KARL PRANTL – The Language of Stones

Prantl's work is as unusual as his career as an artist. Trained in the Viennese epicenter of representational post-war surrealism, Karl Prantl became almost overnight Austria's most important abstract stone sculptor. Despite his academic degree as a painter, the artist can justifiably be called an autodidact. A similar anomaly is based on the divergence of a deep, denominational religiosity and an intensity that Prantl is also often associated in the vicinity of minimalism and land art.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Albertina Wien


Karl Prantl - From Pöttsching to Yorkshire Sculpture Park and back, via Schloss Ambras by Peter Murray

Landscape and boundary lines are central themes in the development of Karl Prantl’s work. At Pöttsching where he lives and works, his sculptures are laid out along the edges of a long thin field, emphasising the region’s history of strip farming, and leading the eye towards the distant hills of the border between Austria and Hungary. All his life he has striven to break down barriers between different cultures and countries. This was particularly true during the fifties and early sixties when Prantl made contact with artists working in Eastern bloc countries, and established a series of stone carving symposia. This culminated in the development of the St Margarethen stone quarry Workshop in eastern Austria which acted as a catalyst for the organisation of many more symposia, often in troubled areas such as Berlin and the Israeli desert. Stone for Prantl provides the fabric of life. He would agree with the poet James H. White who wrote, “there are plenty of ruined buildings in the world but no ruined stones.” Stone has an eternal quality. It comes from the earth and returns to the earth. Stones reveal traces of previous existences and contain their own history and many of the stones Prantl has used have at one time had a different purpose or function. He is prepared to travel from one end of the world to the other in his quest for the right stone and his studio and garden are littered with glittering prizes quarried from countries such as Brazil, Japan, Norway, Africa, India, Germany and, of course, Austria.

Born into an agricultural family, Karl Prantl did not follow directly in the footsteps of his ancestors but chose instead to turn farming land into a kind of plantation for his sculpture. There is no grand design to the layout of his work around his studio in Pöttsching. Most of the sculptures are simply placed to stand between trees, not interfering with the vistas, but rather appearing to be very much at home among the busy agricultural activities of nearby farms. Highly conscious of the rhythms and cycles of the seasons, Prantl has immense feeling for the natural world which is the key to his success as an artist. His philosophical understanding of the environment is based on a spiritual belief in humanity’s potential for good and the importance of acknowledging and accepting responsibility for the traces left, as we pass through the spaces we fleetingly inhabit. At our first meeting in Pöttsching I explained my Intention to try to organise an exhibition of his large stone carvings at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This idea seemed rather unusual as normally Prantl would travel to different parts of the world to carve stones and generally his exhibitions included smaller works. On this occasion, however, stones from different parts of the world would be uprooted from their home in Pöttsching and displayed in an 18th Century landscape in Yorkshire. Never had so many of his works been moved for a single exhibition. He remarked, “we’re all crazy, but let us drink to the success of the project”.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is situated near to the birthplaces of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth and alongside the once mighty coalfields of West Yorkshire. What appealed to Prantl, along with the opportunity to exhibit in Yorkshire where areas of wild landscape had once inspired Moore and Hepworth, was the idea of a labyrinth of coal mines below the surface of the land, and the traces of their scars above. Organising the transport of the work required great skill, determination, patience, friendship and meticulous planning. Once the works arrived in Yorkshire, the puzzle of the siting of the stones became apparent and was only to be solved by moving each sculpture endlessly to find its correct location. STONE FOR MEDITATION (blue Brazilian granite, 1986/88) was moved 24 times before these beautiful cool blue pieces of Brazilian stone were finally sited, forming a mysterious path into the shrubs. This “earthbound” sculpture is made up of four large slabs of stone measuring approximately 15 x 220 x 150 cm and weighing over 750 kg. Although each slab retains its quarried shape the upper surfaces have been polished, enhancing the deep blue of the granite. At strategic points the edges have been carved and the surface interrupted by delicate carving, exploring traces of fossil forms from a different time and place. The stones may be displayed individually or as a group and the spaces between may by varied according to the location. STONE FOR MEDITATION (blue Brazilian granite, 1986/88) is typical of much of Prantl’s work; laborious to carve, frustratingly strenuous and slow to move, apparently impossible to find an advantageous site for. And then, suddenly, the right spot is found and everything changes as the stones become part of the landscape. The anxiety drains away and the sculpture looks as if it has always been part of this place.

Karl Prantl felt STONE FOR MEDITATION was one of his most difficult sculptures to site and thought the display of the sculpture in Yorkshire was the most successful to date. He enjoyed sitting at Brasilianischer Rosenkranz to have his lunch while observing the way the sculpture reacted to the changing light conditions. Sometimes the three stones appeared like cold, hard, flat slabs of granite; occasionally they appeared to melt into a thin charcoal drawing line tracking the lie of the land, and often they took on the appearance of deep blue ponds, absorbing and reflecting nature. The artist liked to take a siesta on STONE FOR MEDITATION (serpentine, 1993). This thin large stone, almost level with the ground he found very comfortable and from this horizontal position he would observe the layout of the exhibition, urging people to take their shoes and socks off and feel, through their feet, the dark coolness of the stone and the beautifully carved veins which the artist had coaxed from within the amazonite. On one memorable occasion I found him sitting on the edge of STONE FOR MEDITATION (Norwegian labrador, 1985/95) persuading members of the public to rest on this very long horizontal stone, encouraging them to relax, feel the perfectly carved surface (which took ten years to complete) and enjoy the view of the landscape. These gentle encounters with the public often resulted in the normally reticent English wandering around the exhibition caressing sculptures and repeating the comments of the artist: “Stein, Gut, Ja”. Working with Karl Prantl in Yorkshire was a great experience as we rediscovered spaces and locations within the softness of the English landscape, the sculpture making us more aware of its own rocky foundations and undulations. The siting of the exhibition exploited the vistas, the gentle rolling slopes and the width of the parkland as it moved from the structural formality of the Camellia House to the broader open spaces of Lakeside. After Yorkshire we travelled with Karl Prantl to site the sculptures at Schloß Ambras in Austria. The contrast with Yorkshire could not have been greater. Set above Innsbruck, the impressive castle and parkland, surrounded by the mountains of the Tyrol, seemed to be carved out of the mountain side and the air diffused with a sharper quality of light than in Yorkshire. At Schloß Ambras we decided to make a more formal arrangement, creating an imaginary grid system to plot the positions of the sculptures in relationship to each other. The aim was to tempt the public to participate in the exhibition by suggesting a presence at the entrance of the park but only gradually revealing the full impact and power of the sculptures as visitors moved further into the park. Certain markers were established through the siting of the four large Stones for Meditation (blue Brazilian granite, 1986/88) and the 920 cm long STONE FOR MEDITATION (Norwegian labrador, 1987/88) was laid between two trees forming an edge, like a powerful pencil line, to the exhibition. Sitting on this sculpture it was possible to see a remarkable range of Prantl’s sculpture against the white forms of the castle and the craggy landscape beyond. Further on, the green-grey of STONE FOR MEDITATION (serpentine, 1987/88) set against the “Nordkette” echoed the veins of the mountains.

This was the first time sculpture had ever been sited in the park and an extraordinarily complex manoevre was required to transport and install the works at Schloß Ambras. Each day local people would observe with grave suspicion the struggle to find the right places for the sculptures. Our despair, as we searched for the right spot, was often matched by the disdain of the onlookers. Then slowly but surely as the exhibition started to take shape, the public response changed. They became more curious before reaching a stage of acceptance and eventual satisfaction as locations were found for each of the large sculptures. Displayed on this scale and in such a setting Prantl’s sculptures seemed very much at home in Austria. The works related to one another and to the immediate landscape but, like the surrounding mountains, had sufficient space to breathe the air of isolation. Like many sculptors, including Isamu Noguchi, Prantl prefers to work in granite. This compressed obdurate material is awkward to quarry, difficult to move and slow to carve but perfect for outdoor sculpture. The experience of working with granite, combined with his respect for eastern philosophy and art, has informed Karl Prantl’s cultural attitude towards stone which in many ways means he is closer to Japanese rather than European sensibilities. Prantl’s stone works range from austere minimal forms to those which are sumptuous and exuberant and the colour of the stone is invariably significant. His sculptures do not impose upon the landscape. They flirt with it until eventually a mutual interdependence is established and the interaction between art and nature heightens awareness of space, location and form.

For Prantl tactility is essential to the works; he talks about people wanting to touch, feel, caress, hold, hug, sit and listen to his sculptures, preferably at different times of the day and season. Above all he wants people to slow down and spend time looking, as without contemplation we will not penetrate the true essence and spirituality of art and nature. In Yorkshire and Innsbruck this large project demonstrated the importance and uniqueness of Karl Prantl’s sculpture. Although he is essentially Austrian his sculpture knows no barriers. What is now required is a concentrated effort to find a permanent public site in Austria to honour the work of this important artist.


Karl Prantl: The Stone of Initiation by Kristian Sotriffer

In the catalogue on Karl Prantl for the Venice Biennale 1986, ‘dedicated to the sculptor symposia movement’, the sculptor's favorite place (now abandoned but never forgotten) for staying, working and dreaming is described as follows: a hill, above it a swarm of jackdaws, the demolition of rock, flown over again by the black birds, the walls, cracks, intersections of a quarry, a panoramic picture of its interior: the year 1959 (soon it is thirty years ago...) is evoked.

Karl Prantl organized with friends his first sculpture symposium at this place. It is the hill ripped open on one flank on which the rarest plants can be found (the Adonis Rose, two types of Pulsatellas in April, another in the juxtaposition of alpine and Pannonian flora growing in over the Asian steppes between summer and autumn). His first large sculpture, which is created in the context of the symposium, bears the name “Five Invocations”.

In retrospect, it could also be described as “Five Initiations”: The one in contact with nature to the artist's work outside the studios, to the naturally grown; the one to the union-like gathering of like-minded artists; the one to carry on the idea of symposia into the world; the one to set signs, which extend groundbreakingly across borders; the one to intervene also in the cultural or cult settings of urban landscapes. This is Karl Prantl’s litany.

In the Venice Catalogue he also recalls his chronological artistic path: from the quarry in St. Margarethen/Burgenland (1959) progressively to Kirchheim quarry near Würzburg (1961), to Berlin (1961/62) next to the wall building, to the Negev Desert (1962), to Vysne Ruzbachy in Slovakia (1965), to Federsee (1969), to Mauthausen (1967/1970), to Vermont (USA, 1968), to Osaka (1969) and so on until a contract of the symposium in St. Margarethen, working for an exemplary plaza-configuration, surrounding the area of the St. Stephan Cathedral in the heart of Vienna needing a new architectural outlook, made necessary due to the new subway building.

That was 1975, and with the failure of his St. Stephens project in Vienna, the overall St. Margarethen symposia project fifteen years after its beginning was only a beautiful reminder of important, exemplary, groundbreaking efforts and of bad external and internal conditions. These aspirations and relationships are also determined by artists when they begin to think and act like those whose egoism and vanity Prantl had tried to oppose: unselfish, energetic, stubborn – but not free of corners and edges which were for others reasons of envy, demonstrating an apostolic need to break his teaching path. The prophet of the thesis: "Art is help – lets help one another", who tested himself on the hard stone, which finally became the stone of initation also for his comrades-in-arms, who had to experience how far an attempted co-existence finally as a separation can develop.

The reasons for this are complex, thanks both to Prantl's indispensability, his stubbornness, his vigor, his utopian ideas and hopes, which were influenced by anthroposophical thoughts, and to the ‘disloyalty’ of some of the Prophet's disciples. Or let us call it the other ideas of those whom he knew how to gather around him, whom he tried to convince, but whom he did not want to and could not lead, respecting the work of others up to the point of self-abandonment. In the end, his thoughts, his philosophy and his faith did not find their exemplary expression in the common work, but above all in his own work. His approach has given rise to numerous impulses, which have been taken up by many artists, without them always becoming aware of it or remaining so. Ulrich Rückriem, for example, who capitalised on his experiences in quarries, is one out of many.

Hardened matter, compact testimony of past earthly lives, the result of deposits, sintering, processes of pressure and fusion, concentrated sunken being, resting mass, gains a new life through the way the stone shaper Karl Prantl looks at it, without losing the old one. Strictly speaking, Prantl emphasizes peculiarities, qualities, the character of a structure selected by him and determined by nature, a fracture, a preform (the pavement or gravestone, the basalt column). Composition, color, inclusions, breath or distortions are something to which the stone shaper's senses repeatedly responds and to which his mind reacts. It calls on factors of time, duration and strength on the one hand – the component: skin, coloring (the ‘breath’ of the stone), its consistency and the “memory”, speaking from it on the other hand, which he feels together, thinks together and transfers to a newly created unity, which emphasises all that is seen and experienced, but at the same time also fills it with its own meaning.

Those who are asked (perhaps for the first time) to engage in a dialogue with the massive stones and their material character, which are at the same time removed and carefully traced by movements and swellings or indentations, will feel spontaneously attracted by them. One does not have to understand them immediately. Very complex, multi-layered positions have also found their way into their simplicity. They can be analysed without actually touching the thing itself. These stones do not originate from any calculus, any rational element. They are primarily an expression of a feeling about the afterlife of the dead, an attempt to point out orders that are drawn out of the seemingly undetermined in a long working process. They point simultaneously in many directions, can be understood or claimed from several positions. However, in the end they elude anything conceptual. This is because one dimension of understanding is not sufficient to grasp the totality of these results of a search for the core, that develops from "rock to plant" and further "from plant to animal, from animal to other human beings" (Martin Buber).

The network of coordinates in which Prantl's stones find themselves ranges from the sensitised, simple and austere (minimalist) form to the rich (maximalist) enrichment of a substance that the artist described as "approaching concrete". For Prantl, a stone builds the living concentrate of developmental processes that also directly affect human beings. Therefore, he follows those traces, he seeks to restore those connections through which the ancient world, to be redeemed from fossilisation, can be brought into a connection with the new, with the living, with the present. Thus, Prantl's choice of materials is definitely not only based on aesthetic considerations.

What he releases and determines in terms of energies, that have become form, reaches beyond an essential nuance of the aesthetic product, merely aesthetic pleasure and a corresponding reception. What Prantl's stones radiate in terms of sensitivity, reveals a parallel in the efforts of his friend Antonio Calderara: ‘Measure – harmony – balance – light that does not illuminate – light that is everything – light that forms itself... Man – his border – his order on the border between the finite and the infinite.’

With the train to the simple, the austere, the ascetic, the monastic, the meditative, the sacred, Prantl also combines another with the precious, the rich - up to a kind of tabernacle, nature transforms into the symbolic, into the symbol. An emotional-sentimental way of approaching an absolute is joined by a rational (albeit not intellectual) one, which is based on a desire for order, serial sequence, unambiguous markings and designations – in turning to a task that cannot be fulfilled in the studio.

Hence, the departure for St. Margarethen, the "outdoor drill ground", there and at other places, as the critic Heinz Ohff put it in 1962, there should be both: ‘extreme individuality and that togetherness that in >Symposion< actually reminds a little of the building huts of the Middle Ages. The formula between the personal striving of modernism and the anonymity of all first art expression seemed to have been found.’

But the symposium was also, as Jürgen Morschel states in his Notes on Twenty Years of History, ‘at least in its beginnings, the realisation of a new social rather than a new artistic idea... even though the official art history took virtually no notice of what happened and arose here’. Morschel also noted that the idea underlying the community building of the symposium seemed to be "an anachronism", ‘a utopia determined by the thought of the community of Original Christianity.’ On the other hand: ‘The symposium does not constitute a pure artistic society, but rather the community of those who make art possible (people who ideologically, financially, by making land and stone available, as the artists' actions accompanying helpers – note by the author), who have or take their share.’ The work for and at St. Stephen’s Square (Stephansplatz) from 1972 onwards had been imagined in a similar way. With great enthusiasm and optimism (an expectation which in itself was not justified by anything – towards society, planners, architects and authorities), one had given oneself to a task which had never before been tested and was finally to experience a fiasco - like the square itself in its un-designed state.

The artists, who had been meeting in the Sculpture House (by Johann Georg Gsteu) in St. Margarethen since 1972, which had been completed in 1967, had ideas according to which the square was ‘not to be designed from the drawing board’, but ‘to let the ceiling of the square grow out of the ground, so to speak, taking into account the historical data (building)’, - stated in the information sheet of the Galerie am Graben, 1975. By 1976, the preparatory work was completed and a draft submitted. The sculptors received a research commission for the exemplary project. The City of Vienna had asked them to work together with the planning architects (one of them, Wilhelm Holzbauer, is now Rector of the University of Applied Arts ‘die Angewandte’). Then symptoms of fatigue and wear and tear occurred in the confrontation with rigid apparatus of the city government.

The difficulties of coordination then led to differences among the artists themselves. Thus, their search and learning process failed with the intention of obliging all those involved to take joint action, due to internal divisions. Their intention to design the configuration of the square with stone materials, which came from abandoned parks, cemeteries and deposits of old, high-quality grave and cobblestones, could not be plausibly conveyed to the authorities for this reason either – for the official interlocutors a not unwelcome alibi to decide and proceed differently, namely in such a way that the entire area was transformed into a desolate "Lake Balaton” – so the Viennese vernacular after the laying of simple, machine-cut stone slabs, a victory of the stone industry and its lobby.

In 1975, a chronological documentation was presented, for which no longer Karl Prantl, but Maria Biljan-Bilger, the ceramist who followed him as chairman of the sculpture symposium St. Margarethen, was responsible, and that already since 1969. Until the end of 1974 they still worked together, after Karl Prantl had presented the idea in 1972 at a meeting at the ‘table of silence’ of Constantin Brancusi in Tirgu Jiu (Romania) – to participate in structural tasks of the urban renewal of Vienna – to his colleagues. They had probably never or not enough considered the ‘constraints of the matter’ associated with it.

Besides Prantl, designs for the Stephansplatz (partly with material and form samples in St. Margarethen itself, over which the grass has long grown in the literal sense of the word) had also been jointly worked out by Gero Müller-Goldegg, Milena Lah, Paul Schneider, Hannes Haslecker, Franz Ölzant, the Kubach-Wilmsen team, Leo Kornbrust and Janez Lenassi. A lot of things seemed impossible – with fluctuating quality and barely veiled divergent views, which at first did not seem to bother the sculptors – even from the point of view of the necessary scheduling, which had been deliberately ignored. Already in 1973, Prantl had rejected a contractual relationship with the municipality of Vienna: ‘Sculptors,’ he explained with his own determination, ‘should regain their rank; one should trust the sculptors without a contract.’ There was not necessarily much reason for this. Unlike others, Prantl did not want to take part in negotiations. At the same time, simulations were carried out upon the premises of St. Margarethen, presented to those responsible and initially accepted by them. In the autumn of 1975, a test field was accomplished at the cathedral itself…

From the Symposium of St.Margarethen, a hermaphrodite was created - supported by a statute fixed from 1979. Now there was to be a ‘meeting of European and non-European sculptors, painters, ceramists and architects’, a ceramic furnace was erected at the edge of the Sculptor's House. The ‘handling of landscape’ is rehearsed without obvious results, the old idea of Karl Prantl is taken to absurdity and dies. It lived from the idea that the union of artists should not serve the development and the assertion of certain directions or ideas of art, but should constitute an alliance. From the very beginning, it had to endure tough tests. Before the (self-imposed) task of becoming active in urban space, it also broke up for reasons of an increasing tendency to soften original ideals, even if they had always been interpreted differently by various individuals. Only in Salzburg does Prantl still meet with ‘the old faithful comrades’ from the time of origin of the Symposion idea since 1986 at the Untersberg quarry.

In St. Margarethen, the emergence of art was once to be brought to mind, and for a long time this was a place of pilgrimage for those who wanted to experience it. It was, as Morschel said, ‘the decisively new thing compared to the traditional visualisation of art in its products... The symposium does not constitute a pure artistic society, but a community of those who have or take part in it.’ But they withdrew, recognising disagreements among the artists themselves (presumably all of them first and foremost individualists and egoists), which have also disturbed corresponding initiatives elsewhere... and it came to dissolutions everywhere, because the putty of ideas did not seem to be sufficient to let the ideal community step before the individual interest of which Karl Prantl had dreamed.

What the author of this 1971 contribution to Karl Prantl and his defeats came up with proved to be painfully true for him, but could give the artist enormous impetus for his own work.

Quote from Examples. Austrian Art of Today:

The idea of symposion has its meaning, as long as it leads to Prantl's ‘disciples’ familiarising them with possible objectives and possible effects outside an autonomous art business, but also only considered by insiders, teaching them to work together, to fight and to overcome resistance. As organizer, promoter and animator... Prantl achieved something admirable, but at the same time had to allow his ideas not only to be profaned, so to speak by artistically and humanly weaker forces, but also to be transformed into senselessness, where ultimately it was only a matter of placing plastic cemeteries in a nature with which Karl Prantl wanted to correspond and which he never regarded as a counterpart. With his own symposion works, he always succeeded in sketching out paths that only a few could or wanted to follow. He was worn out, in a tragic misunderstanding of the possibilities and requirements, because the idea was more important to him than a realised concept. He identified himself with the symposia until he gave up himself. His modesty, coupled with stubbornness, makes him step into the background over and over, again. But Karl Prantl will survive, live on through his own work, not only the work he has done for others or made possible for others...

Perhaps he would steer things differently today – keeping out of constant disputes with politicians, cultural officials, authorities and institutions and using a suitable mediator. But Prantl's Kohlhaas nature forbade him to stand aside, wait and negotiate at least at a time when he still felt physically and psychologically guilty, which would have long since caused others to retreat. Just as he tried to grind and polish the stone, to subject it to the idea of form, and yet respected it – especially in front of the stone for Josef Matthias Hauer at an exposed point on the hill of St. Margarethen – as grown-up, he thought he could ‘force’, as a constant drop, also those which he had used for the realisation of his intentions. He did not make any compromises. What he has nevertheless achieved, at least explored as a possibility (how the temporary interplay of other artistic communities had its effects), is much and is above all worth remembering. Long before there was to be any talk of art's possibilities of dissolving boundaries, he had already realised them in his own way.

Literature used

Symposium of European sculptor St. Margarethen. Documentation, Vienna 1969.

Oswald Oberhuber/Kristian Sotriffer, examples. Today's Austrian Art, Vienna and Munich 1971.

Stephansplatz. Chronological documentation from 1973 to 1975 about the work of the sculptors of St. Margarethen for a new design of the pedestrian precinct in the cathedral area of St. Stephan, Vienna, no year. (1975).

Jürgen Morschel, "Art under new conditions. Notes on the Twenty Year History of the Sculptor Symposium", in: Das Kunstwerk, XXXII, 1979, Issue 5, pp. 3-4 and 37-39.

Wegmarkierungen, edited by the >Symposion Europäischer Bildhauer, St. Margarethen o.J. (around 1982).


Exhibition catalogue Karl Prantl. Austria. Biennale di Venezia 1986. Vienna 1986.

A stony path - In memory of the sculptor Karl Prantl by Gustav Schörghofer SJ

During a discussion with Karl Prantl at the beginning of the 1990s, we talked about a place in southern Burgenland. There, in Rechnitz, in the course of one night towards the end of the war in 1945 about two hundred Jews were murdered. As forced labourers they were supposed to erect a fortified rampart. The murderers are unknown to this day. The location of the mass grave has never been found either. Karl Prantl wanted to erect a monument to the unknown murder victims. At that time only a few people knew about this event. As a result of a play by Elfriede Jelinek, in the following years it became better known.

Bibliography Bibliography


Bibliography: monography

  • Karl Prantl, Plastiken 1950-1972. Hg. von P. Weiermair. Innsbruck 1973
  • Karl Prantl. Steine 1964-1976. Erker. St. Gallen 1976
  • Karl Prantl. Steine 1978-80. Erker-Galerie am Gallusplatz. St. Gallen 1980
  • Karl Prantl. Plastiken 1950-1981. Frankfurter Kunstverein. Frankfurt am Main 1981 (mit ausführlicher Biografie, Bibliografie, Liste der Ausstellungen, Kunst im öffentlichen Raum und Dokumentarfilme)
  • Karl Prantl. Austria. Biennale di Venezia 1986
  • Karl Prantl. Der Stein im Richisau. Erker. St. Gallen 1988
  • Friederike Mayröcker: aus einem Stein entsprungen: aus einem Verwandtschaftshimmel: zu Karl Prantl’s Arbeiten in Stein. Erker. St. Gallen 1989
  • Karl Prantl Steine. Innsbruck 1995
  • Karl Prantl, Uta Peyrer. Burgenländische Landesgalerie Schloss Esterházy. 1996
  • Karl Prantl. Steine. Schloss Ambras. Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Zürich 1997
  • Karl Prantl im Gespräch mit Monika Bugs. Interview 7. Hg. von Jo Enzweiler. Saarbrücken 1999
  • T. Kahler:  Vom wahren Wert des Steins. In: Künstler, Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst. Ausgabe 52, München 2000
  • Susanna Steiger-Moser: Dokumentation zu Werken Karl Prantls in und um Pöttsching. Hg. von der Gemeinde Pöttsching, Pöttsching 2000
  • Marlen und Lorenz Dittmann: Karl Prantl - Große Steine und Bildhauersymposien. Hg. von Jo Enzweiler. Saarbrücken 2007 
  • Künstlerblatt Karl Prantl. Hg. von Jo Enzweiler. Saarbrücken 2007       
  • Alexander Winter: Der Steinbildhauer Karl Prantl: Werkkatalog 1950-2000. Dissertation, LMU München: Fakultät für Geschichts- und Kunstwissenschaften, 2008