HANS FRONIUS - Portrait
Hans Fronius was born on September 12 th ,1903, in Sarajevo, then part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. His father, a descendant from an old aristocratic Transylvanian family, worked as a physician in Sarajevo, his mother was a born Passini from a well-known family of Biedermeier-painters. At the age of 11 he was an eyewitness of the assault on the successor to the Austrian throne. At the end of the 1 st World War the Old Austrian familiy was forced to move to Graz, Styria, where he completed grammar school. His entire interest had been focused on graphics and painting since his childhood. Following this preference he started to study at the Wiener Akademie der bildenden Künste, the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts. Afterwards he graduated very successfully from a master school of painting. During his studies a wealthy arts enthusiast rendered it possible for Fronius to undertake educational trips to Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, France and Italy. At his father´s advice Fronius decided to work as a teacher. He taught arts and projective geometry at a grammar school in Fürstenfeld, Styria, between 1930 and 1960. In 1937 he met Max Brod on a journey to Prag on the occasion of his exhibition of the Kafka-graphics at the Prager Kunstverein.
He shared the fate of almost every Austrian having to serve as a soldier from 1941 to 1945. Of course, even in those days he was artisticaly active all the time. His national and international reputation was steadily growing. In 1961 he moved with his family to Perchtoldsdorf near Vienna. He continued to teach at a grammar school in the city of Mödling until 1964, afterwards he dedicated himself exclusively to his fine arts. His enormous creative power lasted till his decease, he died on March 21 st , 1988.
Specifying all of his work would surely extend the scope of a short biography. His expressive oilpaintings, independent in style, meet with greatest interntional approval. During his lifetime, his work as a graphic artist and illustrator of books and files included 115 publications, another 32 works have been published posthumously till now.
His oeuvre has been displayed in Austria and abroad in over 230 exhibitions dedicated exclusively to his works, e. g. at the
Albertina / Oberes Belvedere Wien, Salzburg, Graz, Linz, Frankfurt, Mainz, Hannover, Leipzig, Bonn, Bamberg, Regensburg, Braunschweig, Biennale Venedig, Madrid, Luxemburg, Brüssel, Paris, Mailand, Zug, Prag, Krumau, Mexico City, New York.
Hans Fronius was honoured during his lifetime. Here is a selection of his awards:
- Der Große Österreichische Staatspreis, 1966
- Die Ehrenmedaille der Stadt Wien, 1968
- Das Ehrenkreuz für Kunst und Wissenschaft I. Kl.
- Das große goldene Ehrenzeichen des Bundeslandes Niederösterreich
- Das große goldene Ehrenzeichen des Bundeslandes Steiermark
- Gutenbergpreis der Stadt Leipzig, 1981
- Lovis-Corinth-Preis, BRD, 1983
Nine TV-documentaries about his life and work have been produced in Austria and abroad so far.
Many of his works of art are on display at museums all over the world.