Josef Pillhofer

b. 1 June 1921 in Vienna (A); d. 30 July 2010 in Vienna (A); Austrian sculptor

The artist lived and worked in Vienna and Mürzzuschlag.

1938-1941Studied sculpture under Wilhelm Gösser and painting under Rudolf Szyszkowitz at the Graz school of arts and crafts. After serving in the army in the Second World War, he returned to the Graz school of arts and crafts.
1947-1950Pupil of Fritz Wotruba at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna
1950/51Exchange scholarship in Paris, attended the sculpture class held by Ossip Zadkine at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. During his stay in Paris he became acquainted with Constantin Brâncuși and Henri Laurens and this tempered the influence of Wotruba.
1957Exchange scholarship in Rome
1950er  Worked for the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna. For the museum's reopening in 1955, he created the bronze cast of Kaiser Maximilian I for one of the two artillery halls (Arsenal, building 2). He was also engaged in restoration work for the museum.

Teaching posts:

1954-1970Lecturer and subsequently assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
1970-1981As a professor, head of the master class in sculpture at the Graz school of arts and crafts
1972-1974  Professor of sculptural design at Graz University of Technology

Honours and Memberships:

1951State Award of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
1955 - 1959Member of the Art Club
1955Acceptance in the Vienna Secession
1968  Austrian State Award for Sculpture
1979Award for Visual Arts of the City of Vienna
1983 Award for Visual Arts of the federal province of Styria
1996 Grand Decoration of Honour of the federal province of Styria
2009 Decoration for Science and Art, 1st Class

Pillhofer created sculptures in stone, wood, clay and metal. His style was influenced by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, but cubists such as Henri Laurens and abstract artists such as Constantin Brâncuși also influenced his work. Pillhofer is regarded as one of the few abstract sculptors of the Wotruba School.