It is often the forms from nature that Pillhofer isolates and combines to make completely new contents. This recalls Concrete Art, which certainly influenced the artist in his early creative period. Pillhofer is very close to the tradition of modernism, formulating with great precision in this respect, which is probably attributable to his training (with Ossip Zadkine) in Paris of the 1950s. In his case, the sculpture can predominately be traced back to the human figure, yet mostly consists of the classic materials of stone or bronze, and is often joined to a pedestal. Yet Pillhofer often breaks these rules, too, thereby succeeding in expanding the constants of sculpture. His questions range into neighbouring areas such as drawing, collage, and further into movement when he develops sculptures with which to perform on stage.

This exhibition is not a representative survey, rather it is the single view of several key questions formulated by Pillhofer in a most intriguing way. The fact that Josef Pillhofer led the masterclass at the Kunstgewerbeschule Graz from 1970 to 1981 makes him and his work even more significant. Honouring his work in this exhibition will reveal surprising insights, perhaps not yet known to this extent. The works for this show will in part come from the Neue Galerie collection, but loans will also be exhibited that come from the artist’s estate and have rarely been shown before, in some cases never.


Neue Galerie Graz

8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9100


Opening Hours

Tues-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

On October 10th and 11th, 2023, the Neue Galerie Graz will be closed due to renovation works. The studio exhibition (Ebru Kurbak), the exhibitione in the foyer (Alek Kawka), and the Natural History Museum (Walter Köstenbauer) will still be open for visitors.

Guided tours: 
Please visit our calendar.
Guided tours on advance notice

Library Opening Hours
Open by prior appointment:
+43-699/1334-6801 or




10th/11th October 2023
24th/25th December 2023

publication "from 2 to 3 - 100 years of josef pillhofer"