On the 13th of February, Ernst Fuchs celebrated his 80th birthday. “Everyone gathers with gifts and to shake my hand.” How many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are these? “I’ve stopped counting“, Fuchs says, laughing. In March, the birthday boy is then in Klagenfurt and then Vienna, where he will meet with hundreds of well-wishers.
Following the awarding of the Golden merit mark from the city of Vienna on 19th of March, a major exhibition on his life and work with photos, paintings and architectural models will open. Fuchs’ manager Cornelia Mensdorff-Pouilly describes it as “a colorful show,” and is expecting more than 500 guests. International stars of Fantastic Realism can be found then gather on the next day to congratulate him and to present a series of lectures. A further “broad cross-section” of Fuchs’ work will show at the Domgalerie Wiener Neustadt from 2 March.
Before the celebrations start in Vienna, Fuchs will make a stop in Klagenfurt, where this year “Apocalypse Chapel” in the church of St. Egid will be opened. “That’s no cow skin, how long I’ve been working on it?,” says Fuchs. “I think now it is 22 years.” The importance of the chapel in his oeuvre: “It is very simple. It is my masterpiece.” Fuchs says of the chapel mural and the monumental “Last Supper” also hanging there, “I had resigned myself to the thought that I would complete them both that so too my life would come to an end; or rather a new life would begin. There is no death.“
For his future work, this means: “An end is always the beginning of something entirely new. I somehow feel that this future will be in music.” One of his biggest wishes, and a long held pet project, is to stage an operatic performance of the “The Grail” story, “because all of my art comes from music.” He sees it the story as a very topical issue, and represents the confrontation with Islam. “It is a delicate and necessary – I would like to address this matter with a similar policy of Obama: I want to reconcile, not divide. The opera like so many other ideas is still sitting in the drawer.” Fuchs would love to see it performed in Jerusalem, “but that will probably remain a dream.“
Photos from his public birthday celebrations are available to see.
Photos: Elisabeth Arnhart
Source: Labyrinthe – Gesellschaft für phantastische und visionäre Künste
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