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Josef Pausch 1948-2010

The unknown Austrian photo genius and the mixed media artist. Recognized abroad, hardly known in Austria.

An Upper Austrian from Micheldorf, born 1948, died too early in 2010 in Linz. He lived in America and Mexico, among other places. His works hang in the Museo de Arte Moderne in Mexico City, in the Museum of Art in Santa Fe, in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, at the Metropolitan Museum in Tokyo.


He was assistant to John Coplan, the founder of the magazine "Artforum". He worked with Horst P. Horst, one of the most important fashion photographers of the 20th century, who was celebrated for his portraits for the fashion magazine Vogue. He worked with Robert Avedon, one of the first American photographic artists who did not photograph haute couture in the studio but staged it in everyday situations. His own talent and the inspiration of his great role models gave Pausch a magnificent eye, which always worked like a lens. He saw everyday life as a collection of pictures, collages, stagings. What might seem like mania, was a merging into art. 


His work, however, was hardly noticed in this country. It was too extensive, too far-reaching, too untimely for that. The ingenious often has a hard time in the reception, because there is no language for something that points to the future. The eye of Pausch has looked through the camera into the future and in the 80s created photographic styles and worlds that are now slowly opening up to the spirit of the times. Now that other photographers have arrived where Pausch was thirty years ago, his work becomes accessible.


In the context of his first photographic solo exhibition in Salzburg in 1983, he was attested "optical intelligence", his photographs "show landscape and architectural components to the same extent, and beyond that also a clear affinity to art forms of the avant-garde such as Land-, Concept- and Minimal Art. It is a quiet poetry of the objective that we encounter here. He has not only taken photographs. He was an excellent graphic artist, draughtsman, painter and reductionist. "Pausch's pronounced preference for details and the things on the edge, for the inconspicuous and silence promoted the selection process, as Peter Baum noted. Pausch himself called it "the interest in seemingly unimportant things and the elevation of the banal to the rank of pictures worthy of exhibition".

For in the final analysis he thematized "the obvious, namely that which surrounds me daily,

he said, "I prefer the trivial. This allows me to show a quality that is usually overlooked".


1948 born in Micheldorf / Austria and died 2010 in Linz / Austria



University for Art and Design Linz, Austria

Art Institut of Chicago, USA

Colleg of Graphic Arts & Photography, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA

Visual Study Workshop, Natan Lyons, Rochester, USA

MOMA, N.Y., Museumworkshop, John Szarkovsky, Curator of the Department Photography

State University of New Mexico, Photography, Baumont Newhall 


1979 Studyship of the State Departement Austria

1979 Studyship for Art (Minestry for Science and Art), Austria

1978 Collaborator with Forum Metal, Linz, Austria

1980 Collaborator with John Coplan (Photographer and founder of „ARTFORUM), USA

1980 Artdirector at VOGUE Inc., N.Y., USA

1981 Assistent with Horst P. Horst, and Richard Avedon N.Y., USA

1982-1985 Artdirector at Condé Nast - VOGUE, USA

Collaborator with Heinz Henisch, State College, PA., USA

Collaborator at the Museum of Moderne Art with Fernando Gamboa, Mexico City

Curator and co-founder of the Departement Photography at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, N.Y., USA)


1980 Vistingteacher at „Friends of Photography, Carmel Californien“,Ansel Adams Foundation, USA

1989-1992 Visiting Professor at State University of N.Y., (Parson) USA

1990-2006 Visiting Professor at Architect Assaciation London, GB

1992-2010 Teacher at University for Art and Design Linz, Austria



1977        Galerie Maerz, Linz, Austria

1978        Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France

1980        Robert Miller, New York, USA

1980        Länderbank  (Stiftung Photographie), Austria 

1982        Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria

1982        Fotohof, Salzburg, Austria

1998        Shu´s Hall, Aomori, Japan

1999        AA, London, GB

2000        CIPRA, Unité d´habiltation Le Corbuisier, Brie-en-foret, France

2001        Austrian Culture Institut, Tokyo, Japan

2002        Amtshaus, Weibern, Austria

2003        Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Japan

2008        Landesgalerie Linz, Oberösterreichischen Landesmuseum, Austria

2018/19  ARTFOR Gallery, Linz, Austria

2018/19  Leica Galerie Salzburg, Schloss Arnberg,Austria

2019        Kühberger & Haas, Steyr, Austria

2020/21  ARTFOR Gallery, Linz, Austria

2023        Gallery-Ordination Dr. Anderle, Linz, Austria

2023        ARTFOR Gallery, Linz, Austria


1999       O.K. Linz, „Auswahl“, Austria

1999       Galerie Maerz, Überzeugendes Signal, Linz, Austria

1999       Act 99 - Art Communication Tour 99, Wels-Linz-Steyr, Austria

1999       Manege, Moscow, Russia

2000       Aus dem Umfeld. Zeichnungen + Stadtwerkstatt 1979 - 1999, Stadtwerkstatt Linz, Austria

2002       Galerie Maerz, Künstlervereinigung MAERZ, Josef Pausch. Photographie, Linz, Austria

2002       Kunstuniversität Linz, Tendenzen der Oberösterreichischen Zeichnung, Austria

2004       Edition Achicard 02, Architektur Zentrum Wien, Austria

2005       OÖ Landesmuseum, „Entwickelt“, Sammlung Walter, Austria

2006       Rupertinum, Salzburg, Österreichische Fotosammlung, Austria

2013       Zyklus Free, Fotoserie, AFO Architekturforum OÖ.  Künstlervereinigung MAERZ, Linz, Austria

2013       Is It Really You, Kunstsammlung des Landes Oberösterreich, Austria

2017       Sammeln Kunst-Schaffende Kunst, Vereinigung Kunstschaffender Oberösterreichs - bvoö, Austria

2017       Aspekte: FARBE!, dieKUNSTSAMMLUNG OÖ, Österreich

2019       ARTFOR Gallery Linz, Austria

2020       ARTFOR Gallery Linz, Austria

2021       LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz, REAL WILD CHILD, Österreich

2022/23 ARTFOR Gallery Linz, Austria

Works in public and privat Collections

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France

Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico

Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Länderbank / Bank Austria - Photostiftung, Vienna, Austria

Rupertinum, Salzburg, Austria

Landesmuseum OÖ, Linz, Austria

Neue Galerie Linz, Austria

Fotohof, Salzburg, Austria

Metropolitan Museum Tokyo, Japan

Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria

Francisco Carolinum Linz, Austria

ARTFOR Gallery Linz, Austria

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